Domma menopause startup tackles taboo with daily libido-enhancing shot

By Nikki Hancocks

- Last updated on GMT

© Domma
© Domma

Related tags Menopause Startup company

A Spanish startup catering to mature women's health needs has unveiled a prevalent menopause symptom going under the radar due to its social taboo—loss of libido.

"If menopause is taboo, sex in menopause is incredibly taboo," Mireia Roca co-founder and co-CEO of Domma told NutraIngredients. "Our community has informed us loss of libido is more prevalent than hot flushes or insomnia in this life stage, but it's such a complex issue, with so many different aspects contributing to it.

"The loss of estrogen leads to extreme fatigue and mood swings, so you can't think about sex, but add to that the physical symptoms of vaginal dryness, which make it difficult to have sex, and you have a multitude of issues at play. Women don't know who to talk to about this to get help."

Headquartered in Barcelona and co-founded and co-led by Cristina Martinez Jiménez, Domma aims to provide a one-stop, science-backed shop for mature women. The brand initially

Mireia and Cristina
Founders Mireia Roca and Cristina Martinez Jiménez

 entered the market with four products targeting the better-known symptoms of menopause—night sweats, hot flushes, insomnia and anxiety.

But the unexpected best-seller for the three-year-young brand has been its daily shot named Deseo (desire), containing an array of adaptogens and active ingredients including maca (4:1), fenugreek (10:1, 50% saponins), caltrop (20:1, 90% saponins), American cranberry (40:1, 50% proanthocyanidins), FOS, plus vitamins A and E.

"This tackles the symptom in a holistic way because low libido can be motivated by many different factors, both physical and psychological," Roca said.

The product range

The brand's inaugural product, Domma Equilibrio (balance), comes in capsules or powder and was created to provide 'hormonal balance'. It contains: shatavari (40% saponins), red radish extract, ashwagandha (7:1, 1.5% witanolides, 1% alkaloids), rhodiola (8:1, 3% rosavins, 1.5% salidrosides), iron, zinc, niacin, vitamins C, B1, B2, B5, B6, B7, B12, D3, magnesium and folic acid.

Domma Descanso (rest) aims to reduce insomnia and night sweats via sage (5:1, 2.5% rosmarinic acid), spirulina, California poppy (Eschscholzia californica​ dry extract of aerial parts 4:1, 0.2% alkaloids), GABA (Gamma aminobutyric acid 98%), phosphatidylserine 20%, reishi (Ganoderma lucidum K.​ dry fruit extract 10:1 (10% polysaccharides).

Domma Calma is a herbal infusion to combat anxiety, insomnia and night sweats, containing sage, passionflower, lemon balm, valerian, lavender, rose petals, calendula, hops and chamomile

The range also includes an all-natural vaginal serum to alleviate dryness and an essential oils blend to support relaxation.

Scientifically backed

All products use clinically backed ingredients, but the team also conducts trials of its finished products in groups of 50 women. The studies are not yet published in peer-reviewed journals, but Roca said this is something they are working to achieve, adding: “The results have been amazing, with more than 80% effectiveness.”

And the team hopes to further build its scientific backing after recently completing a funding round that raised €950k.

The funding will also be used to improve the brand’s online expert coaching service, whereby product subscribers can get advice from  in-house menopause coaches, via WhatsApp, email or telephone appointment.

Talking about the taboo

Highlighting how interest in menopause has exploded since she and her co-founder first started discussing this business idea in 2020, Roca said it was difficult to get anyone to listen to them in the early stages.

“When we tried to get investment, a lot of investors were men, and there was no awareness of the size of this issue. And when we tried to raise awareness of the topic, the media did not want to talk about it, but as some celebrities have started talking about it more recently, they have broken the social stereotype of menopause only affecting a few old women. 

“Now that stereotype is starting to go away as people see celebrities, like the Charlie’s Angels actress, going through this, so it's considered a more relevant topic with lots of media talking about it.”

Looking to the future, Roca added that the brand pans to develop a wide range of products that can support women throughout their later years, beyond menopause.

"We invite all women, no matter where they are in their menopause journey, to take action to prioritize their physical and emotional wellbeing," she said.

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