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meet Jenna Ryan, the woman behind Uqora

We're always excited by an opportunity to talk about women's wellness with innovative female-founders like Jenna Ryan. She created Uqora- a urinary health company changing the way women deal with urinary tract infections (UTIs).

Jenna and her partner, Spencer with a background in biochemistry, collaborated with physicians and urologists to identify the best science-backed ingredients. They have helped over 100k women improve their overall wellness with well-researched products that really work- over 6k 5-star reviews agree!! Get to know ladyboss Jenna Ryan with us. 

1. Let’s start with a Lady Brag. Tell us the 3 things you love to brag about the most.

1. I have the coolest best friend in the world. We met when we were five, she’s named for a mountain (Mt Whitney), and she taught me all about loving the mountains and the ocean. 

2.  I also have the coolest grandmas. I think of them both as feminist institutions in their own rights. They have spirit and moxie that I’ll forever admire. 

3. Alongside my life-partner, Spencer, and an incredible team, I’ve been able to help a lot of people (+100k at this point) find and keep urinary tract health.  I wouldn’t say I brag about this one much, but I am proud of the work we do at Uqora every day. 

2.   Tell us a little bit about your background. How did your experiences prep you for founding Uqora?

Before Uqora, I worked in tech—I spent a long time working on DocuSign’s D2C side of the business. You wouldn’t think there’s a lot of overlap between eSignature and urinary tract health, but my background in SaaS has had a huge impact on how we think about supporting our subscription customers. Aside from my professional background, my personal experience with urinary tract health is obviously a huge component of Uqora. Having had chronic UTI problems myself, I understand the Uqora customer journey on an intimate level.


3.   We’ve heard you talk about 2014 and the “UTI apocalypse” that lead to the creation of Uqora. Can you share this with our readers?

That was a rough year — I had 8 UTIs! I was doing everything right (staying hydrated, peeing after sex, trying cranberry), but I couldn’t stop getting them. I was told I would need to take a daily prophylactic antibiotic and I did not want that to be my only solution. I knew that I was completely demoralized by how few options I had to handle the issue proactively, and knew that I couldn’t keep living this way. 

But at that point, I had no clue how many other women were in my same position. My experience inspired me and my co-founder Spencer to develop effective urinary health products, and it’s been a complete honor to provide solutions to thousands of women who need extra support when it comes to urinary tract health. 


4.  Tell us about your co-founder! What was it like when the idea first took form between the two of you?

For anyone who struggles with UTIs, you know that it is often a shared problem with your partner. When I was particularly struggling back in 2014, my life-partner Spencer was inspired to find another solution too. Spencer’s background happens to be in biochemistry, which certainly helps in this case! We teamed up with the top physicians and urologists and sourced science-backed ingredients to formulate Uqora. 

In the early days when we launched, Uqora was sort of in side-hustle mode, but it started to become clear that people loved the product. We’d spent hardly any resources on marketing—we’d barely even set up marketing emails—but people were finding the product and they were sticking with it. After some time, it was clear that we were onto something. I quit my job, went all in, and we’ve been rolling ever since. 


5. What is your vision and mission for Uqora? What's now and what’s next?

Our mission at Uqora is to be an innovator in urinary health and to be a trusted resource for people to get their life back. Most people have no clue that UTIs are so common. It genuinely shocks most people to learn that UTIs are the second most common infection in the US—second only to the common cold. 

Our team understands first hand how much impact UTIs can have on someone’s life. Our mission for innovation, research and building a community of people who are on the same journey will always remain! 

Next, we are planning to continue to be a resource for our customers and are in the process of creating a medical database listing doctors, urologists, OBGYNs and other healthcare professionals that specialize in urinary health. Urinary health issues are often brushed under the rug so we want to help make it easier to find a doctor you can trust and have a positive experience with.


6. When it comes to product formulation what makes you the most proud about your products?

I am most proud of our products’ efficacy. All of our ingredients truly have a scientific purpose for being included and have research to back it up. All our ingredients are naturally-derived so I know we are providing people with the best. 

Uqora has 3 core products: Uqora Target, Uqora Control and Uqora Promote. We started with just Target (which is a drink mix you drink after sex, exercise or other activities). We then expanded to include Control (cleanses biofilm in the urinary tract) and Promote (a vaginal probiotic) so we could really tackle urinary health from multiple angles. I love how tight our product range is — we really only put forward products that have a distinct purpose for urinary tract health. 


7.   What is your personal take on wellness and how does Uqora align with this idea?

Wellness is the foundation. If you aren’t feeling healthy, you feel a constant drag on your life. That’s core to what we do at Uqora. Our customers come to us because they need relief. Our products help people get back to the point where they don’t even have to think about urinary tract health anymore, so they can get back to doing the things that they love.


8.  How has 2020/the current climate shifted your business? We’re any pivots needed or new pillars added to the company?

We heard from a lot of customers whose budgets had changed because of COVID—maybe they lost their job or their spouses did. Whenever we heard from one of those customers, we reached out and worked with them to find a plan that worked for them—maybe that was a reduced cost, maybe it was free. These are super challenging times, and the last thing we want is for anyone in our community to be worrying about urinary tract health on top of everything else.


9.  Share a life hack! How do you stay balanced in business and in all the roles you place in life?

For me it’s all about fitness and the outdoors. I love to run, surf, swim, and do those workouts that make you feel like you’re going to puke. For me, all of life’s problems are put into perspective after sweat and sunshine. I make sure to never slip, because I can really feel the difference in my level of calm when I’m prioritizing my personal health.


10. Cuz we love thinking about this question: what do you think the world would look like if women everywhere embraced + did not feel shame around their whole bodies including their lady parts? 

Wow - you’ve described a true utopian society. It’d be incredible. I think that would produce a never-before-seen output of art and innovation. Imagine all of the brilliance and intellectual capacity that would be unlocked, that’s typically mired in self-doubt and useless worrying.


11. What piece of advice do you want to give to women/nonbinary looking to live healthy + happy lives?

You can’t pour from an empty cup. I’m a big believer in this—if you’re someone who cares, about people, about your work, etc., you can get swept up in trying to do it all, trying to be there for everyone. But if you don’t draw boundaries, you’ll get drained.


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