Polari Group, a UK-based startup co-founded by Anna Vybornova and Dr Henry Blest, is gearing up to make a move into the healthcare market, focusing on an underserved aspect of sexual wellness: anorectal health. Targeting a critical yet often neglected area of sexual wellness, their company and solution, initially incubated at Entrepreneur First in London, responds to a staggering statistic of approximately 4.9 billion anal sex acts annually in regions like the UK, US, and Europe.
During their time at Entrepreneur First, Vybornova, with a background in biomedical engineering, medtech and biopharma, and Blest, with his PhD level biochemistry expertise from Oxford University, recognized the substantial need for innovation in anorectal health. “We identified anorectal health as a significantly underserved area that was in dire need of innovation,” Vybornova stated. This insight led to the formation of Polari Group, aiming to introduce novel solutions to this neglected sector.
Central to Polari Group’s innovation is the development of a product that serves as an alternative to traditional anal douching, a practice that can be uncomfortable and carry health risks. Their solution drastically reduces the preparation time for anal intercourse from a lengthy process of up to an hour to just 30 seconds. “Our product is designed to cut down on preparation time significantly and avoid use of tap water which can cause mucosal shock and increase STI risks by 3 times,” explained Vybornova. The product also holds potential for the integration of PrEP, an anti-HIV medication, presenting a new approach to HIV prevention through targeted, effective medication delivery.
One of the key issues addressed by Polari Group is the discomfort and pain associated with anal intercourse, which 59% experience, yet has been minimally explored in medical research. “Despite its prevalence, pain during anal sex has been largely overlooked in academic research. In fact, we only found 6 papers with the key word anodyspareunia (anal pain) in the title,” Vybornova pointed out. By offering an alternative to traditional anal douching, Polari Group’s research and consequently product aims to mitigate discomfort and enhance the overall experience of anal sex.
In discussing current methods for managing discomfort during anal sex, Vybornova also highlighted the use of substances like poppers and underscored how crucial this substance became for many couples. “We’re hoping to add muscle relaxants into our product at a later point to provide a safe and comfortable experience for anal intercourse,” she said.
Beyond individual comfort, the implications of Polari Group’s aims to extend their efforts to broader public health concerns: diagnosing conditions such as rectal cancer and managing STIs like gonorrhea and chlamydia, as well as aiding in closing the HPV vaccination gap among men.
With a market launch anticipated in September 2025, Polari Group is poised to introduce an innovative solution in a market that has seen little prior innovation. Their approach to sexual wellness, focusing on health, safety, and efficiency, is expected to offer a new paradigm in anorectal health.
The startup isn’t just introducing a new product; they are setting new standards in sexual wellness and inclusivity.
And in case you’re wondering: Yes, they are raising right now. 😉