ONE is excited about our continued partnership with Pandia Health, a physician led platform that provides affordable and convenient birth control services to women and making their lives easier.
We interviewed Dr. Sophia Yen, MD,MPH, a Board Certified in Adolescent Medicine, serves as a clinical Associate Professor of Pediatrics at Stanford Medical School and enjoys educating the about birth control, weight management, and other adolescent health topics. Dr. Yen is also co-founded Pandia Health and operates as the CEO.
What inspired you to start Pandia Health?
I was giving a talk to a group of physicians on how to prescribe birth control and it came up “why don’t women take their birth control?”. One of the top reasons was: women didn’t have it in their hands. They didn’t have time to run to the pharmacy each month to go get it. My friend Perla Ni and I said, “We can fix this! We will ship women birth control and keep shipping it, until they tell us to stop.”. However, when we ran ads “free birth control delivery” 60% of those that responded did NOT have a prescription. I’m a doctor. I can write prescriptions. Thus, Pandia Health was born, the end-to-end solution for birth control from an online prescription from a doctor, if you need it, to birth control delivered by mail. This is what we call “Pandia Peace of Mind,” Set it and Forget it, let us worry, so you don’t have to.
What are some of the challenges you hear regarding sexual health?
Don’t ask. Don’t tell. Don’t talk about it. Our ads get blocked on Facebook, Google, and Google Display. But “birth control” is used for more than just birth control. It’s used for painful periods, endometriosis, PCOS, anemia, acne and more! Also, birth control is a good thing. We’re not talking porn or x-rated stuff. We’re talking about taking a pill to prevent babies or to have babies when a family decide they are ready. You can say that to a 5-year-old!
What is some of your advice when people are selecting their birth control?
When you are choosing which method, generally family planning experts suggest: “Go with the best and work your way down. IUD, implant, shot, ring, patch, pill, condom, spermicide, FAM, etc.” Also, if you are having sex only once a month or less, then condoms and having some emergency contraception around is a good idea.
Find an expert. Someone who has used birth control themselves and knows what it’s like to worry about getting pregnant when you don’t want to be. Someone who has written LOTS of birth control prescriptions. Maybe an academic doctor or someone who has trained with such a doctor who has studied the side effects and considered the differences by age, BMI, race. That’s what we have at Pandia Health. We are the ONLY Academic doctor founded/led birth control delivery company. I’ve written 2000 birth control prescriptions and looked at the effect by race and know the effects by age and BMI. I teach other doctors how to prescribe birth control.
Why do condoms and birth control go so well together?
I always suggest condoms PLUS a hormonal method for the least risk of pregnancy and for STI protection.
Any other questions you want to answer?
Condoms: know that not all condoms are equal. Thinner is generally better for sensation and pleasure. Extra lubricated is good too. And always use extra lubricant with condoms to help prevent breakage and add more comfort! Just no oil-based lubes, as oil breaks latex condoms.
Pandia Health Public Service Announcements:
- For anyone with a uterus or bleeds once a month, check out #PeriodsOptional.
- If you have a uterus and are using emergency contraception, make sure you KNOW your BMI. (Google BMI calculator, enter your weight, height) Oila! Fun fact: If your BMI is 26 or greater, plan B and its generics will NOT work. That’s why at Pandia Health we suggest everyone get the prescription Emergency Contraception: ELLA. It works better at EVERY time point an up to a BMI of 35. At a BMI of 35 or greater, you have to go to the IUD.
- Do NOT skimp on your healthcare. Cheapest, fastest is not what you want for your health. See our article on Good vs Bad Telemedicine.
- To learn how to decrease cancer, improve productivity, decrease landfill see my TEDxBerkeley talk on the science and safety of #SkippingPeriods using medication.