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I think it’s pretty safe to assume that no one enjoys getting their period. Along with the relief of finding out you’re not pregnant, comes cramps, mood swings, and what seems like a Niagara Falls worth of blood. None of these things are particularly enjoyable and our lives would be so much easier without them. I spoke to Dr. Sophia Yen, CEO and Co-Founder of Pandia Health, an online birth control option, and she talked about their #PeriodsOptional initiative. 

The #Periodsoptional initiative gives women the opportunity to choose whether or not they want to have a period, with the help of birth control. Dr. Yen, and other doctors they have on staff, have the ability to write birth control prescriptions as well as have them delivered to the patient. 

Pandia Health is currently the only doctor-led online birth control option. On top of that, they are also the only women-founded and women-led option. “We built this company to make our lives personally better so that we would never run out of birth control on our watch. We also have a lot of women on our staff that has daughters, and I want this company to be here for my daughters when they want to make periods optional”, says Yen. 

Part of the mission at Pandia Health is to not only offer many different kinds of birth control options but also inform women about them. It can often be hard to find information about all the different forms of birth control, so they hope to be a good resource for that information. 

They work with their patients to find the birth control that will work best; given variables like age, race, ethnicity, and BMI, which can all affect how the birth control option will affect them personally. 

Yen puts it like this, “The only reason we bleed every month is because you didn’t get pregnant, and if you’re not trying to get pregnant from age 12 to 26 on average in the United States, or longer, why are we bleeding every single month? Every time you build that [uterus] lining, you risk endometrial cancer, and every time you pop out an egg, we don’t know if it’s the popping or the healing, you risk ovarian cancer.”

By going on birth control for about 5 years, you can decrease your chance of Ovarian cancer by 50%. It is a common mindset that women have to bleed every single month, but now with the help and advancement of science and technology, that isn’t the case. 

Not only does Pandia Health inform and provide many different forms of birth control, but they also prescribe an emergency contraceptive called “Ella”. Ella is similar to Plan B, which you can just buy off the shelf. What a lot of people don’t know about Plan B, is that if you have a BMI over 26, it is not effective. This is why Pandia Health has Ella as an option. It can be taken 5 days after unprotected sex as opposed to Plan B which is only 3 days, and it is 1-2% more effective. It also works for people up to a BMI of 35. 

I won’t bombard you with a ton of information in this article, just some of the basics. Pandia Health does offer a lot of great resources for any questions you may have. One thing I would recommend checking out is their Youtube Channel. They upload videos explaining different birth control options, and host lives like Better Things To Do and Talk About it Tuesdays, where you can go to get answers about anything you may be wondering about. 

“One of the top reasons women don’t take their birth control is that they didn’t have it in their hand, and didn’t have time to run to the pharmacy every single month,” says Yen. One of the benefits of going with an online birth control provider is that you don’t have to worry about it, you set it, forget it, and then it shows up in your mailbox. Even if you aren’t going to go with Pandia Health for your birth control needs, here are some things to look for when going with an online birth control provider! 

 Tell us about your experience with birth control options by tagging us @HerCampusSJSU!

Second year Journalism student at SJSU
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