The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
I can say confidently that I know nothing about my own body. And can you blame me? The sex education program in my middle school and my high school failed me in teaching me about my body. It is almost sad for me to say that I was considered “lucky” to have teachers who spent a week’s worth of days on the subject in our health class. Trust me, a week is not enough, especially if what they most covered is another reason why we should choose abstinence. It is even more disappointing to hear that there were teachers who tried to cram it in three days.
I got to talk to Dr. Sophia Yen, who is CEO and co-founder of Pandia Health. While talking to her, I really learned what makes this specific company unique. Pandia Health is a birth control delivery company that prides itself on being doctor-led, women-founded, and women-led. And I can see why.
Birth control was not always the way it is now. Throughout history, we can see how dangerous birth control used to be. Pregnancy and childbirth were risky at the time, but people consumed toxic chemicals unknowingly thinking it was effective even though that was harmful too. Not to mention, birth control pills were developed by three men for them to control the uterus.
The fact that Pandia Health is doctor-led came to me as a surprise. It seemed like common sense after a while, but it turns out that there are many companies out there that are not doctor-led. The biggest benefit is that they must follow the Hippocratic Oath, which is essentially the idea of "do no harm" to patients. I love the care that goes into each person. This may not be common knowledge, but people need different types of birth control. For instance, I learned that what works for a white person with a uterus does not work for a BIPOC individual.
For me, Pandia Health being women-led is significant too. As Dr. Yen was mentioning, you want someone who knows your pain. It shocks me to find out that not all birth control delivery companies are led by women and people with a uterus. One of the most beautiful things Dr. Yen told me was: "I made this company for me." But not only that, she said she made this for her daughter. It makes sense that birth control companies should be run by people who know what you are going through.
They have this #PeriodsOptional movement, and it made me question what that meant. Well, Dr. Yen explained to me that one of the reasons why people miss school is the pain, bloody periods. I have many friends who have stayed in bed because their periods hurt so much. It sucks to be in a position where you are missing a class that the professor may be strict about attendance with just because your period is limiting your ability to get through the day. Not only are they missing classes, but this can possibly affect their grades later on. Thinking about it, periods do cause mood disorders, PMS, PMDD, and more. Furthermore, there are other issues that stem from periods. One of the things I learned was that not having your period could help decrease the risk for diseases like ovarian cancer and endometrium. Overall, removing the menstrual cycle takes away a mental burden.
I feel like I learned a lot when I spoke to Dr. Yen, and it continues to frustrate me that sex education is less than mediocre. I should not be in my 20s and suddenly learning more than when I was in my early adolescence. This is why Pandia Health feels so unique to me. They are helpful for college students who are stepping away from the bubble they used to be in. So what can they do for you? Pandia Health can physically deliver to all 50 states. Out of those states, they can prescribe birth control to 15 states. But getting birth control is not always easy. Insurance may cover it, but some of us are still under our parent's insurance, and we may not be in a situation where they can know. But they offer an option for delivery without insurance. What makes their delivery special is that their packages come with goodies as well.
At the end of the day, your body, your choice. But if you want, consider making periods optional.