If you’ve ever suffered from ‘“pill anxiety,” you’ll be familiar with that sinking feeling when you realize you’ve run out of your prescription birth control and end up having to run to the pharmacy at the last minute. In 2022, birth control should really be easier than that. 

For many, hectic lifestyles and the associated stress may have an impact on their adherence to taking an oral contraceptive pill. Health care providers may not always discuss lifestyle issues and potential barriers to adherence when prescribing birth control methods to patients. Aside from barriers to adherence, many other factors can influence the best birth control method for each individual, such as cost, frequency required, hormone levels, ease of use, and more.  

Enter Dr. Sophia Yen. Dr. Yen was giving a talk to doctors on “Why women don’t take their birth control: They didn’t have it on hand” when she realized the solution to this ongoing problem among women: mailing birth control to them. Thus, Pandia Health was born, the only women-founded, women-led, and doctor-led online birth control service. 

Pandia Health’s services are rooted in the belief that women should never have to struggle to get the care and medication they need. Whether you need medication for family planning, help for acne, or PMS management, they aim to provide expert care so that you can find the birth control method that will work best for you. 

We sat down with Dr. Yen to get the 411 on all things birth control so you’ll feel empowered to make the best choice for your body. 

In this episode, you’ll learn: 

  • The most and least effective forms of birth control 
  • The most important factors to consider when choosing birth control 
  • The difference between emergency contraception, birth control, and medication abortion. 
  • The top three tips for those planning to get an IUD 
  • What Phexxi is and how effective it is 
  • Why BMI is important when considering contraception 
  • Some of the biggest myths when it comes to birth control 
  • How Pandia Health is making birth control more accessible 
  • How the ‘Pandia Health algorithm’ is used to prescribe the best birth control 

More about Dr. Sophia Yen: 

Dr. Sophia Yen is Board Certified in Adolescent Medicine with 20+ years of experience in medicine. She graduated from MIT, UCSF Medical School, and UC Berkeley with an MPH in Maternal Child Health. 

She is a clinical Associate Professor of Pediatrics in the Division of Adolescent Medicine at Stanford Medical School. Dr. Yen enjoys educating the public and other physicians about birth control, acne, weight management, and other adolescent health issues. She has been featured in many publications for her work in reproductive health and as CEO of Pandia Health. 

Dr. Yen co-founded Pandia Health, the only women-founded, women-led, and doctor-led online birth control service. She has a passion for de-stigmatizing birth control while making women’s lives better and aims to make birth control secure, confidential, and as easy as possible to obtain.  

She has spoken at SXSW, TEDxBerkeley, TEDx Silicon Valley Women, and Stanford University, and her academic research focuses on several issues in women's reproductive health. This includes emergency contraception awareness and the use/prescription of EC, contraceptive use and sexual practices of college students, and bacterial vaginosis. 

Resources for Episode 007: Must-Know Birth Control Info with Dr. Yen

Coverher.org offers legal support if you’re still paying out-of-pocket for your birth control. 

The WHO provides further information about emergency contraception and when it can be used.  

The HHS clarifies the protections for birth control coverage under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). 

A study in the journal Obstetrics & Gynecology confirms that a double dose of over-the-counter emergency contraceptives — commonly known as Plan B or the morning-after pill — was not more effective in participants with a body mass index (BMI) higher than 30.  

Plan C shares more information about access to medication abortion. 

Condom Depot provides a truly confidential place for women and men to purchase safe sex materials in a secure way and at a reasonable cost. 

A study in the journal Obstetrics & Gynecology reports the effectiveness of paracervical blocks in reducing pain for IUD placements. 

The ACHES mnemonic reminds women of the warning signs and major side effects to look out for when taking birth control medication. 

You can follow @pandiahealth on Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and TikTok for more information about birth control. 

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The primary purpose of this podcast is to educate and entertain. All views expressed by the persons featured on the Your Health Unlocked podcast are their own and do not reflect the opinions of the NWHN or its affiliates. Information provided in this podcast does not constitute medical advice. Consult your own provider for any medical issues that you may be experiencing.

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