A Woman- and Doctor-Led Birth Control Delivery Service Just Expanded to Pennsylvania
Pandia Health is now offering direct-to-door contraceptive pills, patches, and rings to Pennsylvania residents.
Since the 1950s, oral contraceptives — better known as the Pill — have been helping women regulate their menstrual cycles, prevent pregnancy, and mitigate symptoms associated with premenstrual dysphoric disorder.
Though birth control pills still stand as the second most commonly used contraceptive in the United States, the majority of users — 70 percent of 2,000 surveyed by Cosmopolitan — reported they have already stopped taking theirs or have thought about quitting. Many of them are now opting for no-hassle methods like IUDs and quarterly shots because they’re tired of worrying about taking the tiny pill at the same time daily. (And studies have found millennials tend to be super forgetful when it comes to the Pill.)
The tendency to miss a dose is what catalyzed Sophia Yen, a clinical associate professor at Stanford Medical School, to automate the pill-to-patient pipeline. That way, more women wouldn’t experience “pill anxiety,” or that feeling of needing to visit the pharmacy in that precious seven-day window before your pack runs out and when insurance is able to process the prescription. In 2016, Yen launched Pandia Health — what she calls the first woman-led, doctor-led online birth control company — with two colleagues, Perla Ni and Elliott Blatt. Last month, the brand obtained its license to expand to Pennsylvania.
The process is simple. First, you’ll identify whether you need a prescription, refill, or both. If you have an active prescription, you’ll need to provide the name of your current pharmacy and doctor (if you have one), your shipping address, and either a health insurance card or credit card. If you need a new prescription, you’ll fill out Pandia’s health form and receive a doctor’s review (a $20 flat fee), who will then prescribe your birth control and send your prescription to their partner pharmacy. No matter which service you use, Pandia will ship you your birth control — they offer both generic and name brands in pill, patch, and ring form — for free, in discreet packaging, and directly to your door. Their pills cost $0 with most insurance companies, and as low as $15 per pack for those without insurance. “Our goal is for you to set it and forget it,” Yen says.
Yen adds that Pandia’s mission is not just focused on care, convenience, and confidentiality, but on menstrual regulation. “Anybody who has a uterus and is bleeding can safely make periods optional,” she says. “This can decrease your risk of anemia, as well as ovarian, endometrial, and colorectal cancers.” Plus, painful periods or inadequate access to birth control shouldn’t be the reason why someone misses school or needs to use a vacation day, she says.
To find out more and get started, head to Pandia Health’s website here.
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