Medically reviewed by Sophia Yen, MD, MPH – Written by Pandia Health Editorial Team

Are you part of half of the US population who listens to podcasts?
If you are, you don’t want to miss this one.
If you are not, this one will be a great place to start.
This one is episode #85 of “Mind of a Mentor” hosted by Ossa, a women’s podcast network on a mission to increase women’s earning power and elevate their social and cultural influence.

CEO and co-founder of Pandiahealth Dr. Sofia Yen got behind the mic to share, with contagious humor and positive energy, her personal story and her professional journey, plus some great tips.

From doctor-aspiring 4th grader to doctor specialized in adolescent medicine.

Dr. Yen grew up in a family involved in the healthcare industry and entrepreneurship. Her mom was a nurse and her dad a doctor, who then started his own company. Her mom’s advice “Be a doctor, not a nurse” stuck with her and from 4th grade she knew she would become a doctor. As a girl and a minority, it was not an easy journey but with hard work and inexhaustible energy, Dr. Yen graduated from MIT and UC Berkeley.

As a doctor, she started by specializing in adolescent medicine. With 60% of seniors and 30% of high school freshmen having had sex, she heard the call for championing women’s reproductive rights. And more precisely helping prevent unwanted pregnancies.

Becoming a CEO on a mission to end pill anxiety.

Birth control seemed the logical way to prevent these unwanted pregnancies.
The first click in Dr. Yen’s mind was when she came across a study that showed that the main reason for women not to take their birth control is simply that they don’t have it at hand.
Anyone taking birth control experienced it: you only have a short time window to go to the pharmacy to refill your prescription when you are already close to running out.
Dr. Yen coined this monthly hassle “pill anxiety”: the fear of running out of birth control and the stress of obtaining birth control each month.

In 2014, it all came together: Amazon was going mainstream delivering pretty much anything to everyone’s door. So Dr. Yen though: why not do the same with birth control and making women’s lives easier?

Pandia Health was born from this idea of a stress-free delivery system for hormonal birth control.  

The need for online consultations.

When she realized 60% of women actually needed a prescription to get their birth control, Dr. Yen added telemedicine to Pandiahealth. Online consultations are perfectly safe: you answer the same questions as during an in-person appointment and each consultation is reviewed by a Pandiahealth doctor.
The only thing you need to have at hand is a recent blood pressure reading. You can get one for free at your local fire station.
Online consultations are a great way to help more women access birth control solutions, even without insurance. The cost of the online consultation with Pandiahealth doctors is only $29. And you currently can get a $5 discount with the code MindofaMentor.

In 2020, we still need to break myths and taboos around contraception

On top of operating the company, Dr. Yen spends time fighting untrue believes about hormonal birth control. For example that it triggers acne, makes you gain weight, and negatively impacts fertility.

Dr. Yen is debunking these unfounded myths with real medical knowledge. Birth control can actually help reducing acne. Women taking birth control actually weight on average a pound less. Once you stop hormonal birth control, it leaves your fertility back to its initial state after one cycle.

Women don’t have to bleed every month

Here’s one of the biggest myths: women need to bleed every month.
This is not true and even harmful. Today, women bleed much more than what they naturally used to: as we are having fewer children, the average number of periods a woman has in her life has gone up from an average of 100 to 350 to 400. This increased number of periods leads to increased endometrial cancers, increased risk of anemia and a lot of tampons and pads ending up in landfills.

With birth control, women can actually safely turn off their periods and decide how often to bleed. This is what Dr. Yen calls #PeriodsOptional.

Interested in turning off your periods? Sign up with Pandiahealth and get $5 off your online consultation with the code MindofaMentor.

Want to know more?

First of: listen to the full episode of the podcast!

Also, check out Pandiahealth’s accounts on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.  Make sure you check the Monday Minutes with Dr. Yen!

Dr. Yen also personally answers all the questions posted on the Pandiahealth YouTube channel.

The above information is for general informational purposes only and is NOT a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your doctor/primary care provider before starting or changing treatment.