Ease Healthcare

By Patricia B. Mirasol, Reporter 

EASE Healthcare, a women’s health platform, has partnered with doctor influencers on TikTok to raise awareness on contraception in the Philippines. 

“A challenge we faced at the start was debunking misconceptions about women’s health,” said Guadalupe Lazaro, co-founder of the Singapore-headquartered Ease, in an e-mail. “We ran into comments from users on social media asking whether the pill would make them infertile (it doesn’t!) — that made us quickly realize we needed to … bust these myths.”   

Launched locally this March, the Ease app offers teleconsultation on women’s health issues and the discreet delivery of birth control pills, condoms, and pregnancy tests. Most of its 12,000 Filipina users are 18–35 years old.     

Ease tapped doctors on TikTok, including Dr. Michael Christian A. Virata, Dr. Lyien Patricia L. Pascual, and Dr. Riccia Angela Cruz-Tan to fill in education gaps beginning this May. 

“We want to create a safe space for women and men alike to talk about their reproductive and health issues comfortably — with no hesitation or judgment,” said Dr. Pascual.  

These issues include irregular or delayed menstruation, which warrants a checkup; sexually transmitted infections (STIs); and common gynecologic diseases.  

Modes of contraception and surrounding misconceptions will also be tackled. There’s a notion, for example, that the pill is 100% effective in preventing pregnancy, it isn’t: it’s only about 91% effective in real life. 

Aside from combating misinformation, Ease aims to address inconvenience, high costs, and stigma. 

Recent partnerships include “It’s Okay to Delay,” a social media campaign on family planning developed by the United States Agency for International Development and the Commission on Population and Development (PopCom); and an Instagram giveaway from personal care brands Nala Women, Mink Intimate, and lana.ph.  

According to PopCom, family planning use among Filipino women was sustained, with 8 million users in 2020 from 7.6 million users in 2019, based on data from the Department of Health’s Field Health Services Information System. 

Teenage pregnancy and STIs are areas of concern. One in every 10 Filipinas of child-bearing age is a teenager, based on data from the Certificates of Live Births submitted by the Local Civil Registry Offices from 2011 to 2014. Meanwhile, there is little available data on the number of STI cases in the Philippines except for HIV (human immunodeficiency virus), in part because of the stigma associated with STIs.