Missed the pill? There is a bot for that.

Hajnalka Héjja
Sep 26, 2017 · 4 min read

From now on, you can ask your bestie, Izzy on Messenger not only info about the contraceptive pill or long-acting methods but you can get personalised advice on what to do in the frightening situation… 🤐🤐🤐 ...when you did not take your daily contraceptive pill. What a relief!

Today is the World Contraception Day which aims to raise awareness about informed choices around reproductive health. It builds towards a vision of every pregnancy being wanted, because women are aware of tools, opportunities, products and most importantly information that they can make their own choices about their own bodies. I suspect it does not surprise you, that this world is still far far away

May The Choice Be With You

In the US population, 62% percent of women of reproductive age are currently using contraception. According to a survey from the CDC, the most common methods used are the pill (28%) and female sterilization (27%). Yes, you read it correctly: sterilization. This option is generally offered after giving birth at least 3 times, and many women decide they do not want more children. This tells me only one thing: when women are offered a choice, they do decide. And having a choice is a powerful thing. You get the authority over your body and your family. You can take control of this important part of your life which gives you power at least in one situation.

“I am only offering you the truth… nothing more.”

And there are many women who lack the opportunity to make a choice, or any choice. There is an unmet need for contraception among those who are sexually active but are not using any method of contraception, and report not wanting any more children or wanting to delay the next child. The concept of unmet need points to the huge gap between women’s reproductive intentions and their contraceptive behaviour. You might think that these mostly are women from rural environments, refugees or the ones living in poverty. And you are right, as these women, in fact, do lack these options. But there is one more hiding and quite significant group: adolescents.

“Much to learn, you still have, young padawan.”

According to data from 2016 gathered by the WHO, there are about 21 million 15–19 year old girls in developing countries become pregnant every year, and nearly half of these pregnancies (49%) are unintended. 38 million 15–19 year old girls are at risk of getting pregnant and not wanting a child in the upcoming two years. Only a minority of them, 40% are using a method of contraception. In the United States 49% of pregnancies were unintended in 2016. Among women aged 19 years and younger, more than 4 out of 5 pregnancies were unintended. Among the ones who were younger than 15 years old, 98% said that the pregnancy was not planned, as the CDC reports.

In order to prevent unintended pregnancies, and to ensure that not only adolescents but noone suffers from poor reproductive and sexual health outcomes, education, information and better understanding is necessary.

However, talking about reproductive health issues is still a taboo and medically accurate reproductive health education is rarely required in schools globally. It is also hard to get medical advice from doctors when you would really need it. There are many many situations when women would need a reliable and available sources of information to deal with their responsibility regarding reproduction. Missing the contraceptive pill is just one of them.

“Women always figure out the truth. Always.”

Thanks, Han Solo. Izzy makes figuring out the truth around reproductive health and contraception easier. This is why we release a completely new functionality of her today. Izzy has been a good companion for thousands of women, tracking their period and reminding them to take their pill daily. We always tried to make these messages as casual as possible, using GIFs of our favourite pop icons, (khm) films, or Disney characters. But meanwhile these everyday interactions we realised that providing health information when there is a need, is highly important. Many of our fans asked Izzy what to do when they miss the pill. From today, Izzy can give you a bit of an advise.

There are much more knowledge that need to be spread around contraception, so we build up conversations around “the pill” and also long-acting reversible contraception, “LARC”.

In this way we hope to bring more information, knowledge and the opportunity to make choices about reproductive health. And then maybe that world where every pregnancy is wanted is not that far far away any more.

If you like what you read be sure to 💚 it — as the writer, it means everything.

Super Izzy AI

Your best buddy and reproductive health expert on Messenger.