Sex isn’t easy to talk about. Caring for our reproductive system is something we don’t (typically) openly discuss. However, these are important topics of discussion that snag our safety concerns once we grow older and more aware of various pills, medicine and practises that impact our internal systems.
But nearly three weeks ago, an Instagram page featuring a well-crafted aesthetic of bite-sized healthcare checklists and pictures of patches and pills popped up. Their posts were informative and well-researched; their feed was patterned with brands of pills they stocked alternating with minimal visuals of products and simple lines.
Their name is Ease, and they sought to make sexual health and wellness a talked-about topic, and for people to feel at ease ordering, monitoring and journeying towards their best sexual health levels.
“We started thinking about building this platform in September of 2019 and we have been working to make it a reality since then”, the co-founder of Ease Healthcare, shares.
Ease is a digital health startup focused on making access to sensitive healthcare services such as birth control, STD testing and emergency contraception more convenient, affordable and discreet.
“While our focus is on the provision of healthcare services, we have dedicated ourselves to providing educational content and resources in order to promote greater awareness of sexual and reproductive health and wellness, as well as de-stigmatise such health matters.”
Ease’s co-founder shares, “The idea was inspired by our own experiences of facing stigma or barriers when trying to access sexual and reproductive health services in Singapore – from unpleasant consultations to long hours spent at clinics just to get a birth control refill.” Telemedicine does not require face-to-face consultations, so the team felt that “these types of healthcare services could easily be delivered in a more discreet and sensitive manner.”
The Ease Healthcare team is currently working towards their goal of becoming a one-stop platform for all sensitive healthcare needs. “We launched just two weeks ago with contraception, but we are going to expand into at-home STD test kits, PrEP, and sexual health consultations.”
The range of healthcare services catered for meeting sexual health and wellness needs may seem essential — yet, Ease Healthcare may be one of a kind, created and curated for the modern-age and aware consumer. “We feel like there is a lot of stigma regarding sex, sexuality and sexual health in Singapore.” Considering that many of our friends have been sharing that Ease’s Instagram page is “one of a kind” in championing ‘sex wellness’, we definitely agree — the conversation around this area of healthcare is sparse.
“People are afraid of being judged, and as a result refrain from talking about these topics even when they are in a situation where they need help or support.” That’s where Ease comes in, providing an affordable and private space where people can learn about taking care of their reproductive systems while accessing different products that help.
However, the Ease team hasn’t only provided a level of accessibility in terms of pricing and conversation, but also in the way we can view and perceive sexual wellness. The key is in the very heart of its online platforms.
“Our digital media content and website have been designed to provoke a sense of comfort to our users.”
“Also, by de-medicalising these sensitive health topics and casting them in a much more positive light through fun and engaging content, we hope to overcome the fear, stigma and shame often associated with them.”
When I first saw them on Instagram, they had around 139 followers – now they have nearly 2000 at the time of writing. So, we wrap up our conversation by celebrating the bridges they’re working to build, and massaging life into an otherwise sensitive and – to some – ‘taboo’ area of healthcare. “Telemedicine is a very new concept that is just now emerging in Asia”, the team comments, “so people are still getting used to it, though an increasing number of people are starting to see its benefits.”
“Our main challenge is to help people overcome the reservations they have about adopting a digital health solution because it is a change from what they are used to.” This change seems to have been warmly received by many young people, who save and share their posts while directing friends to aesthetically-presented facts about sexual wellness. “We are encouraged to see a very positive reception from those who have tried our services in the past two weeks”, the Ease team confirms.
Together with their laboratory and pharmacy partners, Ease eases people into the journey of learning about and accessing sensitive healthcare services when they need it. Reach them with ease here and here.
Thank you to Ease Healthcare. Written by Athena, teamCARPE