Frequently Asked Questions
What are STDs/STIs?
Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are infections that are passed between partners during sexual activity. You can contract an STI through unprotected vaginal, anal, or oral sex with someone who has an STI.
Some STIs can have serious long-term and even life-threatening consequences, while others may go undetected due to being asymptomatic. Bacterial STIs, such as chlamydia, syphilis, and gonorrhea can be treated with antibiotics. Other STIs, such as HIV, hepatitis C, and herpes cannot be cured and the infections will remain for life, though the symptoms may be treated by your doctor.
If you are sexually active, always be sure to practice safe sex to reduce your risk of exposure, and test regularly (at least once per year), especially if you are have multiple sexual partners.
How frequently should I get tested?
It is recommended that active adults get tested at the minimum once per year, even when practicing safe sex regularly. If you are sexually active with multiple partners, have unprotected sex, or suspect a partner may have an STD due to visible symptoms, or if they’ve had sex with someone else, you’ll want to get tested more than the minimum recommendation of once per year.
Why do I need to get tested for STIs? What are the risks?
While many STIs may remain asymptomatic, if left undetected and untreated, they can have serious long-term, and even life-threatening consequences. The sooner you are diagnosed, the sooner you can start treatment. Testing is also important for the safety of you and your partners.
What are symptoms of STIs?
Here are some of the common symptoms of STI / STDs, if they appear near your genitals, anus, or mouth:
However, note that many STI / STDs have no signs or symptoms (asymptomatic). Even with no symptoms, however, you can pass the infection to your sex partners. So it's important to use protection, such as a condom, during sex and get tested regularly.
Bumps, sores, or rashes
Itching and/or burning
Pain or burning when you urinate
Vaginal discharge that has a different smell, color, or texture
Bleeding from your genitals (that is not your period)
Can STIs be treated / managed?
All STI can be treated or managed. Currently, syphilis, gonorrhoea, chlamydia, and trichomoniasis are curable. Although viral infections such as hepatitis B, Herpes, HIV, and HPV are incurable their symptoms can be reduced or controlled.
Can I get an STI through oral sex?
Yes. You can get an STI from both giving and receiving oral sex. STIs including HIV, syphilis, herpes, gonorrhea, HPV, trichomoniasis, and chlamydia, can be transmitted via oral sex. Certain STIs such as herpes can spread through skin-to-skin contact, while others can infect your throat through oral sex.
What is HPV?
HPV, or Human Papillomavirus, is a very common virus transmitted through sexual activity. There are over 150 different strains of HPV, and the high risk HPV strains are responsible for about 70% of cases of cervical cancer.
About 75% to 80% of sexually active adults are estimated to have had an HPV infection at some point in their lives. For most, the virus clears on its own without treatment.
It usually takes having a persistent HPV infection for 10 or more years for the risk of cancer to emerge. Routine screening is the only way to know for sure whether you have persistent HPV.
Cervical cancer is a very slow growing disease; if caught early, it is almost always treatable. However, most women do not have symptoms. Finding out whether or not you have HPV is an important step in preventing and treating cervical cancer.
What is the difference between “Pap Smear” and HPV test?
A Pap Smear requires that you go to your healthcare provider’s office and receive a speculum exam. This enables your healthcare provider to collect cells from inside of your cervix, which are then observed under a microscope by a cytologist or pathologist. Abnormal cervical cells indicate a potential for cervical cancer and require close follow up by a clinician.
A HPV test only requires that a swab sample is collected from inside the vagina, close to but not in the cervix. The sample is screened for the high risk strains of HPV that typically cause cervical cancer.
If high risk HPV DNA is present, a pap smear or a colposcopy is usually recommended. These tests are used to determine whether there are cervical cell changes, and if any are discovered, your doctor will recommend a treatment plan.
How is HPV transmitted?
HPV can be transmitted through many types of sexual activity and genital contact. It can also be spread through sharing sex toys or non-penetrative interaction, like body rubbing.
How effective are birth control pills?
With perfect use, the pill is 99% effective. This is much higher than condoms and other forms of birth control. The more regularly you take your pills, the more effective they will be. However, because many people don’t use the pill perfectly (e.g. missing their pill), it can end up being around 91% effective.
This is why we strongly recommend that you do your best to use to take your pill consistently, and in the manner prescribed by your medical provider.
You can find out some tips and tricks to help you take your pill consistently by visiting our blog here: https://www.ease-healthcare.com/blog
I don't know what to order. Can you help me choose?
If you’re unsure what type of birth control may work best for you, our medical providers will be able to help. You can book a teleconsultation with one of our doctors to discuss different birth control options, and find what works best for you according to your health history and preferences.
What if I miss my pill?
If it has been 24 hours or less, take your late pill as soon as you can. This may mean taking 2 pills in one day.
If it has been over 24 hours, take your missed pill with your next pill at your regularly scheduled time. If you missed a placebo pill, you have nothing to worry about! Just continue the rest of your placebo pills as normal. Make sure to start your next pack on time on your usual start day.
If you ever are unsure about how many pills you've missed or confused about what you should do, please don’t hesitate to contact us. Our customer care team will be here to answer any questions you have and help guide you through your next steps!
Are there different kinds of birth control pills?
Yes. There are many different kinds of birth control pills (with different doses of hormones in different pills). Depending on your medical history, some pills may be more suitable for you than others.
How long can I be on the pill? Will I have trouble getting pregnant later on?
As long as there is no medical reason to stop taking the pill, you can be on it for years, whether it is to regulate their menstrual cycle, treat cramps or protect against pregnancy. The best part? You can stop taking the pill at any point if you decide that you want to get pregnant; there is no change in fertility with the use of birth control pills.
I don't know what to order. Can you help me choose?
If you’re unsure what type of birth control works best for you, our medical providers will be able to recommend healthy options for you. Simply go to "birth control", select "get started", and fill up a short form with information about your medical history. In the same form you can choose to schedule a 10-mins consultation with one of our physicians to discuss your options.
Why get birth control online?
Although many women are used to getting birth control through their doctors, you can now get the same options online . Ease offers extensive support to anyone exploring different birth control pill options, and free shipping once you decide which route you want to take.
Getting birth control online instead of in person has a number of benefits, including:
Convenience - Request a prescription whenever you want. No more scheduling problems or time-consuming clinic visits.
Affordability - Save money on clinic consultations, transport, and time off work to see a doctor.
Discreetness - Speaking with a doctor and obtaining medication / test kits online means you can get everything done from the comfort and privacy of your home.
Getting your birth control online may feel like a leap, so feel free to contact a member of our team for further information.
How does it work?
1. FIll in our online health questionnaire and attend a short check-in appointment with a doctor. If you're a first-time birth control pill user you can also sign up for a longer teleconsultation with one of our physicians for $20 to discuss birth control options in greater detail.
2. Our doctor will review your questionnaire responses and issue a prescription (if appropriate).
3. We deliver your birth control to your doorstep in discreet, unbranded packaging. Our standard shipping is free of charge, but you can order express 24hr shipping for an extra fee of $20.
4. Once your supply runs out, simply fill in a short renewal form to get a refill.
How is birth control from Ease shipped?
Ease offers free shipping for contraceptives, delivered by Singpost via 2-3 day tracked shipping. No signature is required for delivery of birth control. We also offer a 24hs shipping service via GrabDelivery for an additional shipping fee of $20 (this means you can opt to get your pills delivered to you within 24hs from the time your prescription is issued).
The packaging is discreet, with no mention of Ease or anything to do with medical services on the outside of the envelope.
It’s my first time using birth control. Should I speak with a doctor first?
Yes, we recommend that you schedule a teleconsultation to discuss different birth control options, and find what works best for you according to your health history and preferences.
What are some side effects of birth control pills/patches?
Some side effects are headaches, nausea, spotting (light bleeding between periods), breast tenderness, and changes in your periods (it might come early, late, or stop altogether). Good news is that they don’t affect everyone and they tend to go away in 2-3 months as your body gets adjusted to the hormones.
How do birth control brands differ from one another?
There are two main differences among different brands of pills. The first is the number of pills per pack. Some pills contain only 21 active pills. This means that for 1 week a month, you won’t take any pills and start your next pack after the 7 days break. Other brands provide 28 pills (24 active pills and 4 placebo pills) which means you will take 1 pill every day of the month.
The second difference is hormonal dosage. While all combination pills contain the hormones estrogen and progestin, they have different dosage levels. Which dosage is best for you depends on your health history and your preferences e.g. if you want to skip your periods or not).
We recommend first time users to sign up for a teleconsultation with one of our doctors as they will be able to help you find a brand that works for you.
How do emergency contraceptives work?
Emergency contraception works by blocking your ovaries from ovulating. If you do not release an egg during ovulation, you cannot get pregnant. Emergency contraception is not an abortion pill and will not work if you are already pregnant.
How often can I take emergency contraception?
Emergency contraception should not be used as regular birth control. Although there are no known health risks, regular use can result in increased side effects (like irregular bleeding).
If you find that you need emergency contraception more than 2 or 3 times a month, we recommend that you consider starting regular birth control which is much more effective (up to 99% effective when used as directed) compared to emergency contraception (ranges from 58%-94% effective, depending on timing).
Will I get side effects?
Most women will not experience any side effects from emergency contraceptive use. However, sometimes emergency contraception can cause spotting or irregular bleeding about one week before or after your scheduled period. Other possible side effects are nausea, vomiting, headache, dizziness, breast soreness, or cramping for 1 to 2 days after taking emergency contraception. If you throw up within 2 hours of taking emergency contraception, your body may not have absorbed the pill and you will need to purchase a new pill. Please contact us immediately if this happens as we will need to send you a new pill as soon as possible.
How effective are emergency contraceptive pills?
Emergency contraception is about 58-94% effective at preventing pregnancy. The range is so large because, taken at the right time, emergency contraception is highly effective. However, some women are unable to access the medication quickly enough, and that reduces its efficacy.
When should I take emergency contraception?
- If you have sex without a condom or if the condom breaks, slips, or falls off.
- If you have sex and have missed more than 2 days (48 hours) in a row of your combined hormonal contraceptives (pill, patch, or ring).
- If you have sex and are more than 3 hours late taking the progesterone only pill.
Does Ease replace my primary care provider?
Ease does not replace your primary care provider, but helps you avoid making multiple appointments by allowing you to access sensitive healthcare services in a more convenient way. We encourage you to continue seeing your primary care provider, especially for annual checkups and urgent care.
Where is Ease available?
We are currently only available in Singapore.
Can I make an order for someone else?
Unfortunately not. For legal reasons, we need the person who will use the medication or who is undergoing the test to create their own account with their details, and to request the prescription or test kit from us. If your partner, friend or relative needs to use our services, please have them create an account or reach out to us.
Is Ease safe?
Yes! Any medication purchased through Ease are prescribed using the same rules and medical standards as your family physician. Our medical professionals will only prescribe medication if it is safe to do so based on the information you provide us. We work with major retail pharmacies to dispense your medication so you can rest assured that your medication is coming from a reliable source.
We’ll also check in with you now and then to make sure you’re responding well to your medication. In the event that you’re experiencing any side effects or have any doubts, our customer and medical teams are available to answer your questions.
Who prescribes the medication at Ease?
We partner with local licensed physicians with years experience in sexual and reproductive health. When you sign up for an appointment with us, or request a prescription, you will be given the details of the physician who will be attending to you.
Is Ease a clinic / pharmacy?
We are not a pharmacy, nor are we a licensed clinic. Ease is a digital health platform designed to make access to sexual and reproductive health services more convenient and affordable through the use of technology.
We work closely with licensed doctors, retail pharmacies and testing labs in order to make the process of attending consultations, obtaining medication, and getting tested as streamlined and convenient as possible.