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Remember Ask Mara? It’s a chatbot that helps Pinays get all the info they need about all sorts of birth control options, from condoms to pills and even the implant. All you had to do was visit the Ask Mara PH Facebook page and start a Messenger chat with it, and you could ask questions about each option, how safe they are, and how to use them.
The bot did a lot more than just give you straight answers, too. It could help you learn more about your options when it comes to the birth control methods you prefer and are comfortable with. If you were on the pill, you could ask it to remind you when to take it, so you never had to miss a day. The page itself became a community where women could talk freely about their reproductive health, and get unfiltered advice on all things birth control.
Ask Mara PH is a project by Bayer Pharmaceuticals that aims to give women the ability to make fully informed decisions about birth control. There are still a lot of misconceptions about the topic, especially here in the Philippines. The chatbot and the community around it aim to break through the misinformation and get you more engaged in your own health.
It’s been more than two years since it’s launched, and Ask Mara PH is still as strong as ever. In fact, the bot’s gotten a bit of an upgrade recently! Ask Mara now has two new features that empower women to take control over their sexual health even more.
The first of these is a Store Locator. It’ll help you find pharmacies closest to your location, so you can make sure you never run out of supplies when you need them most.
The second new feature is extra helpful, now that we’re all spending more time at home: a telemedicine service. If you need to get in touch with a doctor, Ask Mara can give you a link to a telemedicine platform (although there are plans to add more platforms in the future!) that lets you consult real medical professionals from the comfort of your own home. Ultimately, one of Ask Mara's goals is to drive women to consult their OB-GYNs about reproductive health in whatever form that's available to them.
As it always has, Ask Mara takes your privacy very seriously, and won’t share any of your private matters with anyone. That means you can feel free to get help from the chatbot for any and all concerns you might have about birth control, and no one will be there to judge you. After all, it’s your body, girl! You have the right to decide how you want to take care of it.
If you’ve ever had questions about birth control, there’s no better time than now to get informed and get empowered!
Learn more about Ask Mara PH by following their Facebook page.