Estrella Jaramillo | B-wom
I was 18 the first time I had to go to the emergency room to get a shot to stop the blood loss I was experiencing after having intercourse. I was scared and had no idea what was happening to me. It wasn’t the last time. It kept happening occasionally until I was in my early twenties. I remember the confusion, the anxiety, and the impotence of not knowing whether there was something wrong with me. All I ever got as a solution was to take the pill. I didn’t feel like I could talk to anyone about this until some years after when I finally brought it up with a friend and I learned that I wasn’t the only one. The episodes thankfully disappeared with time.
Over 70% of women experience intimate and sexual health issues at different points in their lives. Just to name a few, more than 60% of women experience mild to severe incontinence, over 50% of women experience sexual pain, and 1 in every 10 women will be diagnosed with endometriosis. However, these problems are still covered in shame, often times go undiagnosed for years, and it’s hard to find a safe space to communicate about them. On top of that, some of them are treated as “irreversible”, something that comes with “age or with having children”. But we must not confuse “common” and “normal”. Yes, these health issues are more frequent than we think, but there are solutions to help women improve their quality of life, and specialists you can work with to support the journey to healing.
Today, my advocacy work is focused on normalizing female health issues, offering resources and solutions and working with organizations to offer better protocols of education, prevention and care. Women experience many changes and transitions that impact our health: Puberty, pre-fertility and egg freezing considerations, pregnancy, postpartum, menopause… We all go through some (or all) of these phases in a lifetime, and yet we barely receive comprehensive education preparing us to understand the changes that they bring about, the choices we have, the symptoms we should be on the lookout for at every different stage, and clear steps as to how to prevent and stay healthy.
Painful sex is still largely misunderstood and many women go undiagnosed for years. They feel like there is something wrong with them. The same happens with other forms of Pelvic floor dysfunction. Postpartum care is another area that we don’t pay enough attention to. The standard protocol dictates a visit to the OBGYN 6 weeks after the biggest transformation a woman’s body will ever go through. What is more, women feel pressure to go “back to normal” as soon as possible, both in terms of their professional life, as well as going back to their pre-baby body. Our current healthcare system lacks adequate follow-up including rest, breastfeeding support, emotional and hormonal tracking, and pelvic floor physical therapy.
My cofounders and I started B-wom to cover some of these gaps in prevention, early detection and personalized self-care for Intimate and sexual health. Our core product, B-wom, offers users personalized care plans with guided pelvic floor and core exercises, educational contents, daily habits, and personalized recommendations. We aim to guide women through these transitions and to help them understand how to address any symptoms they might be experiencing, track their evolution and be able to advocate for themselves.
I want to help eradicate the shame, confusion and anxiety we sometimes feel about our bodies. I envision a future where we create safe spaces for women to share about their symptoms without having to go through excruciating questioning; where instead of holding women to unreasonable standards, we support them to achieve their health, personal and professional goals; where we have clear care protocols for every different phase and empower women to make informed choices about their intimate and sexual health and fertility.
And download B-wom !