Have you ever had those times when you had a sexual health-related question but felt ashamed to ask in public or speak to someone about it? You are not the only one. Statistics show that teenagers usually around the age of 15 years begin to express desire and engage in some sort of activities to know more about sex.
Questions around menstruation, contraceptives, when to or not to begin engaging in sex etc often put young people in an uncomfortable situation. As a result, many of them do not talk to the right people and end up making poor decisions based on insufficient answers.
For some other people, it takes immense courage to walk into a pharmacy and purchase condoms, pregnancy test kits, or just get a medical examination to ensure that certain private parts of the body are healthy. Data from the UNFPA (PDF) shows that only 15% of women in Nigeria use modern contraceptive methods while 19% use any at all.
Whispa was launched by Morenike Fajemisin to create a safe space for young people to ask questions about sexual health as well as get the right medical help from certified and youth-friendly experts without feeling stigmatised.
Young females form the bulk of Whispa’s userbase according to numbers from December. Females using Whispa are about 60 to 65% of the entire users and Fajemisin says this is the result of a deliberate attempt to focus a little bit more on female sexual health.
Sexual-health services for millennials and Gen-Z’s on Whispa
Young people have different sex-health related needs which vary from wanting to know more about sex to needing a medical expert’s advice or simply to purchase items that they need from time to time. Whispa has an in-app e-commerce store from which users can select and order products that they need. The items range from contraceptives and condoms to test kits for STDs and HIV.
In addition to the items, the healthtech startup also connects its users to medical doctors that can answer sexual-health related questions and provide guidance on the next steps to take. The sessions are booked one at a time and paid for.
The appointments that can be booked on Whispa currently cover contraceptives and sessions with medical experts. Lab tests, cervical cancer prevention tests and general hospital visits are medical appointments that are available on the app but are not functional yet.
Before a user can order contraceptives from the site, the user has to answer a series of simple questions orally. The questions help to determine if the contraceptive choice is right for the person or a different one should be selected.
Together, these features solve the problem of access to certified medical professionals for sexual and reproductive health-related matters as well as the purchase of contraceptives and other items in a discrete manner.
How to use Whispa
Whispa has a mobile app that anyone can download on the Playstore as well as the Appstore. Registering as a user on the app only requires a name, email and password. A phone number may be added later on.
From the dashboard, there are options to chat with a doctor or buy sexual health products that are privately delivered. There are also options to buy Whispa sessions which also grants access to the doctor. After paying for the session, users can start chatting and getting answers to questions.
There are options to add the sexual health products to a cart and pay through a Paystack payment gateway. After this, the product will be delivered.
Appointments are priced based on number of questions
Whispa appointments are in the form of sessions. A gold session allows a user to ask 10 unique questions from the doctor for N2000. The silver session costs N1150 and allows users to ask 5 questions. The bronze session allows the user to ask only 1 question and it costs N250.
The prices of items in the store vary. Contraceptives cost around N5000 while test kits range from N3,000 to N6,000 on the Whispa store.
What people are saying about Whispa
People who have used the mobile app have had good experiences with it. A user who simply identified himself as Relationship Tips on the Playstore said, “I got to know about this app from a pop up advert and fortunately, I was in dying need of an online consultant. This is one of the best apps I’ve used. Quick to respond to your messages and able to give you convincing answers. I love Whispa.”
Nodrot, another user, said it “Saves time spent waiting to see a doctor in hospitals and is reliable.”
Jesujoba Ojelabi said, “Whispa is an amazing app for anyone who is concerned about their sexual health right from the teenage years till everything’s old and grey. Highly recommended!”
Another user, Kingsley Ugochukwu, has not had a good experience, however. He said, “This app is a waste. What’s the use of having “doctors” consult on an app when the only answer they give to everything is “Sorry about this, but I will advise you visit a doctor for the proper assessment?”
In summary, Whispa provides prompt access to medical consultation and products that relate to sexual health. With the risks associated with following unhealthy sexual advice and tips, Whispa is a handy and timely tool for young adults.
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