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As a continuation of our Real Talk series, we’re shining a spotlight on women in the field of Women’s Health. This week we spoke with Carolyn Witte, who talks about the importance of women’s health, tips on navigating through these uncertain times, and more.

On the importance of education in women’s health
Education is a foundational piece of our mission at Tia. We seek to make science-backed information accessible to not only our members but females everywhere. You’ll see our efforts played out in quippy Instagram posts where we highlight the medicinal properties of certain foods and evidence-based self-care methods and more, you’ll see deeper dives into complex subjects like cervical cancer in our Tia Guides.

We truly believe that getting and staying healthy begins with knowing your body inside and out. No two females are the same, and care must be catered and account for the diverse physiological and biosocial factors that make up each individual. It is through education and body literacy females can become their own best advocates with confidence.

On the differences between healthcare for men and women
Female health is fundamentally distinct from male health. People with vaginas have fundamentally different healthcare needs than people who don’t. Anatomical and physiological distinctions, biosocial factors, and the complexity of the female hormonal milieu all play a part in this vast difference.

Moreover, when we treat women like men (or small men with different parts like we say at Tia), health outcomes suffer. And it’s not limited to clinical medicine either. Understanding “difference” starts in the scientific context. Until relatively recently, women weren’t even included in clinical trials due to the “variability” of our menstrual cycles!

On her advice to women navigating the complex world of healthcare
Educate yourself. You must be your own best advocate in healthcare and that starts with becoming body literate and knowing your own body inside and out. There are some amazing innovations happening in healthcare in terms of technology, accessibility, and, of course, science but there is no greater gift you can give yourself than taking charge of your health hopefully with a team of incredible resources (Care Providers, Apps, Books, Podcasts, etc.) to support you.

On her advice for women looking to have children that may not have a partner
These choices are so personal. I think we’re at a really exciting moment in time where having children without a partner is becoming less stigmatized. There is no right or wrong choice though. We believe that every choice — whether to have children or not have children, with a partner or on your own — is a choice that is yours to make and that you own.

On what she wishes she would’ve known when she was younger
Honestly, where do I even start? For the past three years, every day has been a crash course in the world of healthcare and personal health. If I really had to dial it down to one thing… it would be about the role that hormones play in affecting literally everything we experience as females — from heart health to mental health to reproductive health — not just periods & babies!

On how the workplace factors into women’s health
With healthcare out of reach for so many people, companies have an increasingly large role to play in providing healthcare benefits and services to women, not only for the betterment of female health but to keep women in the workplace. This is a huge thing for me as a female founder and CEO — how can we practice what we preach and ensure that every person that works at Tia has access to the highest quality healthcare — services, insurance, counseling, you name it — to help our employees thrive inside and outside of work?

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