Last Sunday I was invited to the Angel's Belly Brunch Club for an Ashtanga Yoga session, followed by an educational women's wellness and hormone talk from Nutritional Naturopath Gillian Day, as we joined together to celebrate the launch of the worlds first natural contraceptive app, and learn a little more about the science behind NaturalCycles. (Keep reading to Win a NaturalCycles Kit and 6 month subscription below)
For someone like me, who suffers with hormone issues and has struggled with the typical types of contraception methods, when I heard about NaturalCycles it defiantly seemed like the answer to my prayers!
As many of you may know, I suffer with a condition called Endometriosis and I've tried a variety of contraceptive methods to help ease my symptoms, as in some cases using a synthetic hormone can give you some relief, and of course more importantly - stop you getting pregnant. Sadly for me I have had little joy with the Pill, and not only did it not help in reducing my endometriosis symptoms, it also brought along it's on bundle of side effects.. which may sound familiar to some of you if you are on the Pill.
Some symptoms include: Headaches, Dizziness, Nausea & Sickness, Acne, Mood Swings, Cravings, Spotting, weight gain... as we went round the room, the list continued to grow as we heard from different women and their experiences.
I have personally never be convinced by the use of synthetic hormones, especially when girls as young as 11 can be prescribed them when their body is still developing. The thought of halting your bodies natural process has never sat well with me, I only tried the pill for 3 months when I was younger, after being suggested it by my doctor to help balance my hormones rather than using it simply for birth control, but as it gave me no relief I felt no need to continue on it, especially as we have things like condoms available, which have no negative effect on your body or hormones.
I do see why the pill is such a popular birth control method, it's easier for a guy to ask if you are on the pill than them having to worry about contraception, the pill is seen as the 'safest' and easiest way to stay protected, and the responsibility tends to fall more on us Women, but when you come across something like NaturalCycles, that gives you the knowledge and power to learn about your body and understand the science behind the process - its a great tool to really educate both yourself and your partner, rather than blocking your bodies natural function with synthetic hormones.
So how does it work?
The first thing most of us thought after being explained this was..why were we not taught this at school? especially when all you really need to measure your cycle is a thermometer! It seems crazy and I know your thinking it...a little to good to be true?! but I'm happy to say we are in safe hands!
NaturalCycles was started by Dr Elina Berglund and Dr Raoul Scherwitzl, both with a PHD in Physics and not forgetting that they both worked on a project that was awarded a Nobel Prize! The couple used there knowledge to create a method of contraception that worked for them, using the basic science of the human body, and then introduced it out to the rest of the world. The stats speak for themselves, with over 30'000 women using the Natural Cycles prevent plan, and not one recorded unplanned pregnancy to date!
It was safe to say that we left the brunch feeling very inspired and more confident in our bodies, and empowered by what we had be taught throughout the day. We focused on NaturalCycles but we also covered our mind and nutrition, as all these elements work in harmony with keeping our hormones balanced.
We started the day with a yoga session, where we focused on our mindset and well being, looking at yoga moves to help manage period pains and relaxation methods, followed by a feast of hormone happy food! I personally know how what I eat can have a massive effect on my monthly cycle and also flare up lots of unwanted hormone symptoms, like acne, vomiting and an extreme upset stomach, so I try to avoid all animal products, processed food, soy and dairy that cause my hormone levels to become unbalanced, so it was so exciting to sit down for a meal consisting of food I knew I could eat, and eat we did! Angel's Belly put on a spread of dairy and gluten free dishes, focusing on nourishment and keeping our hormones happy. The brunch spread was incredible and we all defiantly had more than 2 plates each!
I met some truly beautiful Women throughout the day, and I felt so proud to have been included in the UK launch of Natural Cycles, focusing on educating and putting the female health first.
I have just finished up my first week using my NaturalCycles app, I leave my thermometer by my bed so it's easy to remember to take my temperature in the morning, and thats really all you need to worry about!
Your be happy to hear that it is also half the price of your average monthly pill prescription - at only £5 a month! Without all the added nasty synthetic hormones.
I hope you've enjoyed learning about NaturalCycles as much as I have, and head here for more information https://www.naturalcycles.com/ I am also giving away a Natural Cycles kit and 6 month subscription :) If you would like to win and test it out yourself - just comment below with your email address and I will pick one of you at the end of the May! Good luck x
FAQ: Photos taken on a Canon 5D MK II with a 50mm 1.8 lens