This week's weekly spotlight is from Natural Cycles co-founder and CEO Elina Berglund Scherwitzl. Natural Cycles is a great app which helps women plan their birth control in a non-hormonal way and helps you to reconnect and learn more about your body. Go check it out and let us know what you think!
1) Tell us about your background story, how did you get to where you are today?
I grew up in Sweden and from an early age I loved all things data. I studied physics, earned my PhD in elementary particle physics, and did my research at the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN). It was there that I got the job of a lifetime working on the team that discovered the Higgs particle, which led to the 2013 Nobel Prize in physics.
Right around this time my husband, Raoul, and I started talking about our future family. We both knew we wanted to start trying within a year or two so I wanted to remove my birth control implant. In addition to it being invasive, I also wanted to take a break from hormonal birth control to give my body a chance to get back to its natural state.
I quickly realized there was not a single regulated birth control option that was both non-invasive and non-hormonal. As a particle physicist and researcher, I decided to take things into my own hands and I developed Natural Cycles, the first and only FDA cleared birth control app.
2) What is your overall mission with your business? What do you hope to achieve?
At Natural Cycles we are on a mission to pioneer women’s health with research and passion by empowering every woman with the knowledge she needs to be in charge of her health.
There is no one size fits all birth control option for all women. Therefore, women should have access to more contraceptive options so she can choose the best option for herself.
3) Who is your main audience?
We have a large and diverse audience given Natural Cycles is suited for any woman over the age of 18 who is looking for a non-hormonal, non-invasive method of contraception.
While we know our users - we call them Cyclers - span across various stages in their life, we do see a large number of Cyclers who are in their late twenties or early thirties and are preventing pregnancy for now, but looking to plan pregnancy in the not too-distant future.
4) Tell us a great story of success about people interacting with your brand?
With over 1.5 million registered users, we have a lot of amazing success stories. Every day we hear from women who felt like they were on their own with no birth control option that suited their personal needs before Natural Cycles. We hear from women who have a greater appreciation for their body because they understand better how it works. We often hear from women who ‘feel like themselves again.’
While I love hearing all of these stories, since Natural Cycles can be used to plan a pregnancy in addition to preventing pregnancy, I do really love when women reach out because they are excited to share their ‘big news.’ Last week a woman let us know Natural Cycles ‘worked a little too well’ when she found out she’s having twins!
5) Can you tell us about some of your future plans for the business?
We are proud to be a regulated medical device with our CE mark in Europe and FDA clearance in the U.S. We’re currently going through the regulatory process in additional countries as well so we can reach more women as a form of contraception.
6) What would your top 3 tips be for women who use your products/interact with your business?
I have a few tips for all women - regardless of whether they use Natural Cycles or not.
Don’t be afraid to make decisions: Ultimately, I believe we know what’s best for ourselves and our bodies even though we’re often told we don’t. I always encourage women to educate themselves, ask a lot of questions, and ultimately make decisions based on what’s best for them at that time.
Ask for help: Everyone’s situation is different but regardless of what your support system looks like, make sure you feel comfortable asking for help - especially in today’s current environment. As women, we’re strong and can do it alone if we need to, but it’s a whole lot easier with some help.
Stop beating yourself up: When I stopped wasting energy on feeling guilty or comparing myself to other people, I was able to focus on things that actually matter.
7) How can people find you?
The best way for people to find me is through Instagram: @ElinaScherwitzl. I get DMs from a lot of users and always love reading them.
Thanks for the article Elina! :)