The idea of Natural Cycles came about when our founders, Elina and Raoul – a married couple – were themselves in search of an effective method of natural contraception.
As a former member of the European Organisation for Nuclear Research (CERN), Elina was part of the team that discovered the Higgs Boson particle – one of the most significant discoveries in particle physics that went on to win a Nobel Prize.
Raoul also has a background in particle physics and had always aspired to be an entrepreneur, using his knowledge of physics to make an impact in society.
The idea was first conceived when Elina and Raoul started to think about having a family. Elina says, “I knew that I wanted to get pregnant in a year or two and had therefore stopped using hormonal contraception to give my body a chance to get back to normal first. In my search for a natural birth control method, I discovered that the body temperature changes throughout the menstrual cycle – something that is well-known and well-researched. I started analysing my own temperature, applying my statistical knowledge from particle physics to detect ovulation and map out my fertile days.”
Elina became increasingly absorbed by her own fertility data: “The more entrenched I became in my fertility data, the more I was learning about my body. It really did feel like a revelation.”
Using the techniques she had learned through the Higgs Boson project, Elina created an algorithm to analyze temperature readings, taking factors like sperm survival, temperature fluctuations, variations in cycle length, ovulation day, and the length of the follicular and luteal phase into account to identify fertile and non-fertile days.
“Raoul was the one who suggested that we turn the fertility algorithm into an app, to allow other couples to benefit from our innovation,” said Elina.
Elina and Raoul understood from the beginning that the algorithm behind Natural Cycles could not only help them to prevent a pregnancy – but also to conceive when the time was right. In 2013, Elina and Raoul announced on Twitter that they were going to switch from the app’s “Prevent” mode to “Plan” and they didn’t have to wait long for good news. “With a little luck, and the precision of the app, we got pregnant the first cycle,” says Elina.
- Our mission at Natural Cycles is to pioneer women’s health with research and passion – by empowering every woman with the knowledge that she needs to take charge of her health.
Founded originally in Switzerland, the company now has its headquarters in Stockholm, Sweden and has grown to 80 employees over the past couple of years. We are one of the hottest and fastest growing startups in Sweden, so why not join our team?