Our mission is to change the way that women choose, access and use their contraception
We believe there is a better way to talk about contraception. A more data driven way – where we hear from real people’s experiences, not a patient information leaflet
It took me over a decade to realise the impact that taking hormonal contraceptives had on my emotional and mental state.
I started taking the Pill when I was 16. I always thought I was a very hormonal teenager, but it wasn’t until I stopped taking it a few years later, my personality completely changed. I was calmer and stopped crying all the time at stupid things like my parents wedding anniversary.
I must have tried over seven different types of pill, but I could never seem to find one that worked for me. Every time I got into a new relationship, I’d go back to my doctor and try out a different pill. Every time I struggled to get used to it and had incredible mood swings.
In my search for the right contraception I came across a number of problems that have become the foundation of The Lowdown:
Lack of data
For many women, the only way they can find out side effects they’ll get is by asking their Doctor – who can only relay his/her patient’s experiences. Or by asking their group of friends. Both are useful, but small sample sizes. I am convinced that if we collect this data at scale, then it will tell us new things
The internet is scary
I have so many questions I know friend and I want answering; If I don’t get on with Pill X, which one should I try next? Is getting a coil fitted really painful if you’ve not had kids? Resorting to Google, I often find myself more confused than before. There is lots of information out there, but it’s not presented in the right format.
You have to try to know
Often when you ask a doctor or sexual health clinic questions about contraception, their response is ‘you’ll have to try it and see’. In a world where we can put the man on the moon, surely there has to be a better way of figuring this all out?
Doctor appointments are pretty short
Like many, I can never get all my questions answered in 10 minutes. Doctors and nurses are busy. We need to arm both men and women with better tools to make the most of that conversation.
Whilst I know my story is extreme, throughout my twenties I lost count of the number of times I sat around with my group of friends and they’ve talked about how contraception impacted their lives. From their weight and periods, to their sex drive – the good and the bad. It has an impact on the way that women (and men) feel.
So, I decided to create The Lowdown.
Collecting this data is just the beginning. There is so much more we can do; from creating an algorithm that works out if you didn’t like one type, which is the best type for you to try, to working with pharmaceutical companies to learn more about how we can improve the drugs and their research and development.
I am determined to provide better information and real world advice for those that need it, so women don’t have to go through what I went through.
Alice set up The Lowdown in 2018 with a mission to help women find helpful, user-generated data on contraception. She leads on the delivery of our brand, platform and overall proposition.
David is in charge of developing our website and app. He has extensive experience in startups and has grown and scaled several community based B2C products.
Dr Frances Yarlett
Dr Frances Yarlett MBBCh(Hons) BSc(Hons) MRCP is The Lowdown’s resident GP.
Frances qualified as a Doctor from Cardiff University in 2013. She currently works as a GP Registrar in Sheffield, and has recently finished her Diploma in Reproductive Medicine and Sexual Health.
Dr Melanie Davis-Hall
Dr Melanie Davis-Hall BMBS (Hons) BMedSci (Hons) DSFRH MRCGP is The Lowdown’s other brilliant resident GP. Mel has an interest in medical writing and editing and works with The Lowdown team to review our clinical content.
Eppie heads up our brand partnerships – building relationships with like-minded brands to create collaborative content. She also knows a thing or two about SEO and writes about the latest trends in femcare, sexual health
Holly looks after our Instagram account @Gettheldown – she takes pride in making sure our content is informative and fun, and that our community are in the loop. She also leads on all talent and artist outreach.
Maddie is an English Language and Linguistics graduate who is passionate about writing. She heads up our Contraception of the Week and writes fun & informative content on the weird & wonderful sides of contraception!
Sophie is a Cardiff University-trained journalist who is passionate about sharing women’s contraception stories in the hope that it will connect with others. She writes for us weekly on all things contraception.
Eleanor is a Women’s Health MSc student at UCL with a background in social anthropology. She carries out research for us on contraceptive access and use around the world.
Petra looks after all things design – creating our beautiful illustrations, and managing our look and feel across our social channels. She also edits and manages our blog.