Our mission is to change the way that women choose, access and use their contraception
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 2019 with a mission to help transform the minefield that is contraception. She’s spent the last four years talking to thousands of women about this problem – and leads on the delivery of our product, brand and overall proposition.
Dr Frances Yarlett
Dr Fran MBBCh (Hons) BSc (Hons) MRCP (2016) MRCGP DFSRH is one of our medical advisors and in-house contraception experts. When she’s not offering exceptional consultations to the Lowdown community – she works as a GP in Sheffield.
Dr Mel Davis-Hall
Dr Mel BMBS (Hons) BMedSci (Hons) DFSRH MRCGP is Editor of the Women’s Health section of the British Medical Journal. As well as offering consultations to our community, Mel is world class at medical writing and editing, and reviews all of The Lowdown’s content.
Marija is a full-stack developer who takes our badly formed ideas and builds them into beautiful software that helps thousands of women with their contraception every day. She is currently running the show in building out our technical team.
Lucy is a University of Edinburgh student who is passionate about reproductive health and contraceptive access. She is the Founder of the Back Off Scotland abortion campaign – and is currently teaching us how to run social media, comms and partnerships.
Eppie is a content queen: she knows a thing or two about SEO, and helps us stay on the first page of Google for over 500 search terms. Eppie manages our passionate team of writers who explore the latest trends in Femtech and sexual health, and contraception.