Elina was part of the team at CERN (European Organisation for Nuclear Research) who discovered the Higgs Boson particle. Her partner, Raoul, also has a background in particle physics, but had always aspired to be an entrepreneur. The idea for their business, Natural Cycles, was first conceived when the couple started to think about starting a family.
Elina says, “I knew that I wanted to get pregnant in a year or two and had therefore stopped using hormonal birth control 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 analyzing my own temperature, applying my statistical knowledge from particle physics to detect ovulation and map out my fertile days.”
Elina became 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, and more into account to identify fertile and non-fertile days.
Together with Raul she created Natural Cycles, an app to help couples track their natural fertility cycle both to help naturally prevent pregnancy and plan for it!