We have a new member of the Tempdrop Team - We would like to introduce Gemma Rigby, who is working as part of the marketing team.
It is important that everyone involved with Tempdrop be as passionate about fertility awareness as our customers. We asked Gemma to share a little about herself and her Tempdrop story.
Just a personal note to introduce myself first off, I was born and raised in England, my husband and I lived in the Cotswolds in England; but we both had hectic jobs (and lives); so a couple of years ago we decided to simplify our lives and move to Portugal to focus on other projects. We now live in a very rural part of Portugal, near plenty of beaches and natural parks, which we both really enjoy.
So, I feel like I should fill you in to give some context as to why this method appealed to me - I had been on the birth control pill for 5 years and for four of those years, I loved it! I’ll be honest, had anyone spoken to me whilst I was happy with my choice I would most likely have ignored all of their lovely advice and carried on as I was.
Here's the thing, I didn’t go on the pill because of bad periods - in truth it was just because it was convenient birth control. Having said that, I did love being able to block my periods for months at a time (don’t roll your eyes at me - I know, I know!) My periods weren’t horrendous but the first couple of days were always painful, and I would take a fair few painkillers, along with which I would have other symptoms so many women experience. But also like many women, I was always told:
- “it’s ‘normal’,
- “every woman experiences pain”
- “Don’t complain… your periods aren’t as bad as [insert friend’s name]…”
- You just need to 'get on' with it.
But four years on the pill and I wasn't feeling my best, my immune system was low and I just felt emotionally… well, blank and disconnected. Initially I had no idea this was connected to my hormonal birth control - we'd moved house and country, so naturally I put it down to the stress of moving and the changes in our lives etc. Only, my symptoms hadn’t gone away. Added to which I knew I was putting my health at risk by prolonging my time taking synthetic hormones and with (ahem) an older age number approaching sooner than I’d like, I knew eventually I needed to re-evaluate my contraceptive decision.
However, what I didn’t know was HOW MUCH the pill was affecting my health, until I was introduced to a new acquaintance (enter Mel) and we started chatting about hormones. It’s important to know this isn't a 'normal' conversation for me - I wasn’t a very open person and would normally feel a bit uncomfortable talking about periods and hormones (I’m British, so we don’t speak about these things -it’s not the ‘done’ thing). As Mel (who is the total opposite and can’t stop speaking about hormone health and Tempdrop) was telling me about her own experiences I suddenly realised:
- how much my choice of contraception was affecting me and
- how little I knew about my own body and menstrual cycle.
I mean, Ladies!, WHY are we not taught these things from an early age?! Why is it always spoken about in hushed tones? Why don’t we speak more openly to each other about it?
But, as a result of that conversation, I began my journey to ditching synthetic hormones.
It wasn't an instant decision, I took my time:
- I did my research,
- I signed up to an online course,
- I tried to learn about the side effects of coming off the pill,
- and most importantly I spoke to my husband about how he felt (turns out he’d noticed a change too and knew the pill was making me unhappy).
The more I learned, the more ready I felt to stop using hormonal contraception and to make a change.
So 12+ months later, with the help of Tempdrop, I’ve been able to:
- balance my hormones,
- I feel more knowledgeable about my own body,
- and I understand how I can make changes in my diet and lifestyle that have a true impact.
If I could tell you all the benefits I’ve experienced as a result of charting I’d be chewing your ear off for another couple of hours (no, really!). But I think the most positive change I have experienced is being able to understand why I feel the way I do on certain days, knowing it’s ok to feel that way, and being able to communicate it to my husband (which I know he definitely appreciates).
I started out on this journey looking for a natural form of contraception but, now I track for both fertility and for health reasons. And Tempdrop has made it ridiculously easy for me to track my cycle. Being able to work with Tempdrop (and such a global and passionate team) is really exciting; I’m personally looking forward to seeing the continuation of Tempdrop’s journey and I hope, if you aren’t already, you will join the thousands of women who already use and love Tempdrop.