• Sweden's news in English
Expat women wake up to natural birth control

Expat women wake up to natural birth control

The Local · 11 May 2015, 10:00

Published: 11 May 2015 08:25 GMT+02:00
Updated: 11 May 2015 10:00 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

It’s no secret that things can get complicated for cross-border couples. Time zones, language barriers, and career changes keep “love refugees” busy.

And when sex – and birth control – comes into the mix, things can get messy.

Back in 2010, Swede Frida Stegeby picked up the stakes and moved to Oslo in search of new career opportunities. She didn’t know how long she’d be there, but after meeting her Norwegian boyfriend, the Umeå native has yet another reason to stay in Norway.

“I met him at our workplace, the sports section of a department store,” Frida says. “I was his boss.”

Frida Stegeby. Photo: Private

Five years later Frida is still living in Norway, studying to be a nurse while working at a psychiatric care centre for children.

“Now I live with my Norwegian partner and our dog,” she says.

But the 28-year-old from Umeå soon found an unforeseen wrinkle in her international love story.

“I had used the pill for almost 10 years, but things like healthcare and medicine are not structured the same way in Norway,” Frida says. “When I went to the doctor to get the prescription for the same pills I’ve had for so many years, he told me that they were not approved here in Norway.”

The revelation started what Frida describes as a long process of testing various pills – but none of them seemed to work.

“I was never really happy about birth control pills again,” she says.

Meanwhile Klaara Malmberg, a 32-year-old Swedish expat living in London, was also searching for a new birth control solution – although her problem was hormones.

“I tried contraceptive pills but I found I had trouble with the hormones,” she says. “It changed my mood, and with the added dangers of blood clots and other effects, I decided I didn’t want to use anything that was disrupting my normal cycle.”

Klaara Malmberg. Photo: Private

Klaara tried using other options with “less hormones”, such as an IUD, but wasn’t happy with that either.

But a girl in need is a girl online, and luckily, both women stumbled across a natural solution – from Sweden.

“I started using NaturalCycles in January and I feel so good,” Frida exclaims. “Taking care of my body instead of changing it with hormones is one of the smartest changes I've made.”

Frida and Klaara both discovered NaturalCycles, a Swedish-Swiss birth control method, through bloggers.

“I was instantly curious, since I had been trying to find something that feels right for me,” Klaara says.

NaturalCycles - the latest Swedish startup to be making headlines around the world – was it.

“The biggest challenge is just remembering to take my temperature in the morning,” Klaara laughs.

Users of NaturalCycles take their temperature in bed each morning before getting up, data which is used to predict fertile days, presenting the user with ‘red days’ and ‘green days’ for safety of sexual activity, with 99.9 percent accuracy.

Frida agrees that measuring her temperature each morning was “problematic at first,” but now it has become a routine – one well worth the trouble.

“The best advantage for me is that it is completely natural,” she says. “Just the thought of that  makes me feel better, and it proves that it’s not only physically, but also mentally good for me.”

Thanks to NaturalCycles, the Swede’s sex life is smooth sailing.

“The biggest difference for my boyfriend is that there are certain days of the month he needs to use protection, and maybe he’s noticed that I am a little more balanced,” she explains. “It feels good to stop taking hormonal birth control pills especially as I dream of having children in the future."

And the natural way isn’t just attracting Swedes. Lindsey Oredsson is an American ”love refugee” who has definitely gone native.

Lindsey, 32, moved to Stockholm eight years ago after meeting a Swede at university. Now the couple is happily married with a 2-year-old.

“I find healthcare to be pretty amazing in Sweden, and pills and other birth control methods are pretty affordable in Sweden,” she says.


Lindsey Oredsson. Photo: Private   

But money wasn’t the only consideration, and Lindsey switched to NaturalCycles last year.

“I stopped pills after reading studies about side effects from the chemicals,” she says. “I was considering invasive methods like Copper IUD implants when I stumbled upon Natural Cycles.”

When she discovered the method a year ago, Lindsey first thought the testimonials sounded “too good to be true” – but she was quickly convinced.

“I like that no chemicals are involved and that I no longer experience side effects like headaches and nausea,” she says. “This method removes chemicals from our lives and makes me feel more like myself.”

And of course, it also means fewer translation sessions for the international duo.

“My partner was helpful with translating birth control prescriptions from Swedish in the past, but I think he likes the simplicity of no prescriptions,” Lindsey says. “I think that it has been good for our relationship.”

So while culture clash may still be an issue, the three agree that the Swedish app helps remove uncertainty and hassle – just one worry less for cross-border love.

“It’s easy,” Klaara says. “You get to know your own body with a little help from science. All you need is a thermometer.”

Frida agrees.

“Everyone can get to know their own body and how it works,” Frida says. “You don’t have to go to the doctor or think about the language and local recommendations about pregnancy prevention. NaturalCycles has no borders.”

This article was produced by The Local in partnership with NaturalCycles. 

Related links:

For more news from Sweden, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

The Local (news@thelocal.se)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Today's headlines
Refugee crisis
Asylum requests in Sweden down by 70 percent
Sweden's migration minister Morgan Johansson. Photo: Christine Olsson/TT

Sweden received 70 percent fewer requests for asylum in the period between January and September 2016 than it did during the same time last year, the country’s justice and migration minister Morgan Johansson has revealed.

The unique story of Stockholm's floating libraries
The Stockholm archipelago book boat. Photo: Roger Hill.

Writer Roger Hill details his journeys on the boats that carry books over Stockholm's waterways and to its most remote places.

Refugee crisis
Second Stockholm asylum centre fire in a week
The new incident follows a similar fire in Fagersjö last week (pictured). Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT

Police suspect arson in the blaze, as well as a similar incident which occurred last Sunday.

More misery for Ericsson as losses pile up
Ericsson interim CEO Jan Frykhammar presenting its third quarter results. Photo: Claudio Bresciani/TT

The bad news just keeps coming from the Swedish telecoms giant.

Facebook 'sorry' for removing Swedish cancer video
A computer displaying Facebook's landing page. Photo: Christine Olsson/TT

The social media giant had censored a video explaining how women should check for suspicious lumps in their breasts.

Watch this amazing footage of Sweden’s landscapes
A still from the aerial footage of Sweden. Photo: Nate Summer-Cook

The spectacular drone footage captures both Sweden's south and the opposite extreme, thousands of kilometres north.

Sweden could be allowed to keep border controls: EU
Police ID checks at Hyllie station in southern Sweden. Photo: Stig-Åke Jönsson/TT

Sweden could be allowed to keep ID controls on its border with Denmark beyond the current end date of November, following discussions among EU leaders in Brussels last night.

Why women in Sweden will work for free by November
File photo of a woman working in a Swedish office. Photo: Anders Willund/TT

A new study into the gender pay gap suggests Sweden still has some work to do.

Look familiar? Meet your jawbone's ancestor
Thank God for evolution, eh?

There's something fishy about the human jawbone – it has its origins in the placodermi, a jowly species of fish that lived 400 million years ago, Swedish and Chinese researchers say.

Isis claims unremarked arson attack in Malmö
The arson attack took place on Norra Grängesbergsgatan in Malmö. File photo: Emil Langvad/TT

An arson attack in Malmö that caused only minor damage and was barely reported in the media has been claimed by terror group Isis.

Sponsored Article
This is Malmö: Football capital of Sweden
Fury at plans that 'threaten the IB's survival' in Sweden
Sponsored Article
Where is the Swedish music industry heading?
Here's where it could snow in central Sweden this weekend
Analysis & Opinion
Are we just going to let half the country die?
Blog updates

6 October

10 useful hjälpverb (The Swedish Teacher) »

"Hej! I think the so-called “hjalpverb” (auxiliary verbs in English) are a good way to get…" READ »


8 July

Editor’s blog, July 8th (The Local Sweden) »

"Hej readers, It has, as always, been a bizarre, serious and hilarious week in Sweden. You…" READ »

Sponsored Article
7 reasons you should join Sweden's 'a-kassa'
Angry elk chases Swede up a lamp post
Sponsored Article
Why you should 'grab a chair' on Stockholm's tech scene
The Local Voices
'Alienation in Sweden feels better: I find myself a stranger among scores of aliens'
People-watching: October 20th
The Local Voices
A layover at Qatar airport brought this Swedish-Kenyan couple together - now they're heading for marriage
Sponsored Article
Stockholm: creating solutions to global challenges
Swede punches clown that scared his grandmother
Sponsored Article
Swedish for programmers: 'It changed my life'
Fans throw flares and enter pitch in Swedish football riot
Could Swedish blood test solve 'Making a Murderer'?
Sponsored Article
Top 7 tips to help you learn Swedish
Property of the week: Linnéstaden, Gothenburg
Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
Swedish school to build gender neutral changing room
People-watching: October 14th-16th
Sponsored Article
'There was no future for me in Turkey'
Man in Sweden assaulted by clowns with broken bottle
Sponsored Article
‘Extremism can't be defeated on the battlefield alone’
Nobel Prize 2016: Literature
Sponsored Article
Stockholm: creating solutions to global challenges
Watch the man who discovered Bob Dylan react to his Nobel Prize win
Sponsored Article
Why you should 'grab a chair' on Stockholm's tech scene
Record numbers emigrating from Sweden
Sponsored Article
'There was no future for me in Turkey'
People-watching: October 12th
Sponsored Article
Where is the Swedish music industry heading?
The Local Voices
'Swedish startups should embrace newcomers' talents - there's nothing to fear'
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
How far right are the Sweden Democrats?
Property of the week: Triangeln, Malmö
Sweden unveils Europe's first elk hut
People-watching: October 7th-9th
The Local Voices
Syria's White Helmets: The Nobel Peace Prize would have meant a lot, but pulling a child from rubble is the greatest reward
Missing rune stone turns up in Sweden
Nobel Prize 2016: Chemistry
jobs available