Three weeks ago the Lone Design Club held an event at their Chelsea Pop Up in South London. The event was about everything wellness, including all things sexual and was jam-packed with expert speakers from Organicup to The Knude Society.
Today, all the panellists talk to Science and Skincare about wellness.
Dr Sohere Roked, is a GP who specialises in hormones. If you wonder about your hormone fluctuations throughout the month and how it impacts you body, she is your go-to.
The topic I was most in asking her about was menstrual cycle mapping. I wanted an expert opinion on a fascinating and growing topic.
What are the menstruation cycle phases? And can it differ from woman to woman?
The menstruation cycle is divided into menstruation ie the period/bleeding, followed by the follicular phase which is when the follicles on the ovaries start to mature and hormone levels start rising.
Then ovulation which is the release of the egg (ova) into the womb with a surge of oestrogen, followed by the luteal phase which is the surge of progesterone that thickens the lining of the womb for a fertilised egg to implant. If it doesn’t implant then the hormone levels drop and menstruation happens again.
The phases of the cycle is the same for all women but the length of time of each phase can vary from woman to woman.
Can you tell me a little bit about how cycle mapping works? Is it as useful as it seems?
Cycle mapping is about eating differently and exercising according to where you are in your cycle.
It’s working with the body and your natural hormone production, and the more you can understand how your body works at different times of the month the more in sync you’ll feel and the easier your menstruation will be. For example doing high intensity exercise when you’re ovulating as your hormones are at the peak and doing more gentle yoga or walking when you’re premenstrual.
How complex is the interplay between hormone health and mental health?
Hormones being out of balance can contribute to mental health issues, for example depression or anxiety before your period or in early menopause. Although many interventions are helpful for mental health, we often forget to take into account the effect hormones could be having too.
Do you have any tips for women looking to feel more balanced when it comes to hormone changes?
My first tip is always to monitor your cycle and understand how you feel at different times (you can use an app like Flo, to do this).
You can then work with your body to put in changes at different times. If you’re unsure then see a doctor or nutritionist who specialises in hormones and can help you make changes or offer guidance.
Next up is Soo Cieszynska, the incredibly knowledgeable and passionate head of brand at Organicup. If you’re yet to find a period product that is comfortable and hassle free, this may be what you’ve been looking for.
Here is everything you need to know about the innovative Organicup.
Why is Organicup more useful than regular period products?
Menstrual cups can be left safely in place for up to 12 hours. Economically they are better for your wallet as each cup can last for up to 10 years. Think of the savings!
They are easy and discrete to carry in your handbag in their unbleached organic cotton bag ready for when you may need it. Also, they are safer for the body and the planet – one use of menstrual products makes up 200,000 tons of waste flushed into the sea in the UK alone, each year.
*Organicup is sustainable and is made from 100% medical grade silicone which is made from quartz which is the second most abundant mineral on the earth’s crust.
Can you tell me a little bit about the #newperiod of periods which Organicup is creating?
OrganiCup will be launching their period underwear later this year or early 2022. This gives the consumer another alternative in sustainable and reusable menstrual wear.
Plus we have some other exciting, sustainable products coming up!
Do you have any advice for someone who is using Organicup for the first time?
Don’t be scared. There is lots of advice on our website on how to insert the cup. Sometimes it might be a good idea to try inserting the cup and getting the positioning correct before your period starts. Find the right position for you. Relax as tightened muscles do not help the process.
Lastly, I spoke to Emma Brown. She’s the founder of the Knude Society. A community that is committed to sex education, every aspect of it. She has an impressive line of sex toys (just one right now but it’s expanding) and accessories.
Gwen, the brands best selling vibrator embodies the Knude Society’s ethos. They are an on mission to help everyone enjoy their body in a way that feels right for them.
This toy is discreet, has 10 speed and vibration patterns, is 100% waterproof and is whisper quiet. More importantly, it’s pretty!
Emma explains how she came up with Gwen, the Society and sexual wellness.
Why did you decide to start Knude Society?
I got tired of there being no beautiful buying experience. Everything had rubbish photography, was either weirdly graphic or extremely clinical. And no one spoke to me like a real human being, or did a good educational job.
How did you come up with your best selling vibrator, Gwen?
I wanted a vibrator that wouldn’t be off-putting for newbies, but was also versatile enough that those who have already tried/have a few vibrators felt like this was something they could add to their collection. Like the buying experience, I wanted it to look great, do a fantastic job, and be something you’re not ashamed of buying. A lot of vibrators are also male-centric in how they’re designed and/or aesthetic, and I didn’t want that at all for Gwen either.
I spoke to a lot of friends, did research with those who were willing to fill out our survey. And got a lot of test products through to pick and choose what we liked for Gwen, and what we definitely didn’t want/like.
How important is sexual wellness in regards to overall wellness?
I think it’s very important. Even if it’s just building a relationship with our own bodies and understanding them completely (well, as much as you can do!). So much power comes from knowing yourself, and I think this extends into sexual wellness.
50% of the UK’s heterosexual women are unhappy with their sex lives, and this is because we’re not taught that our pleasure is and should be important. Sex can be a very important part of relationships, but I don’t think it’s exclusive to relationships either. It’s also about having that power of pleasure for yourself.
There are obviously physiological benefits as well: it’s a stress-reliever, can help you sleep better, can help with menstrual pain, it’s a workout for your pelvic floor, and it can help improve your self confidence too.
How do you see the Knude Society growing in the next year?
I want to expand more on our educational offering, exploring more topics around sexual wellness so anyone coming to the website can read and/or watch content that can help them. I want us to be a mainstream business, as openly spoken about as makeup and beauty brands. There are already a load of businesses out there helping to achieve this, and I hope that as Knude Society we can contribute to help making sexual wellness mainstream.
Do you have any new products coming out soon?
Yes! Lennon our first internal vibrator is coming out at the end of October — really excited to see the reaction to this one. It’s bendable to flex with you, made of 100% medical grade silicone, rechargeable, waterproof, and again, designed with a non-male centric aesthetic in mind. So you can leave it out on your side table, and no one would really know what it is!