Next up in our Period Powerful Profile series, we have Olivia Hawthorne, founder of Cycle for Your Cycle. We talked to Olivia all about Cycle for your Cycle and why she thinks it’s important to talk openly about menstrual health.
Could you tell us a bit about yourself?
My name is Olivia and I am 22. I am a musical theatre performer and spinning instructor. I was diagnosed with PCOS when I was 18, after a solid 3 years worth of symptoms.
Can you tell us about Cycle for your Cycle?
Cycle For Your Cycle is my “brand” if you will, that launched this September. The idea was to create a safe place where women (and men!) can be made more aware of what PCOS is and find a community of strong women who can support you.
What motivated you to start Cycle for your Cycle?
I was hospitalised last September due to what they called a “rumbling cyst”. Just like with a rumbling appendix, it was threatening to burst. Luckily for me it didn’t. But whilst in hospital it became very clear to me that PCOS wasn’t really a conversation that was very loudly spoken about. And so I wanted to make that change.
What can people expect when they attend Cycle for your Cycle?
It’s kind of does what it says on the tin! You learning about your cycle, and then you…cycle! It’s a panel of experts followed by a girl power-themed spin class! For our first event, every woman on the panel suffered from PCOS themselves. I think that’s pretty rare to have a panel who can all speak from their own experience.
Why do you think it’s important to talk openly about menstrual health?
I think to talk about female health, in general, is important. Whether that is talking about your cycle or your boobs or your genitals, it’s all important. The number of girls who feel the need to hide their periods in schools, or are too afraid to carry a tampon out of the class room in case they are seen, is shocking! Also – I think there’s too much happiness surrounding when your period doesn’t come. People celebrate when their periods don’t come because they can have sex or go swimming on holiday or whatever! Really, we should be celebrating every time we bleed because that means our body is doing what it should be!
What are your top PCOS management tips?
Stress and anxiety is my big downfall. Whether it’s mental or physical stress, both are bad for PCOS. I wish I could say I have that under control – but that would be a lie! Focusing on keeping stress levels under control is important for PCOS management.