In an air-starved meeting room in Manhattan’s Financial District, heavily pregnant particle physicist Elina Berglund, 35, is explaining how she inadvertently went from the cutting edge of scientific discovery to the frontline of birth control.

In spring 2012, the Swedish scientist was working in Geneva at Cern, where she was part of the team looking for the Higgs boson particle (the finding would later win the Nobel prize). It was then that she started looking for a natural alternative to hormonal contraceptives.

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