Most of us use it, so why do we find it so difficult to talk about? Natural Cycles has been getting a lot of press recently so I thought I’d talk about my experience.
At around the age of 17, my friends and I would head to the local sexual health clinic with lots of other embarrassed teens. We didn’t have much knowledge of the types of contraception available other than condoms or the pill. Being naive, we opted for the pill because its what everyone else was taking. Why should it be different for me? I had no idea.
It sounds really stupid now I’ve grown up but at the time, I didn’t even question that every woman is different and what works for one might not work for another. It took me quite a while to come off the contraceptive pill and realise that I wanted something more natural for my body. That’s only my opinion, everyone is different, and luckily there are so many alternatives.
Last year I discovered Natural Cycles which is a contraceptive app and after a lot of research, decided it was perfect for me. Its a subscription service and when you sign up for a year at only £3 a month, the thermometer is free so its actually the cheapest form of contraception in my opinion. At first I was a little taken back by the idea of trusting an online app to know my body. Although I’ve used ‘period tracker’ apps for years, I trusted that over time it would learn my cycle and benefit me.
Natural Cycles uses your body temperature to help calculate the days of the month that you are most fertile, and when your period should make an appearance. The app works by linking to a thermometer. You simply take your temperature as soon as you wake up in the morning and track it in the app. From there, the calendar will alter the colours of each day to green or red. Green days are when you’re not fertile and red days are when you’re more likely close to ovulation so protection is advised. As the algorithm learns your body and cycle, the red days reduce.
So I bet you’re wondering why I’m loving it so much and how its working for me, right? Well, I’ve been using Natural Cycles for approximately six months now and don’t think I’ll use another form of contraception again (except condoms on red days, of course). Natural Cycles just fits my lifestyle and routine perfectly. If I go on a long trip, I don’t need to worry about picking up a prescription or worrying if my contraception will run out. I just pack the thermometer. Its just the best option for me and I rave about it to anyone that cares to listen – especially now the app is beginning to know my cycle. I’m noticing more green days and have an accurate knowledge of when my period is coming.
As an ending thought, like with all contraceptions, its best to do some research. Consider what is best for your body. All women are different so just because something works for someone else, it doesn’t mean its necessarily right for you. If you are considering Natural Cycles, the website has lots of information including stories from other app users, health professionals and the science-y bits. Please be aware that you need to be over the age of 18 to use Natural Cycles and it doesn’t prevent sexually transmitted infections. Condoms are still advised on red days!
a twenty-something exploring the world with a double espresso and a camera.