Natural Cycles: The Hormone-Free Birth Control App
Birth control methods range from barrier methods, such as condoms, to hormonal, such as the birth control shot or pills. Each of these has its own issues that can result in a couple not using them, but what can you use if you want to prevent pregnancy without chemicals and barriers? More and more couples are turning to natural family planning, which is easier than ever with apps like Natural Cycles.
What Is Natural Cycles?
Natural Cycles is an app that helps you determine when your fertile days are. You can then avoid intercourse on these days or use an alternative method of contraception. The app requires the use of the Natural Cycles thermometer, which you use to take your temperature each morning before rising. Enter the temperature into the app, and the algorithm will identify how fertile you are.
Since your temperature slightly rises after ovulation, the app can actually track your cycle and determine when you are ovulating. Everyone’s cycle is different, so it’s important to track this information accurately, rather than guessing. The Natural Cycles app uses a special algorithm that works to figure out your particular cycle and provide you with more accurate information. You’ll see a red day on the app for a fertile time and green if you’re not fertile.
The app tracks not only fertility but also your menstrual cycle, making it easier to know when you’re likely to have PMS symptoms. You won’t be surprised by your period again.
The Natural Cycles app costs $9.99 per month or $89.99 per year.
Who Can Benefit From Using Natural Cycles?
Anyone interested in ditching other methods of contraception and aiming to use only natural methods for their birth control will benefit from this app. It’s also helpful for anyone trying to conceive, as it gives a fertility window when couples will have a higher chance of success with getting pregnant. So, while the app is meant as a contraceptive tool, it can also be used as a fertility tool, meaning it’s useful whether or not you want to conceive.
Couples may use the app for a few years to prevent pregnancy, but once they have determined that they’re ready for a baby, they can use it for conception. Natural Cycles makes it simple to switch as needed.
Pros and Cons of the Natural Cycles App
Before you choose a fertility app, make sure it’s right for you. This is usually accomplished by researching the app you’re interested in, but you’ll want to look at the reviews as well.
The pros include:
- Adjustable to your individual cycle
- More trustworthy than most other types of contraception
- No chemicals or hormones, completely natural
- FDA approved
- Allows for additional notes and tracking
There are also a few cons to the app:
- Requires the use of a thermometer daily
- Must enter information
- Expensive for what it is
To be honest, there aren’t many downsides to the device, but it is certainly high priced. This price makes sense, however, when you consider that it is often used in a professional healthcare setting.
What People Are Saying About Natural Cycles
The Natural Cycles app is being used by a number of people, and many of them are quite pleased with it.
Tiffany says, “It’s been great so far! I’m new to Natural Cycles. After having had the worst experience with hormonal contraception, I wanted to give this a try. I’ve found it to be extremely informative and I can not only track my cycle but also how I feel and add notes for each day on other things I want to keep track of, like stress levels, diet, and exercise, etc.”
Nancy pointed out that she found a minor flaw, “I’m generally really happy with this app. Only one issue recently is that I missed a period last month because of stress and the app didn’t register this.”
According to nyahplay, she avoided a pregnancy by using the app. “When I switched to Natural Cycles, my boyfriend complained that I should just stay with a free service and not pay to add my temperature, especially since I’ve never had more than 5 day’s variation in my cycle in 16 years. This month I got sick just before ovulation and my temperature showed that ovulation was delayed by a week. I was skeptical at first since it also said my period would be delayed by a week, but I took precautions and my period started right when the algorithm said it would.”
Alternatives to Natural Cycles
Natural Cycles is certainly not the only fertility app on the market, so do your research before choosing it or any other app.
One very popular option is Clue, which was developed by women. It’s designed to keep track of all your menstrual cycle information and provides scientific information on fertility and pregnancy, among other things. It doesn’t require a temperature recording, so it’s easier to use. The app is free.
The Flo Period Tracker is another option for those wishing to track their fertile days. It is also designed to help you throughout your pregnancy if you choose to use it for conception instead of contraception. There are plenty of scientific articles included to give you extra information, all compiled by medical experts.
Glow also has a high rating and allows you to track everything from moods to symptoms so you know exactly when you are ovulating. Like Flo, it can be used throughout your pregnancy and for the postpartum period too. This is particularly useful for irregular cycles if you stay on top of entering the data. Glow is also free.
As you can see, there are quite a few alternatives to Natural Cycles, and many don’t require taking your basal temperature each morning. Depending on how much work you’re willing to put into your contraception, there may be a better choice for you on the market.
Natural Cycles is a popular and renowned app that has a great rating. However, it is pricey and does pretty much the same thing as cheaper or free fertility apps. The fact that it is specifically geared toward contraception does make the app stand out, but it is still not necessarily the best option available. Do your research before choosing it.