I honestly didn’t realise there was such a thing as a female in a relationship not being on the pill until a colleague asked the females in the office if they tracked their periods with an app.
I quietly ducked away from the conversation confused as to why that would ever be an issue anyway. I’d been on the pill for five years and I knew exactly when my period was coming every month and how long it would last for. Still, I was curious.
I went away and started looking at these apps, and they seemed interesting. I contemplated using one but thought it was a little pointless. Then I stumbled upon the Natural Cycles app. I started reading all about it. An approved form of contraception that involved no hormones, just tracking your temperature and periods on an app. At the time, I’d been suffering with my mental health for a while – I knew full well that the pill could contribute to that so I decided I didn’t have anything to lose.
I found a referral code online for Natural Cycles and I signed up for an annual membership. Included in this price was a basal thermometer which arrived in the post after a couple of days. The basal thermometer tracks your temperature to two decimals, and this is what you need when tracking your fertility in this way – a normal thermometer won’t do as the temperature changes in your body are so subtle.
I started tracking at the end of January. When I set up the app it asked me a few questions like whether I’d recently stopped taking hormonal contraception and on what day did I stop, I found this handy as it then took this into account, as I knew my periods might not return for a while. It also asks you if you’re planning a pregnancy, or preventing one – I was (and am!) preventing.
Then I started taking my temperature religiously every morning. You have to take your temperature as soon as you wake up, I leave my thermometer on top of my phone and in the morning I roll over and put it in my mouth. You can’t get up for the toilet or move too much or even lie awake, as you need to take the temperature at your most relaxed point. Sometimes I stir about an hour before my alarm and I just take it then, put it down and then fall back to sleep. Handily, it remembers your last temperature reading so I just check it when I wake up and input it into the app.
I’ve now been tracking on the Natural Cycles app for three cycles. It’s been brilliant. So far, I’ve had no problems and it’s accurately tracked when my period would begin so I know when to expect it. Not only that, but I’m a different person off the pill.
The pill is marketed that aggressively as practically the only option for preventing pregnancy a woman has available to her that you’re basically forced onto it with little regard for the side effects. Once I came off it, I realised I was like a zombie on it. Grumpy, snappy and short tempered, I was ridiculously anxious and when I came off it I felt like a layer between me and the rest of the world had been removed. I even Googled the phrase ‘feel like a different person after coming off the pill’ and found hundreds of stories from woman who had experienced the same thing.
Using the Natural Cycles app has been amazing for me and my mental health. I would 100% recommend it to anyone on the verge of quitting traditional hormonal contraception. If it’s something you think you may be interested in – please feel free to use my referral link to get 10% off.
What different forms of contraception have you tried?
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