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Natural Cycles - Contraception Method

  • 02-11-2017 3:13pm
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 641 ✭✭✭ Mackleton


    Hi ladies,
    Doing a bit of research into alternative contraception methods at the moment.
    After many years on the pill, I am starting to get a bit fed up of hormonal methods, and I recently came across an article about something called Natural Cycle which looks like an interesting alternative.
    It's based on the concept of basal temperature monitoring to gauge fertile days, but pulls through other variants such as "sperm survival, temperature fluctuations and cycle irregularities"  #science :)
    Natural Cycles
    This really intrigues me, as clearly this method has come on a lot recently (I always felt that method was a bit hit or miss), and obviously its a very non-intrusive method of contraception.
    Has anyone tried this particular product, or used this method for years? I'd be really keen to hear people's experience.
    Adding a poll to see what the general opinion/uptake of this method is like.
    Thanks all!

    Do you use basal temperature to gauge fertility and protect against pregnancy? 42 votes

    Yes - I have done for years with no issues
    7% 3 votes
    No never - I wouldn't risk it
    14% 6 votes
    Yes - I have recently started using this method
    71% 30 votes
    No - but I would be interested in trying it
    7% 3 votes


Comments

  • Closed Accounts Posts: 9,057 ✭✭✭ .......


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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 21,742 ✭✭✭✭ Persepoly


    I too would prefer to not take hormonal contraception OP but not in a million years would I trust any kind of natural method such as monitoring my cycle. The way I see it is I continue with my pill or I have a baby. I'll take my chances with the hormones.


  • Moderators, Regional Abroad Moderators Posts: 26,928 Mod ✭✭✭✭ rainbow kirby


    I don't plan to go back to hormonal contraception after this baby, but I'll be going for a copper IUD rather than taking my chances with this sort of cycle tracking. I don't think any sort of tracking can truly handle the variance that can go on with anyone's menstrual cycle - mine was never in any way regular until after my first baby.


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,691 ✭✭✭ Lia_lia


    Not great if you work shifts/don't get a normal nights sleep as it works best when you take your temperature at around about the same time every morning.

    I think it's a good option if it wouldn't be the end of the world if you got accidentally pregnant. I do think fertility awareness methods work if you do it properly. And of course as long as you have a normal cycle. Still wouldn't trust it as much as the pill though! A bit more work than taking a tablet everyday. Personally I get no side effects from the pill though.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,323 ✭✭✭ Roesy


    I used fertility awareness as a method of contraception before having my kids. That said, I only used it when I was in a situation where a pregnancy wouldn’t have been a problem. I’ve got three kids now, all planned pregnancies. My family is complete so I’m going to discuss a different form of contraception today. I’d rather not use something hormonal but given the issues I’m having with my cycle since having the kids I’d say something like the coil or the pill will be suggested.


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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 4,362 ✭✭✭ Lorelli!


    I would love to try something like The Natural Cycle but I don't think I'd trust it enough to feel content.

    I dont know i suppose it might be worth a try. I am going to look into alternatives because Ive always hated taking my pill. Ive tried different ones and have had no major side effects, except with one pill I got very bad nausea the minute i swallowed it. I don't think I've ever been truly happy with any of them though. Plus I have a bit of a pill aversion.


  • Registered Users Posts: 166,033 ✭✭✭✭ LegacyUser


    Going unregistered because I don't have a boards account.

    Tracking cycles and charting is pretty dominantly used by those who wish to get pregnant, however according to what I read online it can be used as a form of contraception.

    I'm 35 and in a relatively new relationship for the past few months. Before then I didn't need contraception because I wasn't having sex. Due to my age, I'm wary of going on contraception in case we would like a baby in the next year or two or three.

    My cycles are regular. Not only that, mid way in the cycle I suffer pms style symptoms with tummy cramps and nausea which I take as ovulation signs. There are times when I even feel a pulsating sensation in my side. I take this as ovulation. I use an ovulation calculater app and I find it spot on. In the days leading up to ovulation, condoms are used or the pull out method or refraining. So far so good for the past few months with no pregnancy but I did have one scare but in the end my period was just late. It works out well for me. I don't take my temperatures during my cycle but I might start with that just for extra protection-confirmation of ovulation.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 12,451 ✭✭✭✭ pwurple


    Irregular cycle here, i have used this for 6 years successfully. I used to temp, but eventually you get to know your own body so well the temping stops. I use Fertility Friend app now, mark up my signs in that. It’s actually very handy for irregular cycles, because the part that is irregular is usually ovulation. Once that happens, menstruation is like clockwork afterwards.


    Used it to plan conception for our youngst child too. I find it very empowering to have that knowledge about my own body tbh. I went from not knowing what the heck was happening, and always being a bit wary that i could be caught out, to knowing what is going on each day. Normal for you regular gals maybe, but pretty novel for me.

    The pill didn’t work for me. Tried three of them, just wasn’t able to manage taking them at the same time, ended up bleeding for weeks, no libido at all.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 9,057 ✭✭✭ .......


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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 12,451 ✭✭✭✭ pwurple


    The one I use is Fertility Friend Monitor.

    Free, online tool with app for android and apple. It doesn’t give “go” days, it is for conception... so marks green days as the ones you can get pregnant on. I just use it the opposite way obviously.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 4,685 ✭✭✭ mahamageehad


    I'd consider giving this a go when my current IUD is finished coz at that stage it probo wouldn't be the worst thing in the world if it failed. However, that said, it does sound like more work than most other methods, and I find hormonal contraception also makes my periods less painful so that'd be a factor too. I've also been using the Clue app for the last few months (massive shout out to whoever here recommended that) so I can see that my cycle is completely irregular, but that could also be influenced by the coil so who knows?

    So, I'd be open to giving it a try, but likely not anytime soon.


  • Registered Users Posts: 774 FurBabyMomma


    I'm using the Natural Cycles app since August. It uses an algorithm to figure out your ovulation and work out red/green days. To be on the safe side, you get loads of red days at the start and they gradually decrease, which is annoying but I understand why. To increase accuracy you're supposed to take LH tests on certain days too, which I didn't realise before I bought the app. I'm happy enough so far though as the pill makes me nuts.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 9,057 ✭✭✭ .......


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  • Registered Users Posts: 774 FurBabyMomma


    ....... wrote: »
    Whats an LH test?

    How much is the app?

    It's an ovulation test. The app still works without it so I haven't done one but I'd say you'd get less red days quicker if you did as it would be able to confirm the app's prediction. I may pick up some in the future.

    I paid 65 for a year's subscription and that included the thermometer.


  • Registered Users Posts: 774 FurBabyMomma


    The app is really clever actually. You're supposed to enter of you're sick or hungover as it may effect your reading. Last week I was a bit chesty but didn't think I was 'sick' enough for enter that. But turns out the app saw something wrong in my chart so I suddenly ended up with more red days as it hadn't pinpointed my ovulation.

    I must remember to come back and tell ye if I get pregnant before my subscription renewal next August :D


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 9,057 ✭✭✭ .......


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  • Registered Users Posts: 774 FurBabyMomma


    ....... wrote: »
    This post has been deleted.

    Yes, I think it's the ideal way to confirm that the app is doing its job but I was just surprised as I didn't realise that was part and parcel of it. Like I said, I've been doing without it, but given over half the month was red this month due to my sickness mess up, it's probably worth doing it to get more green days.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 12,451 ✭✭✭✭ pwurple


    ....... wrote: »
    This post has been deleted.

    You know, its been tickling the back of my mind since I heard about this app that surely the best way to "test" it would be to use ovulation pee sticks for a while to confirm what you were seeing and I was wondering why that wasnt mentioned anywhere.[/quote]

    Well yes, most of the apps take readings from tests. they also take temperature readings as inputs, and a heap of others. All optional, the more you put in, the better.
    Here's the list on the one I use:
    Temperature reading
    Temperature time
    Cervical fluid consistance
    Menses / spotting
    Sex
    Cervix position
    OPK
    Ferning Microscope
    Specifics (Bloating, backache, breast exam, cramps, dizziness, decreased appetit, fatique high energy, headache, pms, skin breakout etc. there is a long list here to choose from)
    Medications taken
    IVF or trigger
    Weight
    And custom data, where you can add whatever else you might want to track.


  • Registered Users Posts: 641 ✭✭✭ Mackleton


    pwurple wrote: »
    ....... wrote: »
    It's an ovulation test. The app still works without it so I haven't done one but I'd say you'd get less red days quicker if you did as it would be able to confirm the app's prediction. I may pick up some in the future.

    I paid 65 for a year's subscription and that included the thermometer.

    You know, its been tickling the back of my mind since I heard about this app that surely the best way to "test" it would be to use ovulation pee sticks for a while to confirm what you were seeing and I was wondering why that wasnt mentioned anywhere.

    Well yes, most of the apps take readings from tests. they also take temperature readings as inputs, and a heap of others. All optional, the more you put in, the better.
    Here's the list on the one I use:
    Temperature reading
    Temperature time
    Cervical fluid consistance
    Menses / spotting
    Sex
    Cervix position
    OPK
    Ferning Microscope
    Specifics (Bloating, backache, breast exam, cramps, dizziness, decreased appetit, fatique high energy, headache, pms, skin breakout etc. there is a long list here to choose from)
    Medications taken
    IVF or trigger
    Weight
    And custom data, where you can add whatever else you might want to track.
    All of this is why I'm so interested in the Natural Cycles option. Basal temperature monitoring has always seemed a bit woolly to me, hence my skepticism, but Natural Cycles seems to use quite an accurate algorithm, so much so that its the only app based contraception method that has been awarded ISO status, putting it on par with the pill in terms of efficiency with perfect use of course.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 9,057 ✭✭✭ .......


    This post has been deleted.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 774 FurBabyMomma


    Oh, I meant to update here ... Currently 6 months pregnant 😂

    But in fairness, I did slip up. I had unprotected sex on what was my last 'red' day. The algorithm gave the next day as 'green' and given I was still being given a lot of red days at this point to be on the safe side, I was sure it would be fine. However the next day, the app recalibrated and gave me another red day. Still thought I'd be fine, that I'd ovulated days before. Obviously not.

    I should have gone and got the m.a.p. at that stage, but I was more blasé than I would have been in the past given we were planning on having a third child anyway. Bringing it forward a bit wasn't the end of the world in our case and the timing has actually worked out pretty well.

    But moral of the story is don't take ANY chances of you decide to go this route!


  • Registered Users Posts: 161 ✭✭ Sile Na Gig


    I used this method for a number of years...four unplanned kids later my oh got the snip. The hardest thing for us was that the very time that you need to be careful is when you want to have sex most. We’re not very good at self control...


  • Registered Users Posts: 19,802 ✭✭✭✭ suicide_circus


    I used this method for a number of years...four unplanned kids later my oh got the snip.
    Good god almighty :eek:


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,691 ✭✭✭ Lia_lia


    Good god almighty :eek:

    Haha this was my reaction too.

    But it fairness the two posters said they didn’t follow the method properly. So it’s the same as saying you forgot to take your pill every now and then really!


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,810 ✭✭✭ Addle


    pwurple wrote: »
    I find it very empowering to have that knowledge about my own body tbh. I went from not knowing what the heck was happening, and always being a bit wary that i could be caught out, to knowing what is going on each day.
    I think a lot more of this kind of thing should be taught in schools.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 12,451 ✭✭✭✭ pwurple


    My method of contraception is to quit sex. Works very well.

    Not as much fun though!


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