Natural Cycles Birth Control Application: Does It Work?

There’s an app for just about everything these days, so it’s no surprise to learn that there is an app for birth control: Natural Cycles.

What is perhaps more surprising, however, is that Natural Cycles was the first app-based birth control. erased by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

According to Natural Cycles, being licensed means it is a legitimate medical device for contraceptive use.

So what is Natural Cycles and how well does it work in preventing pregnancy? We have the details for you here.

Read on to learn more about Natural Cycles, how it works, how well it works, customer reviews, prices, and more.

This app is considered an alternative form of birth control for those looking to avoid methods, such as:

Using an algorithm based on daily basal body temperature and menstrual cycle information, Natural Cycles attempts to predict which days a person is fertile.

This type of monitoring is called fertility awareness.

Fertility awareness is of course not a new strategy for planning (or avoiding) births.

Knowing which days you are most fertile can help you avoid or plan for pregnancies by abstaining or engaging in unprotected sex with the penis in the vagina.

Usually, the windows of fertility are a few days before or during ovulation.

The Natural Cycles app makes it easier to monitor the fertility awareness strategy because it is digital and takes into account a range of information.

Overall, it’s probably best to think of the app as a useful tool – if used consistently – to help predict fertile days, rather than a foolproof method to prevent pregnancy. It is, after all, about trying to predict fertile days, not confirming them.

Natural Cycles works by analyzing your basal temperature readings, along with your menstrual cycle information, to tell you which days you are most likely to be fertile and which days you are least likely to be fertile.

According to research, basal temperature, the type of temperature taken after resting, is useful in detecting ovulation.

Of course, certain factors can disturb this measurement system. That’s why frequent temperature readings taken at the same time each morning – perfect use – can help with accuracy.

On the company’s website, the brand states that the Natural Cycles app is 93% effective with typical use and that number increases to 98% with perfect use.

To get started, you need to download (and purchase) the app and select one of the plans:

  • NC Birth Control
  • NC Pregnancy Plan (find fertile days)
  • NC Pregnancy monitoring (pregnancy monitoring)

The app needs your menstrual cycle information before you are ready to start measuring the basal thermometer, so you need to enter that information first.

Once you have your basal thermometer, you can begin your temperature readings. Annual subscribers receive a basal thermometer from the company, while monthly subscribers can purchase theirs at a pharmacy.

Temperature readings should be taken immediately in the morning while you are still in bed, before you even go to the bathroom. You enter your temperature in the app. On days when you may be feeling sick and suspect that your temperature has risen due to illness, you can skip your temperature entry.

The company’s website says that you don’t have to take daily temperature readings, but making a habit of consistent readings most mornings helps the algorithm learn more about your cycle.

From there, Natural Cycles begins studying your data – your temperature readings and menstrual cycle information. This is how the app tells you which days are most likely to be fertile.

Your screen will show either a green message indicating “Not fertile” or a red message indicating “Use protection”, which means that there is a greater chance of pregnancy on this day.

The app can also track other things like PMS, pain, mood swings, and sex drive.

Currently, Natural Cycles has an average rating of 3.8 stars out of 5 on Trustpilot, a third-party review site.

Satisfied reviewers like the app to be a hormone-free method of preventing pregnancy and overall feel like they are learning more about their body using the app.

Less than stellar reviews point to unplanned pregnancies and some issues with billing auto-renewal fees without notice, or other subscription issues.

It’s also worth mentioning that Natural Cycles received negative publicity in 2018 in the UK and Sweden. This happened when 37 users reported unwanted pregnancies after using the app for birth control.

At the time of publication, Natural Cycles offers two plans:

  • annual: $ 89.99
  • monthly: $ 9.99

If you would like to get a feel for Natural Cycles before paying for the service, there is a free demo mode that you can try out by downloading the app.

He is also eligible for the use of the Flexible Spending Account (FSA) and the Health Savings Account (HSA).

There are many free and paid fertility apps on the market.

Natural Cycles is one of the few birth control apps approved for sale by the FDA. And unlike similar apps, it uses information based on your specific data.

For example, some apps predict fertility based on a 28-day cycle, but some people don’t exactly have that menstrual cycle.

Here are some application options similar to Natural Cycles:

  • Flo. Flo is a free app that also tracks information about your period, fertility, and ovulation. It looks like you can record your basal body temperature using the app as well, but this feature isn’t as advertised as with Natural Cycles.
  • Index. Clue is a free period and ovulation tracker (with in-app purchases). You can also record your basal body temperature with this app. Clue has also been approved by the FDA.

If you are looking for other hormone-free birth control options, keep in mind the following traditional birth control methods:

If you have an iPhone, you can download Natural Cycles from the App Store. If you have an Android, you can download Natural Cycles through Google Play.

If you need any accessories for the related services offered by the app, you can buy them from the brand’s website. You can buy basal thermometers at most retailers.

Can Natural Cycles be wrong about ovulation?

It is important to stress that no form of contraception, application-based or otherwise, is 100% effective.

However, the FDA has cleared the Natural Cycles application.

A 2015 study looked at the effectiveness of Natural Cycles in 317 women aged 18 to 39.

The researchers reported that the number of days of false non-fertile predictions was low – just 0.05% – suggesting that the app is a useful hormone-free contraceptive method.

How long does it take for Natural Cycles to work?

You can download the app and immediately enter your menstrual cycle data, followed by your basal temperature readings shortly after.

The company states on its website that it may take 1-3 period cycles for the algorithm to understand your specific cycle information.

Does Natural Cycles Really Work?

In addition to being FDA approved, the app has an overall positive brand reputation online, including its Trustpilot profile.

Some users have reported unplanned pregnancies after using the app. But the company warns that perfect use is the only way to get the most accurate information about your fertility. This means taking consistent readings at the same time each morning.

In general, no form of contraception prevents pregnancy 100%.

While no form of birth control is 100% reliable, emerging technologies, like Natural Cycles and other fertility awareness apps, can be a useful and effective way to prevent pregnancy.

If you decide to use the Natural Cycles app to help you make health decisions, remember that technology can only predict your ovulation days. He cannot guarantee them.

If you want a more traditional form of contraception, consider speaking with a healthcare professional about the range of options available.

About Sandra A. Powell

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