Anyone tried Natural Cycles?

posted 9 months ago in Pregnancy
Post # 2
Member
279 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2017

Hey Bee, I started with it only a month ago – exactly the same situation as yours re the pill! So far it’s amazing. It makes tracking so easy and feels scientific enough to give you peace of mind. I’ve only been using it for 2 cycles so can’t speak authoritatively as to its reliability, but happy to answer any specific questions you might have.

Post # 3
Member
2121 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: July 2011

Hi. I’ve been using it since the birth of my son. I was breastfeeding so could use many hormonal birth control methods and we didn’t plan to wait too long to try for baby #2. My son is a year old now (my cycles returned at 6 weeks) and I’m not pregnant.

ive Just switched it to trying to get pregnant mode as we are TTC but it’s been very effective and easy to use. 

Post # 5
Member
279 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2017

I felt exactly the same – for years I loved the convenience of the pill, even though I had some side effects and then one day I realised it actually feels pretty unnatural and I had no idea what my “health” was like without the artificial regulation of my cycle. So for me it felt like the right time to see what life was like without it, and I was curious about the fertility awareness method, and my life was lower stress than before so if my body freaked out becaus of the change it would be an okay time to deal with it. I was pretty terrified tbh, I heard horror stories of years of acne, unbearable pain etc… 

For me personally, it was the best decision ever! I’m not someone pushing a “natural” lifestyle on anyone and everyone is different but for me it has been such a positive experience. I have had no “negative” side effects, except that my hair was greasier than normal for the first month. It was definitely something I could live with. Other than that I have only experienced benefits or things have stayed the same. To name a few: my skin and weight has stayed the same, but my mood has improved so much – way less anxiety and moodiness than before. My mind feels clearer somehow, not sure how to explain. I have slightly less cravings. Pms has mostly stayed the same and there has been no significant increase in pain, flow or duration of my period. My cycles thus far have been fairly regular and predictable. I feel more in touch with my body. I have had less issues with UTIs than before. 

I can’t stress enough that obviously eneryone’s experience will be different but I just want to say that it’s normal to be scared! Despite the (very real) fear – it is something that can turn out well. Be sure to discuss it with your Doc and be prepared for an adjustment phase, but it’s worth a shot IMO. 

I’ll definitely keep you updated on the app, so far so good. Nothing even close to a “scare”, and it is not an effort at all. It just depends on how busy you are. In my old job, where I slept very little and very unpredictable hours, it might have been more difficult to be diligent. However, now I like the extra iformation on my health, and since I might also be TTC next year, I’m really enjoying learning more about my body and fertility. When I first heard of “natural family planning” I thought it was very old fashioned and almost degrading to women (sorry, it was a very ignorant opinion for sure!) but now I feel really empowered by it. Go figure.

Post # 7
Member
1530 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2017

It wasn’t something I wanted to spend money on (I believe there’s a monthly fee). So I just started charting/temping on Fertility Friend (free app) and we use protection when I’m ovulating. Seems to be the same idea as natural cycles but doesn’t cost anything (besides the initial cost of buying the BBT thermometer)

Post # 8
Member
141 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: May 2018

Hi Bee!

 

Yes! I love Natural Cycles. I was on the pill on and off since I was 15 and to be honest, it was an adjustment going off the pill. The first month I was excruciatingly anxious, but now, about 3 months later I am totally myself (I still get anxiety sometimes but who doesn’t?) I also am learning so much more about my body in general. BC was masking some issues that I had and with the wedding and TTC coming up, I wanted to get myself off hormones to cleanse myself and resolve any ovulation issues I was having prior to bc with proper diet, exercise, etc.

 

Natural Cycles helps you realize if you are ovulating or not and can help you get to know yourself! I’m glad I started now a few months prior to my wedding and not after where my hormones would be a whirlwind. I’ve even helped my friend get herself off BC (she has severe PCOS and hormonal issues) and now she is realizing that maybe her body is having trouble ovulating! 

 

As far as preventing pregnancy goes, if you have self-control (with condoms, etc) you should be totally fine. FH and I just use the withdrawal method right now on red days which isn’t the safest, but we are 2 months from the wedding so if an accident should happen, it happens. No biggie! I recommend it mostly for couples in our stages of life, and not in early 20s, teenage years, etc. 

Post # 9
Member
1755 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: March 2017

 I use fertility friend but also used Natural cycles for a while. I like them both. We are definitely trying our hardest NOT to get pregnant….we’ve used it since March & only had one scare but we are actively using condoms too (scare was when condom tore!). The only time we don’t is if I’m on my period or right after it because my cycles are longer and I ovulate later than earlier. I think natural family planning really works well if you know your body and if your cycles are pretty regular. I’ve always had ovulation pains & the ovulation fluid (TMI! sorry) so that helps if you have clear symptoms. I would get off BC, take a few months to get to know your cycles if you don’t already & use protection in the mean time.

Post # 11
Member
279 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2017

laura0707 :  happy to share my experience! 🙂 I just wanted to add that my Darling Husband and I are both in scientific fields and we were both worried and sceptical of natural family planning and the potential risk of falling pregnant before we were ready. The studies backing up fertility awareness and tracking seem really sound, and we did tons of our own research before we decided. We are careful, we use condoms DILIGENTLY on “red days” and we do not take any chances at all – when in any doubt, we rather play it safe. I’m just saying this to emphasize that it’s probably “good” (responsible) to be a bit “scared” so that you don’t take any unnecessary risks. I think statistics that show natural planning success at only around 80% include people  who just use the rhythm method and withdrawal. The success rate for preventing pregnancy with the sympto-thermal method, when done correctly is much higher – I read somewhere that it was equal to that of the statistics for “perfect use” of the pill! Also, definitely include your Darling Husband in the process – it has been empowering for my H to feel part of our family planning and to share in the contraceptive responsibilities. It’s really been great for us, but I can see how it can have downsides if you’re very busy for example. Good luck with your decision, Bee! 

Post # 12
Member
2121 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: July 2011

<u>laura0707 :</u>  It has been really good for us. Though I think in the interests of full disclosure I should say that it took me 2.5 years to get pregnant with my son and we were diagnosed with unexplained infertility. Until recently I have also been breastfeeding, which is not a contraceptive as such but can reduce fertility.

That said, we have not even had an scare in this time as we are very careful to use condoms on red days. Plus we have a 13 month old who is great contraception – too knackered to do anything lol.

I’d also recommend reading The Period Repair Manual. It is full of great information of various period issues such as PCOS, endometrosis, light / heavy periods, irregular periods etc. It changed my life reading that book.

Post # 14
Member
7167 posts
Busy Beekeeper

I’m not sure what “natural cycles” is, but I’ve been using Fertility Friend/temping while TTC and have decided we’ll be using the same in the future when trying to abstain. I really hated being on birth control as it killed my sex drive, and have decided I’ll never go on the pill again. I think for people with regular cycles who are committed to temping and monitoring their cycles closely, this is just as effective as any other type of BC. If I didn’t have regular cycles I probably wouldn’t trust it though.

Post # 15
Member
474 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

One of DH’s cousins is a pharmacist, but with a very natural focus, and she swears by it.  I don’t have any experience with it myself, but I would be inclined to trust it.

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