Natural Cycles Birth Control App
Like the calendar method, Natural Cycles is completely hormone-free. However, there are a few important differences. Firstly, Natural Cycles doesn’t work by counting cycle days. Instead users measure their temperature most days, and the Natural Cycles app analyzes this body temperature data and identifies ovulation day. Your body temperature changes throughout your cycle based on whether youre ovulating or not, meaning your temperature can be used to detect ovulation and identify your fertile window.
Unlike the calendar method, Natural Cycles does not require a monitoring period, although the app will likely give you more red days at the start until it gets to know you. With perfect use, Natural Cycles is 98% effective and its 93% effective with typical use.
Natural Cycles, unlike some other birth control methods, doesnt have any side effects and doesnt require a prescription, Its important to be aware that your data can be affected by external factors such as if youre hungover, unwell, stressed, or if youre traveling and your sleep cycles are affected. On your most fertile days , youll either have to abstain from sex or use a backup method of birth control to protect against pregnancy.
Some Not All Methods May Require A Guardians Consent
Depending on the method you want to use, you might need consent from a guardian if youre a minor. Laws on this can vary from state to state, so its important to look up the laws where you live or talk with a local healthcare provider.
For more about where you live, check out our comprehensive state-by-state guide.
Diaphragms & Cervical Caps
You can get your hands on a diaphragm or cervical cap at a pharmacy, drugstore, or health center, but youll need a prescription to get one. There are different sizes of diaphragms so a healthcare professional will need to fit you for one and show you how to use it before you can get started. Diaphragms are covered by insurance and are available for free in the UK on the NHS.
Pros: Insert it any time before you have sex . You can use the same one for a year before it needs to be replaced.
Cons: Requires fitting. Requires a prescription. Does not protect against STIs.
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How To Choose The Right Birth Control Method For You
Certain methods of birth control are more effective statistically. However, the best form of birth control is the one that best fits your needs. As this is a decision that can potentially have life-changing consequences, it can help to think through your options ahead of time.
Factors to consider might include:
- Future plans for children.
- Comfort and ease of use.
- Frequency of use.
The Birth Control App
A new player in the contraceptive landscape, the birth control app, Natural Cycles, offers a non-hormonal birth control option for the modern woman. Unlike traditional fertility awareness-based methods, the app is assisted by an algorithm that works to identify ovulation through a rise in basal body temperature which happens after ovulation.
Natural Cycles requires women to take their temperature first thing in the morning when they wake up, and enter it into the app. The algorithm then learns the unique pattern of their cycle and can find the fertile window and give green days and red days . Natural Cycles is 93% effective with typical use.
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How To Choose The Right Birth Control
Every individual is different and will have unique needs when it comes to figuring out the right birth control approach.
Speaking with your healthcare provider will help you determine what option is right for you.
You should not take any birth control pill if you are pregnant or think you may be pregnant.
Low-dose birth control might not be the right option for those who :
- Experience migraines with aura
- Presently have, or have had, breast cancer in the past
- Have a family history of stroke, heart disease, or blood clots
- Have a history of elevated blood pressure or hypertension
However, there are sometimes exceptions to these categories.
If you are in one of these groups and are interested in low dose oral contraceptives, schedule an appointment with your healthcare provider to see if low-dose birth control is a safe option for you.
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What Does Nonhormonal Birth Control Mean
Nonhormonal birth control is any contraceptive method that doesnt alter your bodys natural hormones. Instead, it uses other strategies to prevent a pregnancy.
Barrier methods are among the most common types of nonhormonal birth control. They work by blocking the sperm from reaching the uterus. Barrier methods include:
- copper intrauterine devices
Some people use behavioral changes as a type of nonhormonal birth control. This includes things like:
- pull-out method, or withdrawal
You can often use more than one type of nonhormonal birth control at the same time to further reduce your risk of a pregnancy.
If youre looking for a permanent way to prevent a pregnancy, you can also consider surgery, such as a vasectomy or abdominal, laparoscopic, or hysteroscopic sterilization.
No matter which option you choose, there are risks and benefits involved. Some methods can be more effective than others, while certain types can cause unwanted side effects. You may also need a prescription for some types of nonhormonal birth control.
Connect with a doctor to discuss the pros and cons of various types of birth control.
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My Top 10 Favorite Low Hormone Birth Control Options And Why
One of the most important things for paleo women to consider is what we are going to do about birth control.
Should you take hormonal birth control? Is it really all that good? Bad? What happens to you when youre on it? Of course, non-hormonal would be ideal for any woman who prioritizes having a natural menstrual cycle. Unfortunately, natural options are really not as abundant as they should be. Check out my top picks for low dose birth control options.
1) condoms and other prophylactics
2) pulling out
3) fertility awareness
4) the copper IUD
This last one is pretty powerfuland popularbut it carries a modest risk of copper toxicity with it and may exacerbate bleeding and cramps during your cycle. The copper IUD also costs a pretty penny somewhere in the neighborhood of $500-$1000.
So, hormonal alternatives seem like a reasonable choice to many women. And they are. Side effects are often minimal , and many women are completely happy on the birth control pill.
One way to give yourself the best chance of this happening is to go on a low dose birth control option.
There are more than 60 varieties of the birth control pill available today, and every one of them is different. The dosages for the least impactful birth control pills are classified as: ultra-low dose and low dose.
- May cause water retention
What Is Non Hormonal Birth Control
Essentially, non hormonal birth control is just what it sounds like: birth control that doesnt affect your reproductive hormones, which are your bodys chemical messengers. Hormones influence everything from mood to reproduction and sexual function, and with so much riding on them, you can see why some people want to choose a form of contraception that doesnt interfere with all that.
Non hormonal contraceptives enable a person to prevent pregnancy in a variety of different ways, but they all manage to do it without affecting cervical mucus production, thinning out the endometrium, or preventing ovulation , explains Dr. Arumala, adding that these are the typical ways hormonal birth control methods work.
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Benefits Of Nonhormonal Birth Control
Whether youre on the pill, have a patch, or use a ring, hormonal birth control can be a total drag. It can cause annoying-AF side effects like bleeding between periods, boob pain, headaches, mood changes, and nausea.
Theres also a small chance that it could increase your risk of heart attacks, blood clots, or strokes.
You may want to opt for a nonhormonal method if you:
- have trouble remembering to take a pill every day
- dont want to change your bodys natural cycle
- experience bad side effects from hormonal birth control
- have certain health conditions like severe hypertension, heart disease, vascular disease, certain liver diseases, or migraine with aura
- Effectiveness: 99%
A copper IUD is a T-shaped piece of plastic thats wrapped in copper. A doctor inserts the device into your uterus through your cervix. Its more than 99 percent effective and gets to work right away. The copper is toxic to sperm, so it helps prevent fertilization. It can also prevent a fertilized egg from attaching to the uterine wall.
A copper IUD is a great choice if you want long-term protection it can last up to 10 years! It can also be used as emergency contraception for up to 5 days after you have sex without a condom or other barrier.
One downside is that insertion can be uncomfortable. Discomfort can range from a slight sting to WHY IS THERE A WASP IN MY VAGINA? But the entire procedure usually takes just 5 to 15 minutes.
- Effectiveness: 8598%
If Youre A Caregiver For A Teen
If youre an adult helping a teen choose contraception, there are a couple points to remember:
- Respect their autonomy. Remember that their decision to use birth control or engage in sexual activity is theirs.
- Keep an open line of communication. Let them know that theyre able to approach you with questions if they need to.
- Respect their privacy. They might not be comfortable discussing sex and birth control in detail. Be prepared to direct them to a doctor, clinic, or online resources if they have questions they dont want to ask you.
Interested in learning more? Planned Parenthoods website has a range of useful posts and explainers.
You can also check out the following Healthline articles:
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Choosing A Non Hormonal Birth Control Option: Which One Is Right For You
OK, so now that you know all the options, what next? Choosing the right non hormonal birth control is entirely personal, and only you can decide what will suit your body and lifestyle best. However, some questions you might want to ask yourself before choosing are:
- Do I want a long-term contraceptive solution?
- Am I willing to have medical procedures?
- Am I disciplined enough to track my cycle monthly?
- Am I happy to apply this method every time I have sex?
If youre still unsure, book an appointment with your health care provider to discuss it further. Not only can they talk through options, but theyll also be able to speak to you about your personal preferences.
Switching contraception is a big decision and something you want to be sure will benefit you before you make the change. While we hope weve been able to give you some helpful information, really only you and your doctor can know whats right for you.
Where Do You Get A Diaphragm
You need a prescription to get one, so see your doctor or other health care professional. A traditional diaphragm requires fitting the Caya, a newer type, is a one-size-fits-most .
Youâll have to replace it at least every 2 years or more often if your diaphragm gets damaged. You may need a different size if you get pregnant, have pelvic surgery, or gain or lose more than 15 pounds.
Which Birth Control Works Best
People often have a misconception that all birth control methods are the same in terms of protection. But thats not true. Some work better than others, Dr. Stanwood says. I tell patients that, aside from permanent sterilization , what gives the most protection is an intrauterine device or the arm implant, both of which have a less than 1% risk of pregnancy in a year.
An IUD is a small, soft, flexible piece of plastic shaped like a “T”it is inserted into your uterus, via your cervix, by your doctor. There are several brands , all of which release the hormone progestin, which changes the cervix and uterus to prevent sperm from getting through to an egg. These hormonal IUDs protect against pregnancy for three to seven years, depending on which one a woman chooses. Another type of IUD is hormone-free and instead uses a copper coil, which also changes the cervix and uterus to prevent sperm from getting through to an egg, and it can be used for up to 12 years.
The arm implant, sold under the brand Nexplanon, is a rod about the size of a matchstick that is inserted under the skin of your upper, inner arm. It releases progestin and prevents pregnancy for up to five years by stopping ovulation and thickening cervical mucus.
When Hormones Arent An Option
According to the Nature commentary, about one-third of women globally discontinue hormonal birth control methods within the first year of taking them, often because of side effects.
That was the case for Lenise Sunny Wilson, who attributes severe depression to the birth control pills she had been taking.
It completely changed who I was as a person, said Wilson, 38, of Tucson, Arizona. It messed with my emotions and my mental health so intensely.
Wilson has since stopped taking the pill and, for the most part, she said, has returned to her sunny self.
Some women, including those with certain cancers and heart conditions, cant take hormonal birth control. Erica Twidle, 33, from Gallatin, Tennessee, was diagnosed with a rare heart condition called peripartum cardiomyopathy while pregnant with her daughter, Della. The condition made Twidles heart weak and enlarged, and although she eventually recovered, Twidles doctors told her she shouldnt take hormonal birth control, or get pregnant, ever again. Both would jeopardize her heart.
Twidle, whod had a bad experience with the copper IUD in the past, decided to track her cycle. But nine months after having Della, she was pregnant again. I cried when I found out, she said. I was terrified. I had a child I needed to stay alive for.
Twidle calls herself one of the lucky ones, since her heart stayed strong enough to support pregnancy. But had things taken a turn, Twidle was prepared to get an abortion to stay alive.
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The Most Popular Method: Contraceptive Pills
Oral contraceptive pills are a very popular birth control method. You can use the minipill or the combination pill .
There are some potential drawbacks. First, you have to take them every single day around the same time in order for them to be effective.
Second, some people experience side effects, like acne or breast tenderness, while others find unexpected perks, like lighter periods, less acne, and a more regulated mood.
Diaphragms And Cervical Caps
A diaphragm is essentially a shallow, bendable cup that sits in your cervix, kind of like a menstrual cup. Diaphragms arent condoms, so they dont prevent STIs, but when used correctly, they do prevent sperm from reaching an egg. Cervical caps work in a similar fashion.
Pros: At 88 percent, diaphragms are more effective than condoms.
Cons: According to Planned Parenthood, for greatest protection, diaphragms should be used with a spermicide more on this below.
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Can Birth Control Cause Weight Gain
Patients often tell me that they think all birth control causes weight gain, but there is only one method, the progestin hormonal injection given every three months, that is linked to weight gain, Dr. Stanwood says. Thats not to say women arent gaining weight. Most American women naturally gain about 2 pounds every year, but its not the pill or intrauterine devices causing it.
Sold under the brand name Depo-Provera, the birth control injection contains progestin and suppresses ovulation so that you dont release an egg each month and therefore cant get pregnant. One study showed that, over one year, women who used Depo-Provera gained five pounds more than those using a copper IUD. The reason Depo-Provera can cause weight gain, Dr. Stanwood explains, is that it can activate signals in the brain that control hunger.
Considering Nonhormonal Birth Control A Breakdown Of Your Best Options
It’s no secret that shifting hormone levels can affect everything from your mood to your menstrual cycle. And if you’re a smoker or have high blood pressure, hormonal forms of birth control can increase your risk of stroke. Add it all together and for many women, the choice of contraceptive hinges on whether they want hormonal or nonhormonal birth control.
“We often use hormonal forms of birth control to manage premenstrual syndrome, cramps and heavy bleeding,” says Katelyn Hartung, D.O., an obstetrician and gynecologist at Henry Ford Health. “The women who are seeking nonhormonal forms of birth control generally don’t have a lot of complaints about their periods and they don’t want to disrupt their natural hormone levels.”
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At A Glance: The Combined Pill
- When taken correctly, the pill is over 99% effective at preventing pregnancy. This means that fewer than 1 in 100 who use the combined pill as contraception will get pregnant in 1 year.
- The standard way to take the pill is to take 1 every day for 21 days, then have a break for 7 days, and during this week you have a bleed like a period. You start taking the pill again after 7 days.
- You may be able to take some types of pill with no or shorter breaks , which may reduce some side effects. Speak to a doctor or nurse about your options.
- You need to take the pill at around the same time every day. You could get pregnant if you do not do this, or if you miss a pill, or vomit or have severe diarrhoea.
- Some medicines may make the pill less effective. Check with your doctor if youre taking any other tablets.
- If you have heavy periods or painful periods, PMS or endometriosis the combined pill may help.
- Minor side effects include mood swings, nausea, breast tenderness and headaches these usually settle down in a few months.
- There is no evidence that the pill will make you gain weight.
- Theres a very low risk of serious side effects, such as blood clots and cervical cancer.
- The combined pill is not suitable if you are over 35 and smoke, or if you have certain medical conditions.
- The pill does not protect against sexually transmitted infections , so use a condom as well.
- There may be a link between the pill and depression but evidence is mixed and further research is needed.