One Year on Natural Birth Control: Lexi’s Story
This March marks one year of being a Natural Cycles user, which for me also means one year of being off hormonal birth control. This past year has been life-changing for me in so many ways and at this point, I can’t ever imagine not being a Natural Cycles user! To start off I wanted to share a little bit about my past birth control experience…
Disclaimer: This is one Natural Cycles user’s experience coming off hormonal birth control. Everyone's experience is different and we encourage you to talk to your healthcare provider when considering switching birth control.
Prior to Natural Cycles, I had a ten-year-long relationship with the birth control pill. I was on about five or more different pills (I lost track) before I found one that worked for me. The pill I was on not only relieved my period cramps but also helped keep my hormonal acne at bay.
Besides going through the trouble of finding a pill that worked for me, my overall experience with the birth control pill was great! After about five years of being on the pill, I ended up transitioning to a vegan lifestyle.
This is when I started to question just about everything that was going into my body, including the pill. At that point, I knew I no longer wanted to be on the pill or hormonal birth control of any kind. The only problem I had was that I didn’t know of any hormone-free, non-invasive birth control methods out there, so I ended up staying on the pill simply because it was what was easiest at the time.
Facing my fears
Fast forward 5 years, I ended up coming across Natural Cycles' Instagram page. I started looking through all their informational content and was immediately drawn to it all. Somehow I learned more about my body through their Instagram page than I had in my entire life.
A couple facts that stood out to me the most were that I couldn’t get pregnant every day of my cycle only during my fertile window (this was a big WOW moment for me!), and that the “period” I was experiencing on the pill wasn’t an actual period, it was called withdrawal bleeding.
This led to me asking myself, “Wait so I don’t even ovulate on the pill? That’s how it works?”. It then occurred to me that even though I had spent an entire decade on the birth control pill, I had no idea how it had worked up until that point.
Regardless of learning this information, there was still a lot of fear built up within me that ultimately held me back from trying out Natural Cycles right away. Some of my fears being: What if I get pregnant? What if I measure wrong? Is my partner going to be okay with all of this? Will my hormonal acne reappear?
There was a lot going through my mind but after talking to my partner about it (he was very supportive) and learning about the effectiveness of Natural Cycles, I decided that I would try it out. (Natural Cycles is 98% effective with perfect use and 93% effective with typical use.)
Starting my Natural Cycles journey
Once I finished the rest of my active birth control pills and received my thermometer, my Natural Cycles journey truly began. I will be honest, the first few months post-pill were tough for me. I was emotional, exhausted, bloated, and gassy. It was kind of like living two months of non-stop PMS!
Throughout the beginning of my journey, I constantly kept reminding myself to have patience, to rest, and to show my body the love and compassion it deserved. My hormonal acne also made a reappearance which I fully expected but, in a way, it was healing for me because it helped me realize that I am so much more than my physical appearance. What was more important to me was that I was off the pill, my body was healing, and I was finally on birth control that truly resonated with me.
To my surprise, my body got back into the swing of things fairly quickly! My first detected ovulation happened towards the end of my second month and, after that, I continuously ovulated each month. Although the length of my cycles were highly irregular to start, as time went on they eventually became regular.
For the first 6 months, I had mostly red days (fertile days) with about a week or two of green days (not fertile days). Now I have anywhere between 60-70% green days every cycle (which is very exciting)!
A reminder: this is just my personal journey and yours may have similarities or differences which is perfectly okay! I only mention this because I know it can be easy to compare our own journey to someone else’s and maybe even get frustrated with it. Just remember, every single body is unique in its own way and, in the end, your journey is your own and no one else's!
This magical body of mine
To me Natural Cycles is not just hormone-free birth control, it is also one of the greatest tools I’ve come across to help me learn about my body. In addition to adding your basal body temperature daily, you can also choose to keep track of your mood, cervical mucus, sex drive, any pain you are experiencing, your skin, and when you have PMS. I highly recommend taking full advantage of all these trackers at the beginning of your journey like I did! Ultimately they are what helped me the most with getting to know my body throughout my cycle. Never did I imagine I would be as in tune with my body as I am now!
What has made my journey even better is that I’ve met some amazing women and even formed friendships through the Natural Cycles community. I encourage you to reach out to anyone offering help in the Natural Cycles community (like myself!) and don’t be afraid to ask questions.
I have realized that a lot of us share the same concerns and fears but it can be helpful and comforting to see someone like myself who is thriving on Natural Cycles!
Reflecting on the past year as a Natural Cycles user, I honestly can’t put into words how grateful I am that I decided to embark on this journey. Every single step of my Natural Cycles journey has been worth it for me, all the fears, the acne, and the post-pill side effects, because ultimately each led me to where I am now.
If you had told me five years ago that I would be on a hormone-free birth control that would teach me about this magical body of mine, while also helping a confidence within me grow, I would have thought you were crazy! Yet here I am now, thriving, confident, and connected to all that I am.
If you’d like to try Natural Cycles for yourself, you can get 20% off plus a free thermometer through my personal referral link.
A huge thank you to Lexi for sharing her personal experience of one year on natural birth control. Natural Cycles is the first FDA cleared birth control app, it’s 100% hormone-free and non-invasive. Why not find out if it could work for you today?