Switching From the Pill to a Birth Control App: Courtney's Story
I decided to go off the hormonal birth control pill in August of 2021. Read on to discover the backstory of my experience of using hormonal contraceptives and how I got to where I am today…
Disclaimer: This is one Natural Cycles user’s experience. Everyone's experience is different and we encourage you to talk to your healthcare provider when considering switching birth control.
My experience using hormonal contraceptives
I first went on the pill at 16 to regulate my periods and my acne. I stayed on that particular pill for about 3 years and then when I was 19 or 20 (I can’t remember now) I decided to try the bar that goes in your arm... Less than a year later I had it removed. I was then put back on another pill and it “worked” for a few years… At 22 I was taken off that pill and put on another one. Fast forward to 24 I decided to go off hormonal contraceptives for good and started using natural birth control!
After my husband Cody and I got married I told him that I wanted to go off the pill because I hated how it made me feel but I was always too scared of not being on it, so I just dealt with the hormonal birth control side effects.
The month we moved to Nashville was the month my yearly prescription ran out, and instead of tracking down a new doctor to write me another prescription, I finally decided to start researching natural ways to prevent pregnancy because I was so tired of feeling bad and struggling with hormonal birth control.
That is when I found Natural Cycles and decided to try it. To be completely honest with you, I was so ill-informed about how the female body worked that I felt like I was taking a huge gamble on whether or not this would be an effective birth control method.
It sounds silly to say, but I would bet that the majority of young women in the US have the same understanding of fertility and contraception. I truly believed that if you weren’t on some form of hormonal birth control your odds of getting pregnant were outrageous.
Basically, I thought that if you weren’t on the pill and stood in the same room with a boy you’d get pregnant. But I was so DONE feeling the way I was feeling that I decided to risk it. Thanks to Natural Cycles I have learned SO MUCH about the female body and my own body to know that isn’t true!!!
What is Natural Cycles?
Natural Cycles is a non-hormonal birth control method and the first ever FDA cleared birth control app in the US. My favorite part is that it helps teach you about YOUR OWN BODY and its natural cycle. You might be wondering, “how the heck does this work as an effective contraceptive?!” Well, here’s how…
The app is powered by an algorithm that uses your basal body temperature and other fertility indicators to determine your fertility status each day. All you do is take your temperature in the mornings when you first wake up and log it into your app. As this becomes a habit, the app will learn your body’s natural rhythm. The app will then give you a calendar view of green days (not fertile) and red days (fertile).
For those of you who are not trying to become pregnant, it is still a great contraceptive method with its effectiveness being comparable to other hormonal methods such as the pill, etc.
When used to prevent pregnancy, this method is 93% effective with typical use and 98% effective with perfect use (perfect use = not having unprotected sex on red days). The pill is 93% effective with typical use and more than 99% effective with perfect use.
For those of you who might be trying to conceive, it is a wonderful way to track ovulation and fertility. Natural Cycles even has a Plan Pregnancy version of the app that’s tailored to those who want to start a family.
Knowledge is power
I so badly wish I would’ve known what I know now before going on the pill. It would have saved me so much time and effort trying to force my body to adapt to something it literally rejected time and time again.
I find it very disappointing that natural methods of birth control are not widely talked about, leading girls like me to be undereducated and ill-informed about their own bodies. That is exactly why I’m telling my experience to bring awareness to it, even if it only helps one other girl! I am not a doctor (obviously) so please do your own research if you are interested in Natural Cycles.
Huge thanks to Courtney for sharing her personal story of coming off the pill and starting Natural Cycles! This article was adapted for our readers: check out the original post here or head over to Courtney’s lifestyle blog, Hey Y’all to read more.