Contraception: No one size fits all
Research has shown that women who use a method of contraception that doesn’t match their personal preferences may be less likely to adhere to or continue with that method, which may increase the risk of an unplanned pregnancy.1 This is why contraceptive choice and comprehensive information is important, so that women and their health care provider can make informed decisions and find a contraceptive method that best suits her needs and lifestyle. Every woman has her own lifestyle and priorities and the best contraceptive method for one woman, may not be the best choice for another. Every method of contraception has its advantages and drawbacks; there is no perfect solution. Therefore, women need to discuss the available options with their health care provider and make informed decisions.
A woman’s contraceptive needs might also change throughout her reproductive life. Over time, she may re-evaluate her choice of contraceptive depending on her lifestyle, past experiences and personal preferences.
Many women indicate a preference for natural, non-hormonal and non-invasive methods of contraception. Natural Cycles increases choice for women by providing them with an effective, natural contraceptive.
As with all contraceptive methods, Natural Cycles has limitations, the main one being that the user and their partner must use protection or abstain from sex on ‘red days’ (fertile days). In addition, the user must be willing to follow a daily temperature-measuring routine. Finally, the app alone does not protect against sexually transmitted infections.
Benefits of Natural Cycles
Natural Cycles enables women and their partners to use protection only when it is needed. When used for contraception, Natural Cycles automatically stores and analyses data inputs via a mobile device, reducing the need for prolonged education on method use or time spent manual charting and analyzing data, which is required with traditional FABM and NFP techniques. Natural Cycles also reduces the potential for human error by utilizing objective markers of fertility and removing the need for manual analysis.
Through analysis of the data, Natural Cycles can send personalised messages to the user to advise or motivate them to take measurements as frequently as possible and to improve compliance with advice to use protection on fertile days.
Additionally, a woman can enter optional data into the app, such as luteinising hormone (LH) data, which can be obtained using urine test strips (also known as ovulation tests). This information can help the algorithm to establish a woman’s cycle pattern more quickly, and so supports the identification of more green days.
At a glance: benefits and considerations
At a glance: benefits and drawbacks
- Accurately and conveniently determines a woman’s daily fertility status based on basal body temperature
- Increases choice for women by providing an effective*, natural contraceptive that is CE marked in Europe and FDA cleared in the US
- Non-hormonal and non-invasive contraception
- Allows women to keep track of when their period is due, and when they might expect to experience symptoms of PMS
- Enables women to optimise timing of intercourse and chances of conceiving
- No restrictions related to religious beliefs
* Natural Cycles is 93% effective with typical use.
- Less effective than long-acting reversible contraceptives
- Does not protect against sexually transmitted infections
- User commitment is required to adhere to a daily routine of measuring temperature first thing in the morning and being aware of factors that can affect basal body temperature
- Effectiveness relies on the use of protection or abstaining from sex on red (fertile) days
- Hormone-related benefits for diagnosed medical conditions such as endometriosis and heavy menstrual bleeding or for bleeding management and cycle control, are not possible