Natural Birth Control For A Digital Age
- by Natural Cycles
- Photo by Jonathan Borba
With the Roaring Twenties 2.0 fast approaching, femtech is exploding. It’s no wonder that in an era when you can order a pizza by shouting at a little black box in the corner of the room, there are other ways to get contraception than by visiting your doctor. If you’re searching for non-hormonal birth control, there’s a new natural birth control on the market, and it’s only a thumb swipe away. Read on to find out about hormone-free methods throughout the ages and the non-hormonal birth control app that’s changing the game for women across the globe.
Natural Birth Control Up Until Now
Women in the 1700s used lemons as a spermicide, while the first condoms were made of animal intestines and were reusable (I know). Since manufactured latex, as we now know it, wasn’t invented until the 1920s the sleek and discreet condom of today has really only been around for the past 100 years. In many, many ways, the past was a grim time to be having sex if you were a woman.
Another natural birth control method which has survived through the ages is fertility awareness based methods (FABM). Calendar or rhythm methods require counting the length of the menstrual cycle and working out that peak fertility is around two weeks before menstruation. Calendar methods work on the assumption that ovulation happens halfway through the menstrual cycle. Unfortunately, traditional calendar and rhythm methods can be unreliable due to the difficulty of detecting those few fertile days.
A Non-Hormonal Birth Control App
By pairing the power of technology with the age-old fertility awareness-based methods, an app is set to change all that. By taking daily temperature readings and adding the data into the app, Natural Cycles uses an algorithm which learns the menstrual cycle and predicts ovulation. This data can then be used in the app to plan a pregnancy or inverted to prevent pregnancy.
The non-hormonal birth control app does require the use of condoms or abstinence from sex on ‘red’ fertile days in order to prevent pregnancy. Like all fertility awareness-based methods, the app does not protect against sexually transmitted diseases. Natural Cycles is 93 percent effective with typical use and 98 percent effective with perfect use as shown in a study published in the journal, Contraception.
The Practicalities of Period Tracking
As well as knowing when in your cycle you are at risk of becoming pregnant, using a birth control app can provide information on other key events in the menstrual calendar. Period tracking means you’ll know when in the month to stock up on pads and tampons. On top of that, you can anticipate PMS and the app will also tell you the best time to carry out a self-breast exam.
While many of us don’t choose birth control first and foremost as a means to learn more about our bodies, Natural Cycles regular period tracking offers an educational side-effect. Cyclers, users of the app, are often surprised to learn how little they don’t know about their bodies.
Is Hormone-free Birth Control Right for Me?
Natural Cycles requires women to take their temperature most mornings when they wake up and add the data into the app. As a result, it works best for women with regular routines who are interested in learning more about their bodies. Discover if switching birth control methods could work for you.
If you’re thinking more broadly about changing contraception and want to know more about what’s out there, read more about some of the different birth control options available before choosing the right birth control for you.