Are Contraceptives Dangerous?
We are becoming so much more aware of what we put into our bodies. We’re conscious of the food we eat and of using natural skincare. Yet, many of us are pumping ourselves full of synthetic hormones.
Hormones are chemical messengers that coordinate complex processes from growth and metabolism, to fertility. Your body relies on them completely to maintain a healthy, natural balance.
Most contraceptive methods involve exposing your body to synthetic hormones through a tablet or some kind of implant. There are different hormones that can be used either alone, or in combination, to disrupt your natural hormonal balance to make you temporarily infertile.
Many women suffer with side-effects from hormonal contraceptives ranging from mild to pretty severe. I know people who have experienced terrible side-effects and hardly questioned them, which is shocking!
More shocking, perhaps, is the fact that we’ve got that far to begin with? Many women will take contraceptives without being aware of the potential risks (of which there are too many to go into here) and without understanding how the contraceptives work.
Most worryingly, women interfere with their bodies without knowing how they were designed to work on their own.
For example, I had no idea that, when taking into account 5 day sperm survival, you’re fertile for 6 days per cycle.
I personally find it a little concerning also, that contraceptives are prescribed to people to deal with non-contraceptive issues, from irregular cycles to acne, by practitioners keen to simply alleviate symptoms, and sometimes without even trying to investigate the true cause of the problem. That’s a little off topic for this post, but definitely something important and worth considering if you’re in this position.
A good way to look at it is that your period is a window into your health. Issues like your period disappearing (amenorrhea) or experiencing symptoms usually dismissed as 'pre-menstrual syndrome' can actually be indicators of your health on a wider scale. By masking these insights, you might even be putting your body at risk.
The Contraceptive Solution
Thankfully two super-cool scientists have invented an ingenious algorithm that predicts with 99.9% accuracy whether you will or will not be at risk of pregnancy on any given day.
I’m not trying to convince you to ditch contraceptives, by any means. I confess to using them myself, but I’m grateful that I’ve been curious enough to investigate and learn that I’d really rather not use them.
I was so shocked to recently learn about the negative effects that synthetic hormones have on our bodies (and far beyond, as these hormones are also leaching into oceans and water supplies) and so amazed by NaturalCycles, that I couldn’t not share!
NaturalCycles Contraceptive App
What is it?
NaturalCycles it a contraceptive method that uses data from your own body to calculate your fertility. No synthetic hormones involved.
NaturalCycles uses your unique basal body temperature (BBT) readings and optional Luteinising Hormone (LH) test results to pinpoint where you are in your monthly cycle. Based on this data NaturalCycles will indicate whether you have a green day (99.9% certainty of not being fertile) or a red day (fertile).
NaturalCycles will not only provide you with fertility information for that given day, but can predict days and weeks in advance.
How does it work?
Every morning, before starting your day, all that you need to do is take your BBT with the thermometer provided and input the data into the NaturalCycles app. The algorithm will do the rest.
By inputting this data into the app regularly, the NaturalCycles algorithm adapts to your unique rhythm and becomes more accurate, giving you more green days.
What I found especially fascinating about this algorithm, is that it was developed by a couple who wanted a natural solution to their contraceptive problems. More impressively, one half of the couple, Elina, has a PhD in particle physics and was one of the finders of the Higgs Boson at CERN, which led to The Nobel Prize in Physics 2013.
During Elina's six years working as a physicist at CERN she was dealing with applying advanced statistical methods to analyze Big Data on a daily basis. If I was going to trust anyone with my body’s data, it would be her!
Beyond simply monitoring your fertility with contraception in mind, NaturalCycles can be used to help plan pregnancies, for early detection of pregnancy, to improve predictions of due dates, and to monitor hormone levels (and thus the health of the fetus) during pregnancy.
It can even be used to diagnose and manage conditions such as PCOS.
Things to note
The only downside to this method is that events such as illness, travel, large amounts of alcohol, or significantly less sleep than usual can upset your BBT.
However, if you measure your temperature and it is outside of what you will learn to consider ‘normal’ for you, you always have the option not to input that data to avoid disrupting the algorithm.
How much is it?
Depending on how long you sign up for and how you pay, NaturalCycles is as little as £59.90 a year. There are options to pay monthly too, which start from under £6. I definitely think that’s value for money.
Even though contraceptives in the UK are free of charge, it’s still worth remembering that there is a financial, and non-financial, cost to society of using synthetic hormones.
An immense amount of knowledge and science has gone into producing this app, and I think it’s a brilliant concept.
I love that it can give you the opportunity to learn how your body works and feels without the interference and ‘masking’ effects of synthetic hormones.
I’ve spoken about this before in relation to training; how really going back to basics and building up an awareness of how my body moves allows me to train better and avoid injury because I can recognise slight changes and imbalances. The same goes for every aspect of your body, inside and out.
Of course, being a bit of a geek, I love that it is all based on hard data, and fed to you in calendars, graphs and statistics. As well as being educational, it’s really reassuring to see everything evidenced in your hand.
It is the most personally tailored contraceptive that you could wish for!
Once some of the turbulences in my life have settled, I hope to try out this app. I’m so relieved to know it’s a clinically proven and safe option there for me as soon as I’m ready. No appointment required!
Overall, I highly urge you to educate yourself on how your body works. I actually found the NaturalCycles website to be really useful for this. As well as in depth information about how the NaturalCycles works (which is truly fascinating), there’s information on the menstrual cycle, what the indicators of fertility are, and causes of irregular cycles.
Are you concerned about the impacts of synthetic hormones? Would you consider using NaturalCycles?