Everything you need to know about the Natural Cycles app

A non-hormonal, purely technological approach to contraception

We review the Natural Cycles app to see if this natural contraception is worth the hype

Technology has come a long old way over the years. Twenty years ago the idea of being able to have everything you could ever need on one smart device was pretty mind-blowing. 

The rate that technology was progressing at had us all thinking that by 2020 we’d be flying around in supersonic cars and taking day trips to the moon. Although technology hasn’t quite pulled through with those things, one thing it has provided us with is accessibility, reliability and ultimate convenience.

Whilst we might not be regular users of spaceships quite yet, something astonishing that technology has blessed us with is the ability to control our contraception through the use of an app.

The Natural Cycles app is a creation that we admit sounds pretty futuristic, but we promise you! It does actually exist.

Downloadable through the click of a button and 98% effective as a form of natural contraception – can Natural Cycles be too good to be true?

What is the Natural Cycles app?

Natural Cycles contains an algorithm that analyses your temperature (measured using a thermometer) and menstrual cycle data to calculate when you are fertile and when to avoid sex or use other protection on your fertile days. To make the temperature app easy and simple to use, colours are used to represent different days; ‘green days’ will appear as days that are safe to have intercourse, and ‘red days’ warn you that you will not be protected.

This form of contraception could be classified as a method of natural family planning, but we wanted to include it on its own as so many users are interested in hearing reviews and experiences of the app.

How does the Natural Cycles app work?

During your menstrual cycle your temperature rises and falls slightly, which is due to the change in your body’s hormone levels. The Natural Cycles algorithm analyses your temperature (and optional LH test results) as well as taking fluctuations and cycle irregularities into account to identify ovulation and thereby calculate your red and green days. 

The number of green days will increase as the algorithm gets to know your fertility cycle – it can take around three months of using the Natural Cycles app for the algorithm to become more effective. On red days, you will need to use protection such as condoms or abstain from sex altogether.

How to get started with the Natural Cycles app

This app is so easy to use and can be set up in three simple steps.

  • Measure – you must begin by measuring your temperature at roughly the same time every morning, it’s advised that this is done at least five out of seven days of the week (otherwise it will result in more red days)
  • Enter your data – enter your temperature into the app, along with your period cycle data
  • Learn your fertility – the algorithm in the app will determine your fertility status and will tell you if you are on a ‘red or green’ day

How to stop using the Natural Cycles app

To stop using the app, all you need to do is just stop recording your periods and temperatures. Natural Cycles has 0 to little side effects, but if you want to know more about this, check out the reviews on our website to see what other women have experienced.

Natural Cycles VS other fertility apps

Natural Cycles is the only CE marked app intended to be used as birth control and is cleared by the US FDA. It features a smart algorithm that can determine a woman’s daily fertility by using basal body temperature. 

Unlike other fertility awareness methods, the Natural Cycles app uses only objective data and minimizes human error by doing all of the calculations and interpretations for the user. Whilst some apps do make money from selling data, this is something that Natural Cycles never have and never will do.

Pros and Cons of the Natural Cycles app

Pros of Natural Cycles

  • It’s a form of natural contraception that allows you to understand your cycle
  • If you want to get pregnant then you are already aware of your most fertile months, which can help to conceive more easily
  • It is a non hormonal contraception method and therefore has no serious side effects

Cons of Natural Cycles

  • It can take several months for the algorithm to become effective and factors such as illness, lifestyle, stress or travel may make fertility indicators harder to interpret
  • You may forget to take your temperature or input your menstrual cycle data into the app
  • There is a subscription fee, as opposed to alternative contraception methods available in the UK

Who should use it?

  • Women that are over 18 years old
  • Women unable to use other types of contraception due to medical conditions
  • Women wanting a form of contraception that doesn’t interfere with your periods
  • Women that are able to (and will remember to) take their temperature every morning
  • Women that are happy to obtain from sex or use other forms of contraception on red days

Who shouldn’t use it?

  • Women constantly travelling to different time zones or that have an irregular sleeping pattern
  • Women who don’t want periods
  • Women that don’t want a form of contraception that needs to be used daily
  • Women wanting immediate protection
  • Women wanting protection from STDs

Click here to take the Natural Cycles quiz and see if their temperature app is the right method for you.

Where can I get the Natural Cycles app from?

You can start using Natural Cycles as birth control by purchasing a monthly or annual subscription through the app (found on the App Store and Google Play). The annual subscription includes a two decimal basal thermometer, which you will need to be able to use Natural Cycles; but if you happen to have a decimal basal thermometer lying about then you can get started straight away!

If not, whilst waiting for the thermometer to arrive, you can try using Natural Cycles in demo mode to have a play around and get a feel for the app. Before getting started be sure to read the User Manual, which contains all the information you will need to get the most out of Natural Cycles.

Hopefully now you’ve managed to get your head around how the Natural Cycles app works, you can start to think if this could be an option for you.

If you’re someone that is glued to your phone and are an absolute sucker for a good app, then this will definitely be great for you. If you prefer a simpler life and try to avoid technology at all costs, then something a bit more old-school might work better. 

Not sure if Natural Cycles is right for you? Check out our guides to additional contraceptives available including the contraceptive patch and combined pill.

This guide was brought to you by The Lowdown. We are the world’s first contraception review platform, providing real-life experiences from thousands of reviews collected from our community of men and women.

Why not leave us a review of your contraceptive experience? Whether you’ve got good things to say about the Mirena coil or had trouble with implant removal, we want to hear about it! Tell us about your experience and help people around the world find the right method for them.