I was 18 years old when I went on birth control, I lasted a whole 2 years and honestly looking back I don’t know how I lasted that long. My anxiety was through the absolute roof, I had panic attacks every week, I was crying all the time, I was always having mood swings and I simply did not feel okay. Now, that sounds a lot! But at the time I thought what I was going through and feeling was ‘just me’. I had suffered with anxiety as a child and in my teen years so I was no stranger to those type of feelings. But, this time it was on a whole new level! I simply blamed how I was feeling and what I was experiencing on being a University student. Trying to juggle a degree, with going to work and having a social life was overwhelming at most times. I thought well this is what everyone does so whatever and suck it up. Realistically, I was not looking after my mental well-being. Eventually everything was getting too much to handle and I decided to come off the pill after 2 years. Slowly but surely my period started to regulate again and then came the post birth control acne ugh (read here!). Though, my mental health started to improve and I started to feel like the old me again. It quickly became apparent to me that it wasn’t me being a University student that was causing me to feel that way, it was the pill. Now, I know everyones experience with hormonal birth control is different or maybe even similar to mine. I am just talking about my personal journey and experience with it. Once my period regulated I started tracking them again via an app. This was something I did before I even started taking birth control and I loved knowing when my next cycle was approaching and I would track my symptoms. So I started to track my cycles again and this is when I found Natural Cycles. I have been using Natural Cycles for a few months now. It is the only approved birth control app out there. You track your temperature every morning via a thermometer and record it in the app, you also have the option to record your daily symptoms and when your next period begins.
During the follicular phase of your cycle (the first day of your period to ovulation) your temperature will be lower. In the luteal phase (from ovulation to your next period), your body releases progesterone which raises your temperature after an egg cell has been released. So you’re likely to get a higher temperature reading in the latter half of your cycle. If no egg is fertilised (because your goal is to prevent pregnancy) then progesterone levels drop again (as does your body temperature). This cues the uterus lining to shed, leading to your period and the start of a new cycle. The more you track your temperature the more accurate the app gets (though no birth control is 100% accurate!). It gets better at predicting your next fertile phase so you know when to or not to have unprotected sex if you are not planning for a baby or to go full steam ahead if you are. You can’t get pregnant every day of your cycle, so knowing your fertility is an incredibly useful tool. I find using Natural Cycles makes me feel much more in-tune with my own body. I know when my next period is around the corner, or my when ovulation is about to drop and when I’m most likely to experience PMS symptoms or break out a little. It feels so encouraging to know my body and feel much more in control instead of worrying why do I feel so upset today, or why am I so cranky or why have I broke out. Oh wait I’m on day 21 of my cycle, that’s why ;) If you’re looking for a new root to go down for your birth control and find that the pill or any other form of hormonal birth control is not suiting you. There is no harm in trying something new. What you do with your body is 100% your choice and right! From someone who has tried multiply different BC pills and the Cooper IUD (now that wasn’t fun either!). I am happy where I am at and feeling much more in control of my hormones and feelings. If you have any questions, feel free to drop me an email and I would love to hear your experience with BC!