When I was on hormonal birth control, I never really thought about the long-term effects of coming off, or the impact it would have when I wanted to try and get pregnant down the road.
My husband and I have been married for a few years now, and decided to start trying for kids! I went off my hormonal birth control eight months ago, and we've been trying to conceive ever since. I knew coming off the pill would be a process and that my body would need some time to get back to its natural cycle, but I couldn't help but feel discouraged and honestly, a little panicked.
I spoke with my friend who recently had her second baby, and she told me to slow my roll and just relax. She explained that it took her and her partner 11 months to get pregnant, so there was no need to even be close to hitting the panic button yet.
Once I calmed down, she started asking me questions like, When is your fertile window? Do you know how to calculate your ovulation day? Do you have any way to track your cycles? After a big gulp, I told her uhhh...no?! I'd seen women with massive calendars on their fridge with red days circled - did she mean family planning methods like that?
She laughed and told me that I definitely shouldn't be panicking since I haven't tried any of the methods to help women try to get pregnant. While there are a ton of options out there, she said to look into Natural Cycles, an FDA cleared fertility app that measures your basal temperature to determine your fertility status.
I had a friend who used Natural Cycles as a non-hormonal birth control. I didn't know how it could work to plan and prevent pregnancy, so I decided to check it out once we hung up.
First things first… my Sex Ed teachers did not teach me any of this. Your body temperature rises after ovulation, so just by using their thermometer every morning, Natural Cycles takes the temperature, plugs it into their algorithm, and uses it to calculate your fertility status for that day. Not only does the app give you your daily status, but it also calculates your ovulation day and fertility window for that cycle so you can find out the best time to conceive.
Digging into their website, I read that your fertility window is your ovulation day and five days prior -- meaning you're only fertile for six days out of your cycle! I had no idea there were only six fertile days, and my husband and I were definitely not planning around them like we should have been. For all we knew, we could have been trying on every day BUT those six!
By using all these insights, Natural Cycles' research shows that on average, women take three cycles or less to become pregnant when using Natural Cycles.* My cycle was all over the map since I'd gotten off hormonal birth control, but with NC I could still identify my fertile days no matter how irregular my cycle was.
I knew I needed a partner to help me understand my ovulation and fertility window, and that fact alone had me signing up!
Once my thermometer came, I downloaded the app and got started immediately. I was vigilant about taking my temperature as soon as I woke up every morning, and within the first few months, I had more insights into what was going on with my body than I ever did before.
I feel so much more in control of our pregnancy planning now that I have Natural Cycles as a partner and receive daily updates on my fertility window. My husband and I are using every insight, every day, to understand my cycle and increase our chances of getting pregnant.
With Natural Cycles, we no longer feel like we're stumbling in the dark, but now have tailored information to help us get one step closer to building our family.
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