How will summer holidays affect my measuring?

Off on your summer holidays and wondering how it might affect your measuring? Here’s a look at the top questions we get on measuring your temperature and using the Natural Cycles app from our Cyclers who are heading overseas.

Can I still measure my temperature if I’m traveling abroad to another time zone?

If you travel across several time zones and experience jet lag then we recommend skipping measuring (or tap Deviating temp.) for 1-2 days upon arrival and departure, until your body has adjusted and you have had a good nights rest. After you have adjusted to the new time schedule, you should measure as usual when you wake up in the morning, around the same time and in the new time zone.

Can warmer weather affect my basal body temperature?

 The answer is no, not significantly. Your body is very good at regulating its’ optimal temperature as humans are warm blooded animals. Also, we do recommend you to measure under your tongue, with your mouth closed. Measuring on your skin or in the ear, can be affected by the outside factors such as room temperature or your clothes etc. which is why you shouldn’t do so.

 

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What about late nights? 

Remember to always skip measuring or tap ‘Deviating temp.’ if you feel hungover or if you have slept less than usual. We know those summer nights can sometimes be endless 🙂 

Can I use the app offline? 

Unfortunately, you can’t use Natural Cycles offline at the moment. We are however working on making these improvements in the future, it’s a little more complex as the algorithm runs on our servers and you require an internet connection to get a result. More on that here.  You can take note of your temperature and add it later on when you have a connection again, just remember to check your status for the day every morning.

 

It’s also good to know that traveling can be stressful on the body, which means that it can sometimes affect your cycle causing, for instance, a delayed ovulation, shorter or longer cycles or in some cases anovulatory cycles.

Read more about how traveling can affect your cycle

 

Hope you can make great use of this info,

Your Natural Cycles team

Upcoming changes to Natural Cycles

 

During the past year we have continuously added more features and content to the application but we are not done yet! While you are reading this, our product team is hard at work on new content in the app that we hope will excite you. The changes are targeted at both new and experienced Cyclers with the goal of making it easier for all to go from novice to pro as well as getting more useful content. Feel free to have your say on all the changes in the comments below.

 

 

The “Me page” becomes “Cycle Statistics” and gets a redesign
We know that many cyclers really appreciate that they can see the numbers behind their unique cycle on the “Me Page”. That is why we have put some extra love into redesigning the visuals as well as adding some more content. In the new version you will be able to compare all your data with the average for all Cyclers, access deeper information on how to interpret the data and see how well you are performing at entering measurements. All the data will be split into four tabs; the full cycle, the follicular phase, the luteal phase and the ovulation. There will also be a small version of the graph to go with the different phases of the cycle.

Another important improvement is that you will now get direct feedback on is your temperature fluctuations. We will rate your fluctuation as either “Excellent”, “Good”, “OK”, “Problematic” or “Too high”. If your rating is “Problematic” or “Too high” we will give advice on how to improve and what the reasons for this may be. Hopefully this will help you lower your temperature fluctuations, which will help us to faster find your ovulation.

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Cycler level

Are you a newbie or a pro? Well soon you will find out! As a part of the new profile section and the progress you make we will give you a rank of “Newbie”, “Junior”, “Skilled”, “Pro” or “Star” (the exact name of the ranks are still being discussed so feel free to give us feedback on them). We hope that this feature will put focus on your own individual performance and act as a motivator.

 

Achievements

Achievements are intended to guide and motivate new Cyclers as well as will give a hint on what to expect from using the app over time. The more achievements a Cycler has reached, the better both she and the app will have gotten to know her unique body and cycle. An achievement is reached by completing tasks within the app or when the app first recommend the Cycler to perform a certain task. Here are a few examples of the achievements that will be available:

 

  • Add your first temperature measurement.
  • Add five temperature measurements in one week, Monday to Sunday.
  • Add twenty temperature measurements in one calendar month.
  • The application has detected your ovulation for the fist time.
  • The application has recommended you to take a LH test for the first time.
  • Get over 50% green days in one cycle.

 

“My Profile” is the new “Settings”

With the addition of your Cycler level and achievements we are renaming the settings tab to “My profile”. This will be where you can find these new features, all your personal settings and manage your account. We will also make your renewal date and selected payment option more visible.

 

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New navigation

To go with all the new content and changes listed above we will make some adjustments to the tab navigation of the app. We will introduce a new icon for the “Cycle Statistics” tab and the “Me” icon will replace the old one for settings as this tab becomes “My Profile”. We are also considering adding labels to the tab navigation. As always we would love your feedback and thoughts on these changes.

 

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Meet a Cycler – Sofie from Stockholm

First of all – thank you guys for sharing your stories with us. We’re always happy to hear from you and hear your experiences with Natural Cycles, wherever in the world you are!

If you still haven’t shared your story with us and you would like to, please fill in this form and we will get back to you! (Takes 2 min.)

This month we had the chance to interview Sofie. She has been a Cycler for almost a year and loves it! Please watch the full story below.


Also here are other happy Cyclers that reached out to us:

Alessa

Alessa (Private pic)

Continue reading

5 things that can cause an irregular cycle

One of the best things about Natural Cycles is that you get to know your body and your cycles. The more data and the longer you use Natural Cycles, the better the app gets to know you. We’re all a bit irregular but with Natural Cycles you will find out exactly how irregular your cycles are and how your cycles compare with other Cyclers. This is useful information for you to know because you will get a better overview over your cycles and mood, and at the same time you will know when your period will be due. If you want to plan a pregnancy in the future it might be even more useful to know more about your cycles and when you ovulate.

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Except for the natural irregularities that every woman has, we’ve listed 5 things that may cause an irregular cycle:

 

1. Stressful / irregular lifestyle

Hard training, significant weight loss or weight gain, stress and traveling can result in irregular periods.

 

2. PCOS

Around 5-10% of all women experience irregular periods due to polycystic ovarian syndrome. In women with PCOS, the ovaries make more androgens than normal, which affects the development and release of eggs during ovulation. Therefore, women with PCOS often experience anovulatory cycles where ovulation does not occur. This means that the hormone progesterone is not made and without progesterone, a woman’s menstrual cycle is irregular or absent. Read more about how you can use Natural Cycles with PCOS here.

 

 

3. After hormonal contraception.

If you have recently been on hormonal contraception, it is likely that your cycle will be out of balance and irregular. It is very individual for how long your cycles will be irregular but some of our Cyclers have experienced irregular cycles up to a year.

 

 

4. After pregnancy

Even though pregnancy isn’t the same as being on hormonal contraception, the hormones from the pregnancy have a similar effect on your cycle to start, it can be irregular a while before it stabilizes.

 

 

5. Endometriosis

Endometriosis is where the lining of blood is also found outside your uterus. Areas that are most commonly involved are your ovaries, bowel or the tissue lining your pelvis. 10% of women worldwide have endometriosis – that’s 176 million worldwide. What it can cause  is irregular and very painful periods. Read more about endometriosis here. 
Let us know if you have any questions and read more about irregular cycles and Natural Cycles!
Best
The Natural Cycles Team

Brand new graph design and features

We hear you, Cyclers! We appreciate all the feedback we have received on the app! We’re happy to announce the release of the new (and improved!) graph. Read all about the exciting features, below!

 

Access the graph whenever you want!


To view the graph, turn your phone to landscape mode and the graph will appear! Just make sure that the portrait orientation lock is off and you’re good to go.
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Lines between the temperature values

 

You’ll notice the new graph now has lines between the temperature values. This is to make it easier for you to see the (possibly) slight fluctuations in temperature.

 

Graphs

 

 Scroll through one, three or nine cycles

You can now see one, three or nine cycles at the same time. Also you can click on the ‘previous’ button and see previous cycles, one at the time.

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See an estimate of your next temperature graph!


Now, you can see an estimated forecast of how your next temperature curve might look. This is a great feature for those of you who just started measuring.

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New safe sex icon and changed place of the icons 

 

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Now there is an icon for safe sex too, so you will see it in your graph whenever you log a protected intercourse. Before, the icons for intercourses were seen below the temperature chart, but now they are above it. The reason why we switched places is because sometimes the low temperature values could be hidden by the icons, and now you can clearly see both.

 

Let us know your thoughts and keep the feedback coming. We are listening! Also thank you for all support!

 

Best
The Natural Cycles Team

Meet a Cycler – Mariví

This month we have done something different. We had the chance to interview a Cycler!  Watch the full story about Mariví where she explains why she uses Natural Cycles and what she likes the most about it.

Do you want to be interviewed by us? Fill in this form and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible!

Also see previous Meet a Cycler stories here:

Meet Sandra

Meet Pauline

Meet Tanya

Have a wonderful day!
/Dani from Natural Cycles

Temperature fluctuations

A woman’s basal body temperature fluctuates daily, some days more than others. Changes in behaviour can cause fluctuations as well – for example, change in sleeping habits, travel or sickness can cause basal body temperature to fluctuate. This can cause the Natural Cycles algorithm to take longer to understand where you are in your cycle. Let’s read more about these potential temperature triggers!


Change in amount of sleep

Some of our Cyclers are taking care of an infant, other’s work odd hour jobs, while others have irregular sleeping schedules. Natural Cycles can work for everyone, it’s just a matter of what kind of sleeping schedule your body is used to. 
For those working odd hour jobs, if you usually work two nights per week, we recommend you measure five days within the same time frame and skip the days you work nights. Then, measure the first day after switching to daytime. Try to measure within the same time frame (+-2 hours timeframe), as soon as you wake up. If you have a baby and need to wake up during the night often, we do recommend you to measure after your longest stretch of sleep, or at least three hours. 


Travel


If you travel within different time zones, skip measuring for couple of days so your body gets used to the change and then measure as usual.Always skip measuring if you get 2h more/less of sleep than usually.
If you think that your temperature still fluctuates keep measuring until you complete one cycle of measuring and adding data in the Natural Cycles app. (A cycle begins on the first day of menstruation and ends when your next menstruation comes.) That is the best way to spot a fluctuation. You will clearly see what is a fluctuation and what’s not. (See picture below.)

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This graph shows typical temperature fluctuations. There are temperatures that are too low to be in the luteal phase, and on the opposite too high temperature values in the follicle phase. Please check your statistic page to see how much your temperature usually varies in the different phases. 

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Inactivate temperatures through the history view.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You can deactivate outlier temperature measurements, which may give you better statistics. You can do so through the history view or by clicking  at a date in the monthly view.

 

We welcome emails from you – please reach out to us if you need help you with your chart!

 

Here you can find a video on how to measure your basal body temperature, and read more about how and when to measure your temperature.

Best,
The Natural Cycles Team

Why do I get more red days?

Cyclers that are tracking their fertility with Natural Cycles sometimes wonder about the amount of red days. If you just got started with Natural Cycles it’s normal to get more red days. Natural Cycles is getting to know your unique cycle and probably hasn’t detected your ovulation yet. It is highly individual how fast ovulation can be found but usually it takes 1-3 cycles of measuring and adding data. So be patient and keep measuring. The red days will decrease with each cycle as the app gathers more data on you.

What other reasons can give you more red days? Let’s find out below!

 

  • After hormonal contraceptives

Our data shows that those who have previously taken hormonal contraception and just started with Natural Cycles experience more red days in the beginning. This is because it can take a while before your body starts ovulating again and the first cycles are often highly irregular. Since the first ovulation can come early or late, without warning, you will receive red days until it happens. So keep measuring!

  • Fluctuating temperature

If your temperature fluctuates more than usual, the app could give you more red days since it becomes more difficult to detect ovulation. Make sure that you always measure as soon as you wake up, and skip measuring if you sleep more or less than usual (+-2 hours).  Also skip measuring if you drink alcohol and feel hungover when you wake up or if you’re ill. Read more about how and when to measure.

  • Irregular cycles or anovulatory cycles

Some women have more irregular cycles than others. In your cycles statistics you can find out how much your ovulation day varies, and how regular or irregular your cycles are. You can also see how often you experience cycles without ovulation.

variation

It’s rare that ovulation occurs on exactly the same day every cycle but for some women it varies a bit more than a couple of days. This is especially common if you have recently given birth or were taking hormonal birth control. Irregular cycles will give you more red days since your ovulation might be delayed or as a precaution if your ovulation will occur earlier than usual.

Tips for Cyclers that experience more red days

What could help Natural Cycles isolate your fertile window and help you get more green days is testing for LH (luteinizing hormone). A surge in LH occurs two days before ovulation and marks your most fertile days. Natural Cycles will let you know when you can begin testing your LH levels. See what our reminders look like and please read more about how and why you should test for LH.

Please feel free to email us if you would like for us to take a look at your data and help you with your chart!

 

Best
Natural Cycles Team

5 Facts About Ovulation

 

Whether you’re planning a pregnancy or tracking your fertility, understanding when you ovulate is key. This week we’ve gathered a couple of cool facts around ovulation that maybe you weren’t aware of. Find out below!

 1. The female egg cell is the biggest cell!

Most cells in our bodies cannot be seen without a microscope, but the female egg cell is big enough to be visible to the naked eye. Pretty cool!

eggcell2. Women are born with all the eggs that she will ever produce during her lifetime.

We are born with 1-2 million immature eggs (follicles) in our ovaries. Once a woman reaches puberty roughly 500 of these will mature into an egg cell that can be fertilized throughout our lifetime.  

3. The egg cell only lives 12-24 hours

Once released, an egg can only be fertilized over the next 12-24 hours. Sperm, on the other hand, can live up to 5 days if the sperm encounters the right environment.

4. Normally only 1 egg is released each ovulation.

However, some women have the potential to release two eggs during one cycle, one per ovary, which is how fraternal twins are made! This is only possible within a 24 hour period. Afterwards, ovulation is prevented by the high progesterone values in your body, which is what Natural Cycles detects in your temperature (rise of 0.2-0.45 °C).

naturalcycles_ovary5. You can get your period although no ovulation has occurred.

We see in our Cyclers’ data that around 5% of the cycles are in fact anovulatory – meaning that no ovulation has occurred. This is completely normal and nothing to worry about. The bleeding that follows is then due to the estrogen rising, rather than the progesterone decreasing, and is thus not exactly the same as a normal menstruation.

This was all for now Cyclers!
Please comment if you have any questions and read more in our support portal ask.naturalcycles.com.

Benefits of planning a pregnancy with Natural Cycles

 

There are few things about the Natural Cycles ‘Plan a pregnancy’ mode that makes it a unique baby-planner. Besides knowing when you’re ovulating, here are three useful things you should know about!

1. Natural Cycles will detect your pregnancy early

Natural Cycles will detect your pregnancy as early as the most sensitive pregnancy tests.

 

NC PREG

After ovulation your temperature rises due to the release of the hormone progesterone. If conception occurred, progesterone continues to be produced to help the body prepare with the fertilization of the egg. Thus, you will see your temperature remain elevated for a longer period than the normal length of the luteal phase.

 

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Example of a chart when a pregnancy is confirmed

Natural Cycles recognizes that conception has occurred and will prompt you to take a pregnancy test for confirmation. Once you indicate a positive pregnancy test Natural Cycles will format itself to your needs. Instead of the daily fertility status, you will see what week you are in, countdown to how many days you have left in your pregnancy, conception and due date.

We recommend continuing to take your temperature during your first trimester.  Natural Cycles will monitor your hormone levels and can detect if there are any inconsistencies or risks or miscarriage.

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2. Natural Cycles will track what week you’re in.


Since Natural Cycles has the history of your ovulation and conception data, it will be able to accurately track what week of the pregnancy you are in and when your baby is due.
The medical industry usually first calculates the due date based on the first day of your last period and assumes that ovulation occurs 14 days after. Later on in the pregnancy an ultra sound is often made to calculate the due date from the size of your baby. Since Natural Cycles knows when your baby was conceived (on your ovulation day), we can calculate your due date more precisely. What week you are in is determined by adding the 14 days to the time since conception.

3. “My Baby” tab

When you confirm your pregnancy, the monthly view is replaced by the ‘my baby’ tab. Here you can read interesting and useful information about the development of your fetus, week by week.

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Click here to learn more about Natural Cycles ‘Plan a pregnancy’. We welcome comments and questions from you!

Best

The Natural Cycles Team