Natural Cycles: officially certified for contraception

The Natural Cycles office is absolutely jumping with joy at the moment because we can finally share this news with you: Natural Cycles has officially become the only app certified for contraception in Europe.

A big thank you goes out to all of you who have believed, trusted and supported Natural Cycles in the past years, because without you – our Cyclers – we wouldn’t be here today.

We are happy to be able to say that the app is now a certified and CE marked medical device of class IIb, intended to be used for contraception. Below you can read more about the research, algorithm and regulatory processes behind it.

So, what’s new?

“The biggest change is in the way we talk about Natural Cycles. We can now proudly say that Natural Cycles is an effective contraceptive, comparable with others like the pill, the IUD and condoms. It’s another option for women to choose from.”- Elina

Natural Cycles has been and remains to be accurate in detecting ovulation and calculate fertile days.

So the app pretty much remains as it is and you can download the new version we just released for our latest tweaks. We have relaunched the website, with a new design and in-depth information about everything you need to know about Natural Cycles, our research into women’s health and much much more. The app will give you a green day when you are ‘not fertile’ and can enjoy sexual freedom, or indicates to ‘use protection’ on a red day to effectively prevent a pregnancy.

 

Here are a few of the reasons why Natural Cycles is the very first and only app to be certified for contraception;

1. Research in women’s health

Natural Cycles heavily invests and drives research in women’s health by collaborating with top-notch experts within the gynaecology, fertility and the reproductive field. Because we believe, that progress starts with research we have carried out two major clinical studies. You can read up on the study of Natural Cycles’ effectiveness as a contraceptive here.

2. The precision of the algorithm 

The algorithm, which is the brains behind the app that calculates your green and red days, has been shown to be highly accurate. It takes many factors into account such as sperm survival, cycle irregularities and temperature into account to accurately detect and predict ovulation and fertile days.

3. Quality assurance and certifications

Natural Cycles is a certified and CE marked medical device of class IIb, intended to be used for contraception. This puts our app into the same risk category as a condom, which requires us to follow international standards regarding quality assurance and product development processes. We are the only fertility app in Europe to be in this risk class. This means that every step of product development, to how we hire people at Natural Cycles is audited by one of the leading auditing organisations in Europe.

Help us spread the word about Natural Cycles becoming the only certified contraceptive app, ever. Share this blog post or your Natural Cycles story and tag with #CyclerOfTheDay on social media.

Your Natural Cycles Team

Meet a Cycler – Sandra

Our Cyclers send their love and support to us everyday, this time round 24 year old Sandra reached out to us to tell us about her journey as a Cycler.

“I have used NC for 1.5 years and I’ve really enjoyed it! The best part is that I feel free. I have full control of my cycle (which I certainly did not have before). I can easily see when I have my green and red days, so that my boyfriend and I know when we need use protection, and my period will 9/10 times come on the exact day the app shows which makes it easier to plan.

I can really recommend Natural Cycles to all the girls out there. Single or not, young or old, to those who do not want to become pregnant and to those who are planning to have children. I believe that with Natural Cycles you enjoy a better and more natural life. You can’t refuse that offer, right? :)”

Sandra is a Pro Cycler and wants to become a Star Cycler, help her out by signing up with her link here. Or if you’re interested in becoming one, check out this blogpost about how to become a Star Cycler.

 

Do you want to share your Natural Cycles story with us? Let us know!

All the best,

The Natural Cycles Team

Meet the team: Elina, CTO & Cofounder

Where are you from?

Malmö, Sweden

Tell us about your work at Natural Cycles?

I am the CTO and co-founder of Natural Cycles. My work is very diverse, which I love. For instance, I get to look at a lot of data from our Cyclers and get deeper understanding on how the woman’s body works. I have also developed the algorithm behind Natural Cycles and with more and more data from you Cyclers, I sometimes get to optimize it to make it even better and more precise for each unique cycle.

 

 

Why Natural Cycles?

Well, I founded Natural Cycles together with Raoul since we personally needed a reliable natural contraceptive method and there was no such thing on the market. Later on we also decided to use Natural Cycles to carefully plan having our daughter, Alba.

Your favourite project at NC?

Well, the app is the best of course 🙂

What does it mean to be a good CTO & Cofounder

That we really care about the women using our app.

What’s one thing you’ve learned during your time at Natural Cycles?

Oh, so so much. Initially, my career started in the science world as a particle physicist, so I have learned so much during my Natural Cycles journey over the past 4 years. About women’s reproductive health, how to run a tech startup, how to develop apps and websites, and so much more.

What’s your go-to place to eat in Stockholm?

Eat? I have a company and a 2 year old daughter, I don’t get to go out and eat usually 🙂

Favourite feature in the Natural Cycles app?

I like the way the algorithm loads now, it says different things like “calculating” or “crunching the numbers” instead of just a boring loader. Then the colors emerge gradually. I love that feature.

Favourite song?

It changes with time, but right now: Héroes Del Silencio – Apuesta Por El Rock ´n´ Roll

Favourite quote?

“Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars.” – Les Brown

Tell us about your hobbies?

Natural Cycles is my hobby, which I get to share with my husband, so I’m very lucky.

 

Look out for more meet the team posts and here are the latest ones:

Rebecca – Customer Support 

Olle – The data scientist

Daniel – The Designer

 

Have a lovely evening!

3 ways exercise can affect your menstrual cycle.

January is the time where we like to hit the ground running when it comes to exercising. It’s great for the mind and body on so many different levels, but did you know that it could also be connected to the ups and downs of your menstrual cycle? Here’s a closer look at how exercise can affect your menstrual cycle and periods.

1.Relieve PMS symptoms and cramps

Exercise is just one of the things that may just relieve those aching symptoms so many women experience around that time of the month. We know the feeling of wanting to crawl up into a ball for the week but getting your heart pumping might just give you the boost you need. Read more on relieving PMS here.

2.Induce period

Cycle irregularities are more common than you might think, and period delays can be caused by numerous reasons. One major factor that tends to cause irregularities is stress. Exercising will not only reduce stress levels but may just be the movement and circulation your body needs to get that flow going.

3.Keep the balance

Exercising takes a lot of energy, and although it hosts many benefits excessive exercise can also take a toll. If body mass drops very low it may cause a loss of ovulation and periods. Similarly, an increased level of body mass can cause cycle irregularities. It’s all about keeping the balance right.

Sources: 

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3748549/

http://www.empowher.com/menstrual-cycle/content/3-ways-exercise-affects-your-period?page=0,1

http://www.md-health.com/How-To-Induce-Your-Period.html

What can help you relieve PMS?

Mood swings, fatigue and cramps are just some of the recurring symptoms of discomfort that many women experience just before their periods arrive. In our previous blog post we talked more about common PMS symptoms.

So what can you do to relieve these aching symptoms? We have found that certain lifestyle and dietary changes could just do the trick.

what can help you relieve PMS?

1. Exercise

Although you literally feel like crawling up into a ball and not moving from the couch for those couple of days, do your best to make yourself go out and exercise – at times when you feel like you have the least energy, exercise will give you the necessary boost you need.

A study carried out amongst non-athlete girls has shown that after 8 weeks of regular aerobic exercise PMS symptoms were reduced and that this can be used as a means of treatment. Aerobic exercises include walking, swimming, cycling, swimming – but pretty much anything that increases your heart rate and lung function is great.

2. Dietary changes

Reduce fat, salt and sugar. During your time of the month it’s best to keep your blood sugar levels stable. You can do this by not only eating healthier but eating six small meals a day rather than three big ones. We know that PMS can have you craving all of these unhealthy foods, but do your best to stock up on healthy yummy options like whole wheat goods, leafy greens, dark chocolate, yoghurt, nuts and fruit and keeping junk intake minimal. You might also want to consider avoiding caffeine and alcohol if you’re affected by symptoms such as anxiety, irritability, insomnia and depression.

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3. Orgasms

When you orgasm the blood flow in the uterus increases, which can relieve cramps during periods. Not only that, the chemicals that are released in your brain when you orgasm are a natural pain killer. So next time when you reach for painkillers on your bedside table, consider turning over to your partner instead 😉

 

4. Reduce stress and relax

Stress is known to have a negative effect on your time of the month, so get enough sleep and try out some exercises like deep breathing, treat yourself to a massage once a month or do some yoga and meditation to relax the mind.

 

5. Take note of your symptoms

Since every woman and every cycle is different you can use the Natural Cycles app to chart your symptoms and take note of when they were significantly worse or better, that way you can get to know your body and what triggers worse PMS symptoms or relieves them better.

Mild to moderate symptoms are quite common amongst women but if they begin to interfere with your daily life you should seek some medical advice, as it is possible that you may be suffering under a medical condition.

Hope this helps ladies! What has helped you relieve PMS symptoms? We’d love to hear about it in the comments below.

If you haven’t started yet, sign up and track your fertility today.

sugnup

 

Sources:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3748549/

https://www.acog.org/~/media/For%20Patients/faq057.pdf

https://www.womenshealth.gov/publications/our-publications/fact-sheet/premenstrual-syndrome.html

5 signs you’re ovulating.

When tracking your fertility, you might notice some changes in mood or your body throughout the different phases of your cycles. This week we want to talk about what signs you may experience when your body is telling you that ovulation is coming up. You might have already experienced a few of these, and others may be new to you. Let’s take a look!

1. Your Basal Body Temperature.

As a Cycler you know that your basal body temperature rises after ovulation, since the hormone progesterone is released and warms up your body. Keeping track of your basal body temperature is therefore a perfect way of knowing where you are in your cycle! If ovulation has occurred your temperature will remain elevated for a few days, but will then drop again just before or during menstruation as long as the egg has not been fertilised.

2. Ovulation pain aka Mittelschmerz.

Around 20% of women feel pain when they are ovulating, this is also called ‘mittelschmerz’ in medical terms (which means ‘middle pain’). What could cause mittelschmerz is our follicles swelling in the ovary before ovulation happens, which may cause pain when the egg is released. Another reason may be irritation on the peritoneum since it releases some blood and fluids from the ruptured follicle – which is why some women experience a few drops of blood (spotting) during ovulation. Another reason is that the fallopian tubes constrict after ovulation, which can cause some pain.

3. Higher sex drive.

Some women experience higher sex drive days before and during ovulation. This is the mother nature’s way of encouraging us to reproduce 😉

4. Higher sense of smell and taste.

Since the levels of hormones change, it can influence our senses of smell and taste. For some, even taste or vision get heightened around ovulation.

5. Cervical fluid

You might have noticed, that your cervical fluids change throughout the cycle. On the most fertile days, your cervical fluid becomes very slippery and a see-through consistency. Around ovulation you will have a lot more of this and might notice it when you visit the loo. 

These are just some of the signs that women experience around ovulation, but everyone is different. Have you experienced any of these symptoms or others? Please do let us know in the comments below.

 

If you want to find out when you ovulate and when your most fertile days are, sign up for Natural Cycles and get to know your body today.

fertiledays

Sources:

http://www.webmd.com/sex-relationships/news/20040609/sex-heats-up-around-womens-ovulation-date?page=2

http://www.nhs.uk/chq/Pages/982.aspx?CategoryID=60

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3299419/

Enjoy a better sex life with Natural Cycles.

At Natural Cycles we love learning more about sexual health and behaviour. That’s why we recently conducted a survey* amongst our users that talks about all things SEX! Having explored behaviour in sexual pleasure, habits, interests and more we have some very interesting findings on what people get up to between the sheets. Here’s a summary of the results and what aspects can lead to a better sex life, so enjoy.

Natural Cycles Sex survey findings

The longer women use Natural Cycles, the better sex they have.

Evidence shows that women who have used Natural Cycles the longest are the most satisfied group when it comes to enjoyment of sex. This can be due to a number of reasons. Learning more about how your body works and really getting in touch with it could give you an empowering and liberating experience, becoming more comfortable and confident as you get into tracking your cycles regularly. Which in turn can also have a positive impact on other aspects of your life – including sexuality and relationships.

Sex gets better with age.

We feel that sex and enjoyment is often associated with young age in the media, well we’ve got great news that shatters all the misconception around sex and age. Our findings show that although women over the age of 35 engage in sex less frequently than younger age groups, they actually tend to have more and better orgasms. So although they get under the sheets less often, it seems they certainly make every time count.

How long should sex last?

When asking about how long women want sex to last 60% of the respondents indicated a time of 12 minutes or longer, comparing this to the average time of actual intercourse which is similarly 12 minutes, it seems as though Natural Cycles users are quite satisfied with their sex life. Although we reckon lingering under the sheets a little longer never harmed anyone.

Want to get in touch with your body, gain confidence and maybe even enjoy a better sex life? Sign up for Natural Cycles today and start cycling, sign up for our yearly plan and you’ll get a thermometer for free. 

sign-up

 

 

 

 

Have you enjoyed a better sex life when using Natural Cycles? We’d love to hear about your experiences, drop us a comment below.

 

*The Natural Cycles sexual behaviour survey is based on the clinically validated female sexuality questionnaire issued by McCoy. We also added some fun questions into the mix regarding user’s attitudes. The survey was conducted amongst the English and Swedish speaking user base, resulting in contributions from 20 countries.