Planning your life according to your cycle

Who knew that being aware of the different phases of your cycle can make your life just that little bit easier? Knowing where you’re at in your cycle is powerful and always preps you for what’s to come – so let’s make use of it ladies!

From your to-do lists to taking notes in the Natural Cycles app, integrating what you know about your cycle in day to day life planning can be extremely useful. Here’s just a few of our examples on how you could plan ahead according to your cycle and make the very most out of every phase:

Plan a date night 

Coming up to and around ovulation (the follicular phase of your cycle) us ladies often look and feel our very best, as well as attracting our partners. So planning a date night around this time is always a good idea* 😉

Schedule a workout

There’s phases of your cycle when you feel like you could conquer the world and run a marathon (usually in your follicular phase coming up to and during ovulation). Yet before your period is about to arrive you might be feeling sluggish and or have pains – did you know that exercise can help relieve cramps? So why not schedule a yoga or swimming class with one of your friends in time, that way you won’t even give those cramps a chance to arrive. 

Indulge in self-care

Last month we talked about how your cycle can affect your skin. Around your period your skin might feel a bit dull and dry, so what better time to schedule a facial or a spa day with your friends? 

Time to travel

When it comes to traveling, arriving at your destination and being surprised by aunt flo isn’t exactly what you were hoping for (especially if you don’t have tampons at hand). So knowing exactly when you will have your period might be something you can keep in mind when planning your trips. Traveling can actually have an impact on your cycle, too – so it’s always great to keep track.

Natural Cycles gets to know your Cycle over time and gives you as accurate predictions as possible, just keep in mind that these can of course change over time and you should check the app every day for your status of the day.

How do you make use of knowing where you’re at in your cycle? Do you take it into consideration when making plans? We would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.

Your Natural Cycles team.

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 *https://academic.oup.com/beheco/article/15/4/579/205993/Attractiveness-of-women-s-body-odors-over-the

 

 

Meet the team: Dani, Community Manager

Every month we introduce one of the Natural Cycles team members so you can get to know what happens behind the scenes, this time round Dani our Community Manager is up. She takes care of all of our lovely Cyclers.

Where are you from?

I’m originally from Serbia.

Tell us about your work at Natural Cycles?

As a Head of Community, I find that our Cyclers are the most important. In the end, everything we do is for the women using the app. So whether it’s communicating a new feature, how the menstrual cycle works or hearing Cycler stories, my job revolves a lot around making the Cycler experience the very best.

Why Natural Cycles?

I’m proud to say that I’m the #1 employee at Natural Cycles. After graduating at Hyper Island, I was eager to get started and ‘change the world’ (as one of the slogans for HI is). After hearing the story about Natural Cycles from Raoul,  I felt like this will change the world for sure, and I want to be a part of it. And here we are now almost 3 years later.

Favorite project at NC?

I still find the very first projects at NC my favorite – like #CyclerOfTheDay or “Meet a Cycler” blog post series. Basically all things that include Cycler stories are usually my favorite.

What does it mean to be a good Community Manager?

I believe it means a lot of different things, and for me if I have to choose two important things, it’s to be empathetic, and to truly love the product.  Without these two, I think it my work would be impossible.

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

Done is better than perfect 😉

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

I have a few: Urban Deli, Meal Prep, and Nostimo.

Favourite feature in the Natural Cycles app?

The graph definitely, and of course green days.

Favourite song?

Lana del Ray – ultraviolence.

Tell us about your hobbies?

Photography and cooking delicious LCHF meals.

 

 

That was all from Dani! Here are few of the other team posts if you’ve missed them:

Meet Raoul, CEO & Co-founder

Meet Elina, CTO & Co-Founder 

Meet Olle, Data Scientist 

Meet Olivia, Content & Translation Manager  

 

 

3 ways traveling can impact your cycle

The summer months are here and we all know what that means – traveling through time zones, sun tanning, beach chilling, long nights and sipping cocktails.

Traveling can affect your routine and cycle for several reasons and it is not uncommon to experience a shift in your cycle. Some women experience shorter, longer or even anovulatory cycles.

Here’s some more info on what can affect your cycle when traveling, that way you’ll be prepared and can get to know your body even better.

Switching time zones

Usually the further you go, the more impact it will have on your cycle. This tends to go hand in hand with being exposed to completely different environments and jet lag that will affect sleeping patterns. That’s why we recommend skipping measuring or to tap ‘Deviating temp.’ until you have adjusted to the time zone and have a good nights rest (1-2 nights upon arrival and departure).

Stressful moments

Keep in mind that travel acts as a stressor on the body and can affect the length of your cycle and whether or not you ovulate. So it’s important to keep track of your cycle and to check the app everyday, as things might shift.

Environment, Weather and Dietary changes

Traveling usually means change – from the bed you sleep on to the food you eat. Although you might be traveling to a warmer country, your body tends to regulate it’s temperature quite well. So if you slept well, you can measure as normal. You can read more about how warm weather affects your temperature here.

 

Wondering how to use Natural Cycles when traveling? Check out our Cyclerpedia article for more info.

 

Hope you enjoy your summer holidays,

Your Natural Cycles team

Encouraging your besties to get to know their body and cycle

At Natural Cycles we’re all about increasing choice for women and encouraging them to get to know their body and cycle.

Now you can do that too, by spreading the word with our ‘Refer a friend’ to Natural Cycles program. Every friend you refer will not only get a discount on the ‘Yearly plan’, but if you are a Pro Cycler and have referred ten friends – you will get Natural Cycles for free, for life.

If you are a Newbie, Junior or Skilled Cycler your friends can enjoy a 10% discount if they sign up through your very own personal link. If you are already a Pro Cycler they will get a 30% discount. This applies to the ‘Yearly plan’ which also includes a thermometer, that way they can get started right away.

To refer a friend:

  1. Go into your ‘Profile’
  2. Tap on ‘Achievements’
  3. Scroll down to the achievement ‘Refer a friend’ and tap on this.
  4. ‘Share your link’ with friends on social networks such as Facebook, Whatsapp etc.

Login below to start referring your friends to Natural Cycles now:

Hope you enjoy sharing your Natural Cycles experience!

Your Natural Cycles team

Menstruation Hygiene Awareness Day

It’s the Menstruation Hygiene Awareness Day on May 28th. This year the theme is “Education about menstruation can change everything”, and we here at Natural Cycles cannot agree more. So this week’s agenda is to raise discussions around the topic.

Education about menstruation can change everything

Regardless of where in the world, periods have always been surrounded by taboos. Although certain societies have come extremely far when it comes to education and availability of hygiene products, did you know that in Ghana girls don’t even know about menstruation when they hit puberty? In Iran many girls think menstruation is a disease? Or that even in Sweden it can take up to 8 years to get a diagnosis for endometriosis?

This of course has an impact on girls’ and women’s emotional state, lifestyle and health. With raising awareness and educating we believe in a world where girls and women should not be ashamed of something as natural as their periods, or treated differently because of it. Every woman has the right to know how her body, how the menstrual cycle works and just how unique she is.

Make sure to follow us on Instagram & Facebook this week for more. Take a stand and post your why experiences using the hashtags #Menstruationmatters to join the discussion!

https://mensenorg.wordpress.com/2017/05/07/menstrual-hygiene-awareness-month-tema-1-mensbildning

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4408698/

 

Alcohol and your temperature

Going out for a few drinks at the weekend? Here’s what you should know about alcohol and your temperature.

How alcohol affects your temperature

When it comes to Natural Cycles your temperature is the main indicator the algorithm takes into account to calculate your result. Alcohol can cause your temperature to rise, which could end up skewing your data. If your temperature is fluctuating, the algorithm will detect it, and it can result in more red days. And we don’t want that now do we? 

When it’s time to tap ‘Deviating temp.’

That’s why it’s good to know when it’s time to skip measuring or tap ‘Deviating temp.’. If you’ve slept poorly or got up during the night many times, you should skip measuring. Also If you have hangover symptoms after drinking alcohol like: feeling sick, a headache or feeling groggy the next day, best leave it be.

Situations when you can still measure, despite the wine.

If you had a glass of wine or two over dinner, you probably won’t feel it the next day (depending on how often you drink etc.)  So you can log your temperature as ‘Normal’, if you don’t have any signs of a hangover.

Here at Natural Cycles, we’re no party poopers, everyone has a glass of wine or more every now and then – especially at the weekend. Just remember to ‘Skip today’ or tap ‘Deviating temp.’ on these days 😉

 

Your Natural Cycles Team

How your cycle can affect your skin

Us ladies don’t always have it easy do we? Along with hormonal changes, mood swings, PMS and periods – turns out your skin tends to change over the course of your cycle too. This goes hand in hand with your monthly menstrual cycle and changes in hormones.

You might have already noticed some of these changes, but here’s a complete guide on what you might expect during the different phases of your cycle and how you can adapt your skin care a little to help compensate these changes. Of course everyone is different but you can take notes in the Natural Cycles app to keep track of changes and maybe even tweak your skin care routine.

skin

Period: skin is dry

In the beginning of your cycle, which starts on the first day of your period (Cycle Day 1), your levels of both progesterone and estrogen are quite low. This can cause skin to feel drier and wrinkles might become more obvious.

Tip: Pamper your skin, use gently cleansers and products designed to plump and hydrate your skin.

Follicular phase: skin is stronger

Your ovaries resume the production of estrogen as your period ends, which plumps the skin and encourages collagen production. This gives your skin strength and it will look very plump and healthy. In fact, your skin is not as sensitive to pain during this time.

Tip: Carry out hair removal or skin peelings for dry skin patches during this time.

Ovulation: skin is healthy and plump

This is often the time of the month where you are at your best. You feel great and your skin is healthy and plump. Increased estrogen means collagen is high but it can also lead to some pimples for some women as spots in your skin can get oilier.

Tip: If your gonna get some passport photos taken, do it now 😉

Luteal Phase: skin is oily and prone to break out

Once you ovulate, your body starts producing the hormone progesterone. Which we know to cause the temperature rise and helps the app detect ovulation. Progesterone also stimulates the production of sebum, which is a thick and oily substance that acts a natural skin lubricant. Which can ultimately also cause pores to clog up and be the cause of breakouts.

Tip: Soak up excess oil on the skin surface with a purifying and detoxifying mask.

PMS: skin is puffy

Some women tend to retain water during this time and skin looks puffier. Also because you tend to crave junk food and sugary treats your skin might suffer.

Tip: Do your best to stick to healthy foods and keep water intake high.

 

Want to keep track of your cycle and take note of changes to your skin throughout? Natural Cycles will tell you exactly what stage in your cycle your at.

 

http://www.dermalinstitute.com/uk/library/76_article_Hormones_and_Your_Skin.html

http://www.webmd.com/skin-problems-and-treatments/acne/features/period#1

http://www.empowher.com/skin-hair-amp-nails/content/5-ways-your-period-affects-your-skin?page=0,0

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16433679

http://www.refinery29.com/period-skin-care

It’s getting hot in here. Why does my temperature rise after ovulation?

You might have noticed that after ovulation, your temperature tends to rise. Or if you’re new to us, now you know 😉 This is also an indicator for the app to know how to calculate your green and red days.

Your temperature is the main indicator the algorithm the app takes into account. This is because your temperature is linked to the hormone levels in your body, and changes throughout your cycle. Once an egg is released from the ovaries (ovulation), your body starts producing the hormone progesterone. This hormone prepares the lining of the uterus for possible implantation and also causes your temperature to rise.

Progesterone is actually only produced in high amounts once ovulation has occurred and once you have several high temperature readings the app will confirm that you have ovulated. You might even notice that you feel a little warmer at night in bed.

So the days before your temperature rise are the most fertile days of your cycle (be sure to use protection if you are preventing a pregnancy.)

Your temperature will drop back down again if the egg has not been fertilised, you will see that this will happen just before or during your period. And a new cycle begins again. On the other hand when a pregnancy occurs the temperature remains elevated and does not drop.

So you will see that you have a relatively lower temperature in the first phase of your cycle (follicular phase) and a rise in the second phase (luteal phase).

Hope that clears things up for you Cyclers. Have you noticed your temperature rise, or do you even feel it ? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

 

Upcoming changes to the Natural Cycles app

At Natural Cycles we are constantly working on improving the app so you can get the very most out of your experience with us. Within the upcoming months, we will be making some changes to the core functionality of the app, so we wanted to give all of our lovely Cyclers a heads up and also gather some feedback. With these changes we want to make the app even more clear and easy to use.

With Natural Cycles you should skip measuring when you feel sick, hungover or have slept more or less than usual. This is so you can get the best green day results.

Up until now you could also alternatively press the button ‘Don’t count this measurement’ when adding your temperature. This button will now be replaced by two buttons that mark your temperature as ‘Normal’ or ‘Deviating’. The functionality remains rather similar, let us explain…

What is a deviating temperature?

Certain factors can affect your temperature such as sickness, alcohol and lack of sleep. From now on we will be indicating this as a  ‘Deviating Temperature’, as it can skew your data and will cause you to have more red days – and you don’t want that right?

So if you have any of these symptoms, and still wish to save your temperature in the app – you should always manually mark it as a ‘deviating’ temperature. The app will also automatically detect very high deviations and you will notice this as the temperature will have a strikethrough.

A ‘Deviating’ temperature is not taken into account by the algorithm behind the Natural Cycles app to calculate your green or red day. So the more normal temperatures you enter the better your green day results are likely to be.

Skip today

Alternatively, you can now actively skip measuring your temperature by clicking ‘Skip today’ at the bottom of the add data page. You can also actively skip measuring if you forgot to measure in the morning and check the app later in the day.

This is great if you want to keep up the habit of checking the app in the morning and to keep track of how much you are measuring.

In your history and monthly view you will now exactly see when you have chosen to skip measuring so you have a better overview of your data. You can only skip today.

Days adding data

We will also update the data taken into account for your statistic of ‘Days adding data’. This will now only take ‘Normal’ temperature measurements into account as it is the key indicator for Natural Cycles to work effectively. LH and notes are optional so adding these will not affect these statistics anymore.

Anything above 75% days of adding normal temperature is a great achievement.

You might also have noticed that we’ve added reminders to Natural Cycles which we are very excited about. You can check out our blogpost about the Natural Cycles Reminders feature and how to use it here.

Hope you all enjoy the new features and looking forward to your feedback, please drop us a comment below – we would love to hear what you think. 

Your Natural Cycles team

 

Meet the team: Raoul, CEO & Co-founder

Raoul is the CEO and Co-founder of Natural Cycles, along with his wife – Elina. They have been the foundation of the company from the get go. So here’s a little intro and he has to say about what it’s like to run a startup that is disrupting the contraceptive market.

Where are you from?

Born and raised in the beautiful city of Vienna in Austria.

Tell us about your work at Natural Cycles?

I am the Co-founder and CEO of Natural Cycles, so I have been and am still involved in practically every part of the company. Whether it’s hiring new team members, managing them, speaking to regulators, doing research or developing our strategy – I like that I get to work with so many amazing people on a wide range of different topics. It’s challenging and exciting all at once.

Why Natural Cycles?

My wife and I were looking for an alternative contraceptive ourselves and once we realised we are not the only ones we decided to get started with Natural Cycles. That was around 4 years ago now and so much as changed since then – which is great. Contraception is one of the world’s biggest challenges – it’s important to increase choice, access and education around the topic. I believe it will make the world a better place.

Any favourite project?

It’s a privilege to work on something that makes a difference. I try to work with customer support on a regular basis – it’s incredibly rewarding to help our Cyclers. It really makes you realise what kind of an impact it has on their lives and we love to help them out as much as we can. Having amazing customer support is one of our core values here at the company. We have also a few exciting projects in our pipeline, but I won’t talk about that now;)

What does it mean to be a good CEO?

Ultimately, the best team wins. That goes for everything, so I think the most important part of my job is to surround myself with people who share our vision and want to make it a reality. The road to success is rough, very rough, especially if you go up against very big & smart competitors, so I also think it’s important to keep everyone motivated along the way by reminding them of what we are working towards.

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

Hard work always pays off. A few passionate people can make a big difference in the world.

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

I love Giro – a Pizzeria close to our office that makes excellent Pizza and always has available tables.

Favourite feature in Natural Cycles app?

Green days! No doubt.

Favourite song

I am a little bit weird when it comes to music – I like any sort of music as long as it reaches some level of mainstream – whether it’s Mozart or Rihanna. Currently, a source of motivation is Enrique Iglesias – I don’t really know why. 🙂