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

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

SkiGoing 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 on these days 😉

 

Your Natural Cycles Team

Everything you need to know about ovulation tests

No matter if you are new to Natural Cycles or have been using it for a while – here are the most important things you need to know about ovulation (LH) tests.

WHY should you test for LH?

Ovulation (LH) tests are optional but can help the algorithm to detect ovulation so you can get the very most out of your Natural Cycles experience, and who doesn’t want that right?

LH stands for Luteinizing Hormone, which has its peak roughly 48hrs before ovulation and can be found in your urine. That’s why a positive LH test is a strong indication that ovulation will occur soon, but do keep in mind that it does not mean that ovulation is occurring at this moment nor that it definitely will – the body is simply getting ready to ovulate. That’s why ovulation will only be confirmed in the app after a rise in temperature has accompanied a positive LH test.

HOW do you test for LH?

You can test your urine for LH with the Natural Cycles ovulation (LH) test strips. An increase in LH is usually found within 24-48h before ovulation. LH is always present in the body, put peaks just before ovulation. So a light LH indication can be found on many days in the cycle, that’s why the test is only positive if both lines are equally strong.  You can buy the LH test strips in our Webshop and find a more detailed description of how to do a test in our FAQs.

WHEN is the best time to test for LH?

On around 3-5 days of your cycle, the Natural Cycles app will prompt you to take an LH test. This is to minimise the number of tests you need to take, without missing your LH peak. You should measure between 10am-8pm as the LH-levels tend to rise during the day. You should also try to make sure you that you haven’t visited the bathroom or taken in a lot of fluids for 2 hours prior to testing. You can take ovulation tests as many times a day as you wish to. 

If you want to give ovulation (LH) tests a try, jut hop on over to our Webshop we’ve got plenty as well as other great period, intimate care and sexual well-being products.

Your Natural Cycles team

Celebrating international women’s day

International women’s day is all about celebrating women, our rights, how incredibly far we have come these past few years and how hugely we have contributed to society, the economy, culture and politics. Because who knew that soon we could be calling our app the only certified contraceptive, right ladies?

Having come so far already we sometimes tend to forget what our earlier generations have fought for. So it’s also a time to raise awareness and realise how you are contributing to a better future with Natural Cycles and how we can inspire others to do so.

Contributing to women’s health research

Did you know that when using Natural Cycles you are hugely contributing to research in women’s health? Together with all women using the app we are driving advances in science within the fields of fertility, reproductive health and contraception.

How we talk about contraception, sex and periods

Topics related to women’s sexual health, menstrual cycles and periods are known to be somewhat taboo and we think they shouldn’t be. So we are all about encouraging women to talk about these things openly , whether it’s when you email us at support or on our social media channels – no need to be shy about it.

Inspiring others to get to know their bodies

Getting to know your body and taking control of your choices is liberating. Women often tell us how it has changed their lives and how great they feel – that’s inspiration right there. So whether it’s talking to your friends about Natural Cycles or it’s about your positive experiences in life, be brave to inspire others.

Your Natural Cycles Team

How to get that spring back into your step

Today is the first day of spring and we reckon it’s not just all about tidying and cleaning your entire home. As the days get longer and temperatures start rising (not just your basal body temperature ;)) it’s a great time for making some small changes. With a healthier daily routine you can enjoy a little more spring in your step this season.

Wake up early and get into your routine

As spring comes along the sun starts rising earlier, so why not set the alarm an hour earlier? Getting up earlier leaves you refreshed and feeling productive and rising with the sun is a heck of alot better than on those dark winter days.

With Natural Cycles you should measure your temperature around the same time every morning, just after waking up – so it’s also great for getting out of the bad habit of winter snoozing. We find setting a labelled alarm at the same time to measure is not only great for a pretty temperature curve in the app but for a productive morning routine too.

Get outside and exercise

Did you know that exercise can relieve PMS cramps? The benefits of exercising (no matter what day of your cycle you’re on) just can’t be ignored, it’s great for your body all round and shows benefits for mental well-being. So once the weather starts getting a little better it’s great to get out into nature and enjoy the warmer temperatures and fresh air. From now on it’s time to grab your runners and hit the ground running.

So to get off on the right foot this spring, after the long winter – wake up a little earlier, measure regularly and exercise so you can hit the ground running. 

 

Winter is here: will it affect my basal body temperature?

Generally speaking your body should not be affected, given that you have normal bedding (what you usually use) and room temperatures at home. Your body is great at maintaining a regular temperature and will adjust to the cold weather!

photo-2016-11-09-08-46-38-copy

With Natural Cycles it is important to measure your basal body temperature in your mouth and underneath your tongue. By closing your mouth and breathing through your nose you can avoid external factors like room temperature influencing it. This is why measuring your temperature on your skin or in your ear is not accurate enough to use with the app.

We also want to point out that electric blankets and heating pads can have an effect, so keep an eye on your temperature curve when using these. Winter is also the time of year where a lot of us get sick, so if you feel unwell and your temperatures are much higher than usual be sure to disable the measurement until you feel better again.

inactivate
If you haven’t entered any temperature, you cannot click on inactive.

 

Read more about measuring the basal body temperature related articles here:

When and how to measure basal body temperature.

Why should I use a basal thermometer?

What if I forget to measure?

 

Happy Cycling!

How common is early miscarriage and what causes it?

In the lead up to our #HappyPregnancy campaign we want to highlight the other side of the story a pregnancy ending in a miscarriage.

Miscarriage is the sudden loss of a pregnancy before the 20th week. Although it is natural, very common and happens to up to 10-20 percent of all known pregnancies, it is a topic that is not so discussed and known as taboo.

Early pregnancy loss are most common

Most of the miscarriages happen before week 12, after that the risk decreases week per week.  In about half of the cases of early pregnancy miscarriages the reason is that the fertilised egg does not divide properly or is not properly attached in the womb. 

What causes early pregnancy loss?

A miscarriage can be very tough emotionally, and it is not unusual that the woman blames herself for losing the baby. According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, there are no certain activities that cause early pregnancy loss. Smoking, alcohol and caffeine have been studied but the research is not clear. The advice is to stay away from alcohol, caffeine and smoking when trying to get pregnant.

How can Natural Cycles help you?

You can ovulate after your miscarriage, as early as in your first cycle.  So if you want to try to get pregnant again, there is no medical reason to wait. With Natural Cycles, you can pinpoint your fertile days and see if and when you ovulated after a miscarriage, and plan your pregnancy.  Once you’re pregnant, you can track the first trimester of your pregnancy in the Natural Cycles app. This is done by tracking your temperature, because it should stay high throughout the first trimester due to progesterone that is continuously being produced.  The Natural Cycles algorithm can detect potential fluctuating hormone levels and will notify you if you should visit a doctor. 

On the picture above you can see how the woman’s temperature kept staying high after the entered positive pregnancy test, and the fluctuating values.  

Emma’s Story 

We do encourage women to talk openly about their fertility stories. As mentioned, miscarriage is something natural caused by our bodies and shouldn’t be taboo to talk about. Emma is a Cycler since last year and after reading about Natural Cycles she decided to start using it.

 

13903243_10153856025020292_7651989690801348695_n

“I heard about Natural Cycles and since we planned to get pregnant in near future I figured it was a great way to get to know my body. I ordered the startkit and started measuring my temperature every morning. It took me couple of months to get into it, but once I did I realized how fantastic the body is! When I understood my rhythms from month to month, me and my partner started talking about getting pregnant. With help of LH-tests I could find my ovulation with great precision, and I got more aware of my body’s signals! I got pregnant in may this year (2016) on the first try!
Unfortunately it ended in a miscarriage. But knowing how easy it’s been to find my ovulation with help of Natural Cycles, we didn’t stop trying. Now 4 months later, I’m pregnant again and that makes me a Preggo Cycler!


preggocycler

It’s still very early in my pregnancy and anything can happen, but we got pregnant so close into the miscarriage thanks to Natural Cycles. I will continue using natural Cycles for monitoring my pregnancy, and use it afterwards for tracking my fertility!”

 

Thanks to Emma for sharing this fantastic story! If you want to share your Natural Cycles story with us, don’t hesitate to reach out to us, and if you want to plan your pregnancy read more on our #HappyPregnancy website and sign up to get 40% off.

sign-up

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.

 

GetStarted1

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

Birth Control is About Life Control

Natural Cycles found that birth control choices are based on a poor understanding of how the body and contraception works. The campaign #LifeChangingOptions hopes to improve awareness around contraception so that couples find a method that suits both of their needs entirely and bolsters their ability to prevent pregnancies.

As part of the campaign, Natural Cycles asked 3000 men and women across the UK, US and Sweden, basic knowledge questions about reproduction and contraception that the company considers necessary to prevent pregnancies effectively. Study participants were asked about their contraception use, their feelings towards them as well as the science behind pregnancy. 

The survey results show the general public’s understanding is lacking, with only half of all questions answered correctly. The UK’s awareness was lowest, at 45 percent, followed by the United States, 50 percent, and finally Sweden, the home country of Natural Cycles came out top with 54 percent.

When asked, nearly 30 percent of women on the pill do not know how the method works and 52 percent failed to answer pregnancy-risk related questions correctly. Furthermore, almost 80 percent of these women say they would prefer to use a natural method of contraception but results suggest that they are held back by their general lack of awareness.

It is part of women and men’s reproductive rights to understand the options that are available to them to prevent unwanted pregnancies. A privilege that we take for granted, which is upsetting if you consider that millions of girls in the developing world have no access to contraception whatsoever.

For every use of the hashtag #LifeChangingOptions, Natural Cycles will donate a condom to developing countries to try and institutionalise the concept of “choice” by expanding options so that underprivileged girls can take control of their own future.

And of course, if you would like to become one of our Cyclers, sign up here!

 

Test your knowledge by watching this video:

How did you do?

1. How does a women get pregnant?

A: To put it simply, an egg is released from the ovaries and a sperm fertilises an egg

 

2.  How long can sperm survive in the female body?

A: Up to 5 days 

 

3. Can a woman get pregnant any time in her cycle?

A: No, a woman can only get pregnant during ~6 days of her cycle.

Here’s the equation: 5 day sperm survival + 1 day egg survival = 6 day fertile window

 

4.  So when do you think are you most fertile?

A: For an optimal chance of conception, sperm should already be present in the fallopian tube before the egg is released, which means the most fertile day of the woman’s cycle is rather the day prior to ovulation than the day of ovulation itself.

 

5. How does the pill work?

A: The pill has a few of lines of attack: a) Stops ovulation so there is no egg to fertilise, b) changes the lining of the uterus  so an embryo cannot implant in the womb c) thickens the cervical mucus so it is harder for sperm to penetrate the womb and reach the egg.

 

6. Do you know how your temperature changes during your cycle and how this information can be used to track your fertility?

A: Women’s resting body temperatures rises once they have ovulated (0.2-0.45 C).  Ovulation marks the end of fertile window, which indicates a woman has entered her infertile phase. Temperature can therefore be used to find which phase a woman is in her cycle, informing her when she is fertile and is not fertile.

Screen Shot 2015-08-27 at 17.41.27

For more information about tracking your cycle please visit our support portal, Ask Tibi.

Yours naturally,

The Natural Cycles Team

xxx