What protection to use on red days?

With Natural Cycles you know exactly when you are fertile and need to use protection. We recommend using condoms as they have been proven to be very effective and are easy to use. What protection you use on red days is of course up to you just keep in mind that the effectiveness on red days relies on the method you choose to use. We’ve put together a list of methods that can be used on red days, how they are used and how effective they are.

When it comes to contraceptives we recommend taking effectiveness, method of usage as well as possible side effects into consideration. On red days you can only use non-hormonal methods of protection, as hormones affect your body temperature. The only methods mentioned that protect against STDs and STIs are the male and female condom.

Effectiveness can be broken down into:

  • Perfect use: this refers to using the method of contraception correctly and consistently
  • Typical use: reflects how effective methods are for the average person who does not always use the method correctly and consistently.

These numbers show how many women out of 100 get pregnant during a one year period of using the contraceptive method. E.g. 2% perfect use means that in one year a total of 2 women will get pregnant if they use the method consistently and correctly, whereas 18% typical use shows that 18 women out of 100 will become pregnant when using the method in general.

The more correctly and consistently you apply a method of contraception – the more effective the method will be for you. Everyone is different so it’s important to take these factors into account when choosing which option is right for you.

Abstention

When it comes to contraception, abstinence refers to avoiding penile-vaginal penetration. Some couples like to interact in other forms of sexual expression such as masturbation, oral sex, having fun with sex toys and foreplay instead. The penis and sperm should however not come in contact with the vulva or vagina to avoid pregnancy. On paper this is a very effective method to use on red days, in reality you can always be overcome by the ‘heat of the moment’ so we recommend keeping some condoms at hand just in case.

Male Condoms

This is our recommended method for red days, as they are the most effective method and easy to use. Condom failure is usually due to breakage or slippage. You can minimise the risk of this happening by ensuring that you have applied the condom correctly and that it is a good size fitting. We have recently extended our Webshop range with various condoms in different styles and sizes – cause just like us ladies, every man is different and one size doesn’t fit all so be sure to find an option that is comfortable for both of you. 

Perfect use: 2% 

Typical use: 18%

Female Condoms

The female condom is somewhat similar to the male condom. It is a tube of soft plastic (polyurethane) that has a closed end. Each end has a ring or rim. The ring at the closed end is inserted deep into the woman’s vagina over the cervix, like a diaphragm, to hold the tube in place.

Perfect use: 5%

Typical use: 21%

Cervical Cap:

This is a small soft cup made of silicone or latex that fits over the cervix. It needs to be fitted so you should contact your Gynaecologist if you wish to use it and needs to be replaced yearly. It is used in combination with spermicide. You have to leave it in place 6 hours after sex, yet it needs to be taken out within 48hours. It’s effectiveness is also affected depending on whether you have given birth before or not.

Perfect use: 9% (if not given birth), 26% (after birth)

Typical use: 14% (if not given birth), 29% (after birth)

Photo: FemCap

Diaphragm:

The diaphragm is a little similar to the cervical cap. It is a round, dome-shaped device made of rubber that has a firm, flexible rim. It needs to be fitted so you should contact your Gynecologist if you wish to use it and needs to be replaced yearly. It fits inside a woman’s vagina and covers the cervix. It should also be used with a spermicide. The diaphragm must be left in place for 6 hours after intercourse and can be left in place up to 24 hours. It’s effectiveness is also affected depending on whether you have given birth before or not.

Perfect use: 6%

Typical use: 12%

Photo: Caya

Sponge

The contraceptive sponge is a doughnut shaped sponge that you wet before inserting. It is used along with spermicide and must be inserted for at least 6 hours, the combination of spermicide killing sperm and the sponge trapping them and ensuring they do not get to the cervix is important here.

Perfect use: 9% ( ifnot given birth) 12% (after birth)

Typical: 12% (if not given birth) 24% (after birth)

Withdrawal (pull out)

Withdrawal is pulling the penis out of the vagina before ejaculation and away from external genital organs of the woman to avoid pregnancy. With this method the man must rely on his own sensations to determine when he is about to ejaculate. Withdrawal is at the bottom of the effectiveness scale and the gap between typical and perfect use is very large due to couple finding it difficult to use this method consistently and correctly. Men who are less experienced with using this method might have more difficulty identifying when ejaculation is about to occur. In some men’s pre-ejaculate fluid may contain small numbers of sperm, which both partners are often not aware of when released.

Perfect use: 4%

Typical use: 22%

 

 

Talking to your partner about what contraceptive option is right for you can help you with your decision and if you have any further questions feel free to contact us over at support.

Your Natural Cycles team

 

Sources:

http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/contraception-guide/Pages/how-effective-contraception.aspx

Hatcher, Robert Anthony. Contraceptive Technology. New York, NY: Ardent Media, 2011. Print.

https://www.plannedparenthood.org/learn/birth-control/cervical-cap

Contraception: a shared responsibility

At Natural Cycles we strongly believe that contraception should be a shared responsibility. So no matter what option you go for, you can talk to your partner about contraception and what suits you two best.

With Natural Cycles contraception actively becomes a shared responsibility, and couples are loving it. The thing is a woman can only get pregnant on up to 6 days in one cycle, and men are fertile all the time. You measure your temperature and on red days your partner uses a condom – everyone has a part to play. We have also heard from many of our users that partners enjoy getting to know about how the cycle works and actively help out in remembering to measure every morning.

This is what Janine one of our Cyclers has got to say about it.

“It feels like it’s more in line with my personal values and letting my body be in the most natural state as possible. Contraception plays more of an equal role in our relationship now, since none of us have to take hormonal contraception.”

How do you feel about sharing the responsibility of contraception? Please share your experiences and thoughts by commenting on this post!

Yours,
Natural Cycles Team

Talking to your partner about contraception

Talking to your partner about contraception is extremely important. To some of you this convo might come easy, but others might find it a little bit difficult and daunting – especially when considering switching to another method of contraception.

Here’s a few tips on what you should consider before having the big chat and how to make the whole conversation a little more chillaxed:

Value your own needs

Contraception can have a big impact on your body, sexual pleasure and hormonal balance – every woman and every cycle is different and what works for some might not work for others. Keep in mind that this is your body and we here at Natural Cycles are strong believers that contraception is and should be seen to be a shared responsibility. Both of your needs and the way you feel matter, so talking about it and finding a solution that is right is of utmost importance.

Knowledge is power

There are some myths and misconceptions when it comes to contraception so we recommend reading up on reliable sources to gather all the info you need. Highlight why you think certain contraceptive options would suit you and your needs most, it’s all about weighing up the options, discussing them and choosing what is right for you.

Familiarize yourself with how it works

When it comes to contraceptives we most commonly ask ourselves how effective is this method and what’s the likelihood of becoming pregnant? Which is very important but whether it’s taking a pill everyday, measuring your temperature or inserting a device to prevent a pregnancy you should also take how it works and possible side effects into account. The effectiveness of a contraceptive also depends on how it is used, so you should feel comfortable with how it is applied. You can get all the info you need on Natural Cycle’s effectiveness and how it works on our new webpage.

We do hope this helps ladies and feel free to get in touch or drop a comment below if you have any questions.

What are your experiences when it comes to talking about contraception with your partner? What was their reaction and how did you two come to a decision? Would love to hear from you.

 

Your Natural Cycles team

 

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. 

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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.

Let’s talk about sperm survival

You need two things to get pregnant: one egg and one sperm. That’s it.

NaturalCycles is the number one app when it comes to finding your correct ovulation day. This is the day when your egg is released from your ovary and the only day when you actually can get pregnant. We carefully monitor your temperature fluctuations and hormone concentrations throughout your menstrual cycle in order to determine when ovulation occurs. Since an egg survives between 12 and 24 hours, we can rapidly give you green days for the rest of your cycle. But how do we handle sperm survival?

To get pregnant, you only need one egg and one sperm

To get pregnant, you only need one egg and one sperm

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