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.

estimate

 

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

When to measure and when not to measure

One question about tracking the basal body temperature for natural family planning is when to refrain from measuring. If you are clearly sick and have a fever, NaturalCycles will detect your temperatures as abnormal and automatically exclude them. However, if you are just feeling slightly under the weather, or have been partying the day before, or simply sleeping significantly more or less than usual, your temperature measurement for that morning could be slightly shifted. This is not at all “dangerous” and it will not make you get green days during your fertile window. It could however cause you to get less green days as NaturalCycles provides the same level of safety for all types of temperature fluctuations.

It is therefore better to refrain from measuring for days where you don’t follow your normal rhythm. Especially if you haven’t just started measuring your temperature. NaturalCycles uses all of your data data from the first cycle you enter, when it analyses your new incoming temperatures and therefore, after three cycles or so, statistics become less crucial. Myself, I have now used NaturalCycles for 500 days and I have meanwhile acquired quite some statistics. I therefore only measure on days where everything is according to my normal every day schedule. For example, before this morning (Monday), I did not measure since Wednesday (see chart). Thursday was the Swiss national holiday so there was some drinking involved for both Wednesday and Thursday evening. Then, during the weekend, I slept considerably longer than usually. Since my data are not limited by statistics anymore, and I am not yet close to ovulation, it is fine for me to skip those 4 days in a row. I you have a look at my chart below you see that there is a nice line until today, probably since I skipped the days before where I’d otherwise get elevated temperatures due to sleeping in/alcohol.

Measures - NaturalCycles

I will summarize some useful rules of thumb that you could adopt for optimal temperature tracking:

  • For the first 3 cycles, try to measure as often as possible
  • For the 5 days before and after expected ovulation, try to measure almost every day
  • Outside these two scopes try to at least measure 4 mornings/week, but strictly don’t measure if:
    1. You get more than 2 hours of more/less sleep than usual
    2. You wake up more than 3 hours earlier/later than usual
    3. You drank more than usual the evening before and you feel the alcohol the following morning
    4. Skip the first morning after having traveled long distance to a different time zone
    5. You feel ill or have a fever

If you apply these guidelines, you should get nice temperature curves. There will of course always be some fluctuations, which cannot be avoided, but that’s normal and nothing to be concerned about. You should also try to avoid first measuring and then deciding whether to use the temperature value or not. That might bias your chart to look like you want it to, rather than what is actually correct.

When you have to measure the LH hormones with ovulation tests (OPKs), you don’t have to worry about more/less sleep or alcohol.

You should however try to not drink any liquids and not go to the bathroom at least 2 hours before measuring, preferentially more than 4 hours. Best is also to avoid taking the test in the morning. This might sound confusing, as pregnancy tests are best taken when you wake up, but the LH surge often starts in the morning, so if you take your ovulation test then you are more likely to miss your LH peak. Of course, if you don’t find a good time during the day to avoid liquids for a longer time, then the morning is to be preferred.

Happy measuring!

Getting strangely attached to women’s data

In the last months I have been staring at countless of temperature charts from women of different age and lifestyle. It is funny how difficult it is not to get attached and have a personal relationship with the data.

This might sound odd to you, but during the development phase of NaturalCycles, the best part of my day was waking up in the morning and going straight to checking the new data entries of all “my” women. Did the period appear as expected for Ms X? Did the temperature rise further to give green days for Ms Y? And did Ms Z finally find her LH peak? This is why it is good to have a statistical algorithm analyzing the data and not the personal opinion. It is funny how your own perception can bias the temperature reading.

Charting by yourself can easily lead to misinterpretations

As an example take Sara. She had been on the pill for several years before stopping and trying out NaturalCycles. The hormones strongly affected her body and cycle and her first cycle was more than four months long. Only after a year did her cycles become less than 40 days long. I got very attached to Sara’s data and was desperately hoping for a temperature rise indicating ovulation every single morning. One day I was sure she had ovulated, but NaturalCycles still gave her red days. I was wondering how come – it should definitely be green!

Data - NaturalCycles

Luckily I am not personally analyzing the data and putting my feelings into the mix. Some days later, Sara’s temperature was as low as ever and ovulation followed shortly thereafter. This is why I think a charting by yourself or using a non-sophisticated tool can be even dangerous, especially if you are using the method to avoid pregnancies.

Data - NaturalCycles

The perfect temperature chart

As I am a big fan of evening relaxation with the help of a glass of wine (ok, fine, several glasses of wine), my own temperature data is quite jumpy and far from perfect. This is of course fine, and perfectly safe, but I still envy those women with perfect curves. Temperature curves, that is… 😉 Below you can see the chart of one of my favorite curvy women. There are of course some fluctuations here and there, but overall it looks like a perfect sine wave gently flowing over the course of time.

Data - NaturalCycles

Ok, enough charting porn for today. I guess I’ll always remain a bit of a physics geek, getting all excited about the amazing data the female body so naturally produces.