How does the Natural Cycles algorithm work?

Behind the Natural Cycles app lies an unique algorithm that calculates your green and red days. This is the brains behind the app that pinpoints and predicts your ovulation, and the days you are fertile. What you might be wondering is how does it know when you are fertile or not?

natural cycles algorithm

FIRST THING’S FIRST

The algorithm works by identifying your fertile days. These six days are calculated by taking your ovulation day and the five days before, because of possible sperm survival, into account.

Every woman and every cycle is unique, so the algorithm will have to get to know your cycles before it can tell you when ovulation has occurred. That’s why you might have more ‘red’ fertile days in the app when you get started with Natural Cycles.

HOW DOES IT PINPOINT THE FERTILE DAYS?

Your basal body temperature shifts after ovulation and becomes higher due to release of the hormone progesterone. So the algorithm takes your temperature measurements and optional LH tests into account when calculating and pinpointing your ovulation and most fertile days. The app will let you know what your average temperature values are in luteal vs follicular phase, how your temperature curves look and get an overview of your fertile days. The algorithm will also calculate your predictions for the months ahead, depending on how regular your cycles are.

 

WHAT ELSE DOES IT TAKE INTO ACCOUNT?

The longer you use Natural Cycles, the better it gets to know you.  It takes your cycle irregularities into account, the variation of your cycles and ovulation day, temperature fluctuations, length of follicle and luteal phase. On average, it takes up to 3 cycles for the Natural Cycles algorithm to get to know your cycles and gives you more and more green days.

The longer you use Natural Cycles, the better it get’s to know you.  You can see your irregularities in your stats page.  

Want to explore the powerful knowledge that lies behind our algorithm’s calculations? Sign up today and get to know yourself and your body better.

 

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.

 

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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

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.

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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

Meet a Cycler – Sandra

Hi!

My name is Sandra and I’m 23 years old. I live in the idyllic archipelago of Nynäshamn (Sweden) with my fiancé. I’m a preschool-teacher student at Stockholm University and in June 2016 I will graduate!

Sandra

I found out about Natural Cycles through a popular blog. Around the same time I heard about Natural Cycles I also started a lifestyle change. I started eating organic food and I felt that Natural Cycles could be a good option for me. Using the app is so simple – all you need to do is take your temperature in the morning. Such an easy habit to form!

 

Natural Cycles is the right choice for me since my fiancé and I have been together for almost eight years and we’re getting married soon. In couple of years we might want to have a family and, thanks to Natural Cycles I will know my most fertile days. As you might know, you can choose between two plans with Natural Cycles: “Track your fertility”, and “Plan a Pregnancy” which you can quickly change with the press of a button.


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Also I love their support. They respond very quickly to questions and concerns. I feel very well treated and that’s important for me as a user. I’ve used Natural Cycles since August 2015 and still love using it. It’s very easy to use and I love getting the notifications in the morning. It feels lovely to track my cycle and get better knowledge about my fertility. I would recommend Natural Cycles to all women!

 

It’s amazing to read your stories! If you want to share your story please fill in this form and we will get back to you.

Read other Cyclers stories here:

Meet a Cycler – Pauline
Meet a Cycler –  Tanya
Meet a Cycler – My Annika



LH – Luteinizing hormone

 

The hormones in our body changes during the menstrual cycle, generating different reactions in the body. LH stands for luteinizing hormone and it plays an important role during our menstrual cycle. We always have a certain amount of LH in our bodies, and a surge occurs 1-3 days before ovulation when the amount of LH increases. Therefore detecting the LH-surge means that the body is initiating an ovulation.

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I got positive LH-tests but Natural Cycles did not confirm my ovulation?

What is important to remember is that positive LH-test does not confirm the ovulation, it only means that it is likely that your body will initiate ovulation soon. Sometimes LH is released but no ovulation happens. If ovulation doesn’t happen, then no progesterone is released and our temperature stays low. Without the increase in progesterone, there is nothing preventing ovulation to happen in the future.

Positive LH-tests must therefore be followed by a rise in temperature (due to progesterone being released) for Natural Cycles to confirm ovulation. So if you get positive LH-tests, it’s important to keep measuring your temperature to check that it does indeed rise some days later!

 


Ovulation is confirmed in the Natural Cycles app even if I only get negative LH-tests?

Natural Cycles can confirm your ovulation even if you enter negative LH-tests. This is because negative LH-tests does not mean that you will not ovulate – perhaps you have ovulation on the same day that you measured for LH! Or maybe you tested for LH after drinking a lot of fluid which made LH in your urine less concentrated.

We recommend to measure LH between 10am-8pm, and use concentrated urine (i.e. make sure you haven’t visited the bathroom or taken in a lot of fluids the 2 hours prior to testing). Read more here about measuring LH.

 

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How does it look in the Natural Cycles app?

The Natural Cycles app will indicate when it’s time to take an LH test in both today’s, weekly and monthly prognosis. (See video below.) If you just started with Natural Cycles after quitting the pill, or if you have very irregular cycles, the app might need to get to know you a bit better before indicating which days to test for LH. This is to avoid for you to have to take a lot of LH tests in one cycle. If that happens, it’s important to keep measuring your temperature! 🙂

 

 


Read more about LH in our support portal ask.naturalcycles.com and look up our Q&A with #AskNaturalCycles on social media!

Best
The Natural Cycles Team