If you haven’t already, check out part 1 of this blog series to see why I decided to bin the birth control pill and how it’s linked to poor thyroid health and autoimmunity (in my case, Hashimoto’s).
In this post, I’m talking all about the method I’m using instead, the device I’ve chosen, and why. If you’re like I was 6 months ago – curious about alternatives to hormonal contraception – then I hope this post will provide some helpful insight!
Fertility Awareness Method
The Fertility Awareness Method (FAM) initially appealed to me because it doesn’t involve any drugs, hormones or implanted objects (I’m way too squeamish for that!). Instead, it leverages knowledge of your cycle to predict the days you will be fertile and not fertile. It also helps you become more in tune with your femininity and body, which I believe can only be a good thing in our increasingly disconnected world (ironic, given social media, etc.).
I use the combination of a temperature measurement device (Daysy) and two apps (Daysy and Clue) which track my cycle. I like to have the peace of mind of using both, but you don’t need to. The device syncs up to the app via my phone and I use Clue manually by entering information about my menstruation days.
I started using the Daysy fertility tracker around 6 months ago. I’d been thinking about it for a while but was nervous to try something new (and expensive) after 10 years on the pill. However, I knew it’s what I wanted to do and that the benefits and cost of the device would be well worth it vs. paying for hormonal pills each month. It was an investment in my health. My boyfriend actually ended up buying the device for me as an anniversary gift – what a keeper, right?!
You can use Daysy to prevent or plan a pregnancy. I’m doing the former at the moment. It’s very simple to use. You just measure your temperature right when you wake up (before you go for a wee or cuddle your partner – the hardest part in my opinion!) and it will give you a result as to whether you’re currently fertile, not fertile or the device isn’t sure yet.
The more regularly you measure, the more green (go!) days you will get, as Daysy gets your fertile window down to a T and doesn’t have to serve up as many yellow (not sure yet) and red (no go) results.
Things I love:
- The biggie: it’s natural and doesn’t involve synthetic hormones or anything that could cause harm to your body leading to unwanted, potentially dangerous side effects (especially important if you have existing health issues)
- It helps you become more in touch with and aware of your body’s cycles
- It’s just one simple step each morning that you can easily build into your routine
- The device will always err on the side of caution if it has incomplete data, so you can trust it (the accuracy is 99.4% when used correctly – much higher than other forms of contraception!)
A few words of warning/caution:
- The device takes a few months to “learn” your cycle, so you should use a barrier form of protection during this time
- If you have fluctuating temperatures because of untreated hypothyroidism, medication, illness or a big night out (AKA hangover sweats), the readings may not be accurate. The company’s website advises to skip measurements in these instances but you can pick right back up again afterwards and Daysy stays cautious until it’s sure of your current cycle
- I sometimes forget to do it because I wake up and need a wee or want to roll over for a cuddle! However, this doesn’t matter too much because, again, Daysy will remain cautious with its prognosis
So there we are! It has been an absolute revelation to me to be able to remove the pill from my life and take one step closer to vibrant health. As mentioned in my other post, always consider your options carefully – everyone is different and has different needs. Personally, I’m not looking back and I’m really happy with how I feel post-pill. I haven’t experienced any “detox” or hormone rebalancing side effects bar a couple of months of hormonal acne, which I’ve managed to clear up (I’ll write a post on this too!).
Part 3 of the “getting off the pill” series
In the next blog post, I will be talking about how I supported my body when it was detoxing the pill out of my system and how I got my period back (and regular). Some women “lose” their periods after coming off the pill because their bodies aren’t used to regulating their own hormones and the pill has depleted vitamin/mineral stores, so it’s a really important piece of the puzzle.
As always, email me (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you’ve got any questions or would like to explore getting me on your team as a certified holistic health coach and personal cheerleader ;). I specialise in helping women struggling with chronic illness and autoimmunity to achieve vibrant, thriving health (and am offering FREE Breakthrough Calls, just sayin’).
My promise to you is that I will dig deeper than other health practitioners have before – after all, I have Hashimoto’s myself, so I truly understand the everyday battles that come with chronic illness. I will take the time to listen to you. Together, we’ll begin to release limiting beliefs, work through emotional blocks, build new nutrition and lifestyle habits, and create lasting change.