7 years with Natural Cycles

Anna King
6 min readMar 2, 2023

I had the Jaydess intrauterine device (IUD). It was the hormonal contraceptive option with the least amount of progesterone. Even with very little progesterone, I had signs of depression, which I hadn’t experienced prior to having an IUD. I didn’t feel like myself.

After I had the IUD removed, I started using Natural Cycles in 2017. Users are called ‘Cyclers’. I was looking for a hormone-free contraceptive and Natural Cycles was newly approved, which gave me confidence. It was the first contraceptive app to be approved by the FDA.

Photo from Natural Cycles website

I used Natural Cycles for contraception for 4 months and switched to ‘Plan a Pregnancy’ mode when my husband and I wanted to start a family.

The gradient of red days leading up to peak fertility was easy to understand when conception was mostly likely to occur. Lighter pink meant further from peak fertility (ovulation) and a lower chance of conceiving. Darker red meant closest to peak fertility and a higher chance of conceiving. Having input several months of data, I helped Natural Cycles pinpoint my fertility window. By following the recommendations of the app, I got pregnant quickly in just 2 cycles.

The cheerful switch to ‘Preggo Cycler Mode’ was a simple tap. I kept taking my temperature in the mornings as per my routine during pregnancy. The app showed basic tidbits of information about the size of the baby, common pregnancy symptoms during the week, and tips to relieve discomforts etc. These features built anticipation for baby’s arrival and gave me some comfort in a season of uncertainty.

Then, I suffered pregnancy loss. The app didn’t know that. There was no way to indicate that the pregnancy had ended. The app continued to tick along and show me stats about fetal development in my time of grief. This was an unintended negative effect the app had due to not having a feature to indicate the pregnancy had stopped progressing.

I wrote to Natural Cycles after having difficulty finding any contact information or customer support at the time. I had tried contacting them through their website, footer information, Facebook, and Instagram.

In addition to expressing my disappointment and asking for support in order to exit ‘Preggo Cycler’ mode I asked Customer Support, “How do you think Natural Cycles can improve its user experience for women who miscarry? It’s such a devastating, yet common process. Fear and sorrow also surround miscarriage. Is it possible that the experience of an app could help in a small way?”

After 10 days and 12 emails back and forth and many screenshots from this invested customer, they were able to report back that they made the change in order to prevent this from happening in the future. Users would be able to indicate that the pregnancy was lost and understand the steps they need to reset their cycler mode to plan or prevent a pregnancy.

Correspondence with Natural Cycles Customer Support

After a long process of Customer Support asking me to do several things of varying effectiveness and going through a multi-step process manually, I was able to exit ‘preggo cycler’ mode. In the end, I felt heard that a change was made. I had the satisfaction of potentially helping other pregnant people who also suffered pregnancy loss, too.

In the wake of losing our first baby, I just wanted to be pregnant again. I went back on ‘Plan a Pregnancy’ mode and conceived within the month. It worked! This time, we were blessed with a happy, healthy baby.

When we wanted to have another child, we consulted my data on Natural Cycles and I got pregnant the first cycle we tried.

In addition to preventing and planning pregnancies, I’ve also used the app to track mood, cycle-related symptoms, and energy levels. I’ve referred to the data often with other health care professionals such as naturopaths, family doctors, OB-GYNs, acupuncturists and more.

The data I collected helped me understand my body better.

It even prompted me to review common symptoms and patterns in my cycles in order to better articulate how I’m feeling to a health care professional. It also helps me anticipate and prepare as my body heads into various cycle phases.

TDLR Review

Overall, I continue to enjoy using Natural Cycles and plan to keep using it. It’s an excellent non-invasive, hormone free option and has personally proven to work for both preventing and planning pregnancy. Few, if any other, forms of contraception are dual purpose.

Costs are $90 CAD annually or $12.99 monthly. Users do not require a medical professional to start using Natural Cycles. There is no invasive vaginal insertion, shots nor prescriptive medication. Hence, it is widely accessible and simple to use.

I appreciated their Customer Support’s thoughtfulness and determination to fix the bug I brought to their attention.

Most used feature:Today’ main screen to enter temperature and symptoms

Next most used feature: Month or Calendar in order to see at a glance what’s coming up

Least used feature: Learn (where there are general how-to manuals and info about the app and usage; quizzes, blog posts etc.)

Neat feature: Partner View allows users to share data with their partners. Users can determine what/how much data to share with their partner. This feature is pretty interesting and complex. Users are able to show data starting at a specific date, and includes fertility status, emotions, symptoms, sex, ovulation and pregnancy tests and more. Each element can be turned on or off according to the user’s preference. I can see this being helpful so that partners can be considerate of upcoming PMS or for a couple to track fertility and pregnancy together. This puts the onus of preventing or planning pregnancy on both persons rather than the individual that gets pregnant. In a small way, Natural Cycles is creating more equitable relationships.

Top Section of Partner View Preferences in Natural Cycles App

Things I would consider changing:

  • Light — Basal body temperature is taken immediately after waking. It is often dark making it impossible to read the temperature that was just taken. I’m excited that Natural Cycles just announced Gen2 and Gen3 hardware! Too bad for me, this is another femtech product that Canadians do not have access to. Nonetheless, making the face backlit is a great new feature in Gen2 & 3! YAY!
  • Export — The ability to export the data for personal use would be very helpful. Within the app, on a small smartphone screen, I can only compare up to 3 cycles at a time. A webapp or dashboard to be able to see the data or even the ability to export raw data would be helpful in order to see patterns and symptoms. This can be used to inform other areas of health with other health care professionals.
  • Battery — I’ve used Natural Cycles long enough that I’m on my 3rd thermometer. There’s no way to change the battery. As someone who is eco-conscious, it pains me to throw the piece of plastic out just because it ran out of batteries.
  • Animation — Even though this is a medical device and perhaps it’s on brand to stay clean cut, adding animation to celebrate switching from ‘Planning a Pregnancy’ to ‘Preggo Cycler’ mode would be a fun way to share the milestone moment with cyclers. Adding animation may also help gamify the mundane experience of adding temperatures and encourage users to keep going with a small amount of dopamine affirmation.
  • Further Support — As I mentioned above, there is an opportunity to walk alongside cyclers who go through the journey of ‘Planning a Pregnancy’ → ‘Preggo Cycler’ → ‘no longer pregnant’. The same is for those with the journey ‘Preventing a Pregnancy’ → ‘Positive Pregnancy test’. The app is able to pinpoint this data once it is entered. Humanizing this experience by providing resources and connections to appropriate services would go the extra mile in serving cyclers. How might Natural Cycles provide comfort or encouragement after a loss? How might Natural Cycles provide options for an unplanned pregnancy?



Anna King

Former CMO promoted to Stay-at-Home Mother. Gaining ground towards dignity and empowerment in Women's Health.