Non-Hormonal Birth Control (My Favorite Option!)

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This post is sponsored by Natural Cycles

Whether you’re looking to get pregnant in the near future, or you’re trying to avoid it, getting to know your body’s natural cycle is pretty important.

Megan Gilmore with natural cycles app thermometer

About a year before Austin and I wanted to get pregnant for the first time, I started reading about fertility awareness. This all-natural method is non-invasive and uses signals from your body to help determine the days of the month that you are most likely to get pregnant.

I immediately ordered a thermometer and started taking my temperature every morning before I got out of bed, to help naturally keep track my cycle.

This is where Natural Cycles comes in, which is the method I’m currently using.

pregnancy planning and prevention app

It’s an app for users 18+ years old that you can download to your phone, to help you keep track of your daily morning temperature and get to know your body better. Unlike traditional fertility methods, it makes things easier because it does all of the tracking and predicting for you. (Download the app here and start measuring!)

Here’s how it works:

  • Take your temperature first thing every morning using the Natural Cycles thermometer 
  • Enter it into the app, and it will tell you if you’re having a red day or a green day

If you’re looking to avoid pregnancy, the green days predict when you are not fertile, and the red days predict when you could be fertile, so that you can use protection or abstain from having sex. (It switches if you’re trying to get pregnant, to let you know when you should start trying!)

natural family planning app

Natural Cycles is so effective, it’s a certified method of birth control in the European Union. (But it will not protect against STDs– only condoms can do that!) The more often you enter your temperature, the better it can predict your fertile and non-fertile days– so it will give you more “red” days in the beginning, just to be on the safe side.

Austin and I used this method to successfully avoid getting pregnant for 2 years, and it also helped us quickly conceive when we were ready to start our family. We used it again when trying to space out our children, too. (We both wanted a 3-year age gap between our two kids.)

mom and baby on bed

Something to keep in mind is that this method of birth control is the most effective when your cycle is regular and you get regular sleep.

For example, if you get your period every 28 days and get 8 hours of sleep each night, this method should be effective for you.

Of course, if you’re like me, who is currently woken up several times each night by a baby or a toddler, without consistent sleep or a consistent cycle (thank you, breastfeeding hormones), this prediction method might not be as effective. So, it’s always a good idea to talk with your doctor to decide which birth control option is best for YOU. There are lots of options on the market, and this is simply one all-natural option. (And my personal favorite.)

natural cycles fertility app

You can try the Natural Cycles app FREE for 30 days, so if you want to learn more about your body’s cycle, be sure to download the app and start measuring!

For more things pregnancy, be sure to check out my Pregnancy-related posts here.


Reader Feedback: Have you tried this method before for tracking your cycle?

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Natural Cycles, but all opinions are my own. I’ve been using this method of non-hormonal birth control and pregnancy planning for the last 6 years and I’ve been very pleased with how effective it has been for our family. 

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You should also keep in mind when using a method like this that some sperm can stay live and active for up to 1 week. This means that even if you have sex on a green day, if there are still a few sperm alive and well in your fallopian tubes when the days turn “red”, you might still get pregnant. I live in the UK, and the initial popularity of this method was seriously called into question after quite a few publicised cases. Just something to be aware of if you’re really not keen to get pregnant!

    Megan Gilmore

    I believe the red days do try to take that into account, but I agree that it’s always a good idea to be on the extra-cautious side if trying to avoid pregnancy when you’re nearing the green days. When I started using this app, almost ALL of the days were “red days” to be on the safe side, so it doesn’t give you many green days until it collects more information and history.

Laura ~ Raise Your Garden

Wow. As a woman who’s been in fertility treatments for 10 plus years, this would have been great to know about, about, hmmm 10 years ago! But I will be sharing with my many lady friends who serious fertility issues as I have. We are desperate for anything that might help us!


    Hi, Laura. I only realized what my body’s signals meant once I was trying to get pregnant with our second child, after a miscarriage, approximately 15 years ago. I got to reading as much as I could about what to look out for and what to do that could increase our chances of conceiving (like core temperature). That didn’t work and I had to wait one whole year before my doctor accepted to refer us to a fertility specialist at which point, in view of my age, I opted to jump right to hormone injections to increase follicle numbers. We were very lucky, succeeded the first time around with that method (and the extra assistance of IUI with hubby’s prepared “sample”) and at 41 1/2 I gave birth to our second child. In retrospect, I wish I’d been better informed at a younger age regarding my cycle and its various signs (laughable that I was only properly learning about this when I was 39/40) and most importantly I wish I would have been informed about female fertility and that it (generally) takes a nosedive in a woman’s late thirties. My mother had a child at 42 1/2 and I naively thought I didn’t have to rush to start a family. Thank you for sharing your story and best of luck with your pregnancy endeavors.


I track my temperature using the Fertility awareness method, however I also take into account my cervical fluid. Tracking cervical fluid/mucus is much more effective than only using temperature, and that means I can effectively understand my cycles (or lack there of) and avoid pregnancy while breastfeeding.

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