Natural Cycles: Does it Work? [MUST READ]

There are many forms of birth control. There are the standard birth control pills, condoms, and various hormonal contraceptives. While these contraceptives are very effective at protecting against unwanted pregnancies, they can also carry potential risks.

Natural Cycles provides an alternative to these options. If you are looking for another way to enjoy safe sex without medications or pills, you should learn more about this natural contraception solution.

What Is the Natural Cycles App?

Natural Cycles is a mobile app with a paid service that helps you accurately track your cycles. It is considered a form of natural contraception as there are no pills or medications.

You enter your body temperature reading each morning and allow the app to determine where you are in your menstrual cycle. After one to three cycles, it should be able to accurately determine when it is safe to have sex without risk of getting pregnant.

How Does the Natural Cycles App Work?

With this natural contraceptive, you download an app (Android and iOS) to your phone or tablet and sign up for the service. You can pay monthly, pay annually, or get started with a one-month free trial.

Along with the app and a membership, you also need a two-decimal-point basal thermometer. The thermometer is sent to you for free if you choose to pay for the annual membership. If you choose the free trial or the monthly plan, you will need to provide your own thermometer.

After you sign up, get your thermometer, and download the app, you can begin tracking your cycles. The app requires you to take your temperature every morning before you get out of bed. The temperature reading is needed to provide an indirect measurement of your hormonal levels.

Using your temperature results, an algorithm is used to determine where exactly you are at in your menstrual cycle. Besides your body temperature, the algorithm accounts for temperature fluctuations, sperm survival, and irregular menstrual cycles.

The app includes a calendar with days marked in green or red. The red days are the days when you should avoid having unprotected sex. The green days are the days when it is safe to have sex as there is no chance of you getting pregnant.

Natural Cycles Not Fertile
Natural Cycles Ovulation

Is Natural Cycles Effective at Preventing Pregnancy?

How can an app keep you from getting pregnant? The app itself does not prevent you from getting pregnant. It provides you with a method for detecting ovulation and the stages of your menstrual cycle. Using this information, you can determine when protection is needed to avoid pregnancy.

Natural Cycles Graph

A clinical study found that the app can be 93% effective for the average user. However, the same study found that women who completely avoid having unprotected sex on their red days only have a 1% chance of getting pregnant.

If you follow the advice of the app completely, it can be 99% effective. That is very close to the same effectiveness as other forms of birth control, including condoms and birth control pills.

Is Natural Cycles Safe to Use?

Unlike other forms of birth control, there are no side effects to using this app. It is also the only natural form of contraception that is cleared for use by the FDA and CE-marked for sale in Europe.

Advantages of Natural Cycles

The primary advantage of Natural Cycles is that you do not need to take any medications or insert anything in your body. This eliminates any risk of side effects associated with contraceptives.

While the risk of experiencing side effects when taking birth control pills is low, there is still a risk. Some of the known side effects of these pills include missed periods, decreased libido, breast tenderness, nausea, and intermenstrual spotting.

There are also patches, shots, and implants that women can take to prevent pregnancy. Many of these options also carry the potential for harmful side effects including vaginal irritation, bladder infections, and an abnormally shaped cervix.

You do not need to worry about Natural Cycles causing any of these side effects. However, you may need to wait about one week after stopping hormonal contraception to begin using this service.

Another benefit of using this app is that it will help you get to know your body and your cycles. You may gain a better understanding of your cycles. When you make lifestyle changes such as eating healthier or getting exercise, you can see how these changes impact your cycles.

Disadvantages of Natural Cycles

There are no specific drawbacks to using this service. However, it does require you to manually input your temperature each day and pay attention to the times of the month that you are likely not to get pregnant.

Failure to follow the instructions may result in pregnancy when having unprotected sex. While this drawback is not a fault of the service or app, women need to use a certain amount of caution when using this as their only form of contraception.

There is also a potential issue for women who have very irregular cycles. As the app uses an algorithm to determine when you are ovulating, irregularities can impact the accuracy of the app. While the algorithm analyzes cycle regularity and changes to your temperature, you may end up with more red days than necessary.

Last Thoughts on the Natural Cycles App

Abstinence is the only way to 100% guarantee that you do not get pregnant. However, abstinence is not a realistic option for most women. If you do not want to use birth control pills, condoms, and other forms of recommended contraception, Natural Cycles may provide a suitable option.

Natural Cycles offers a unique approach to contraception. This app provides an effective way to track your cycles and avoid having sex during the days when you are ovulating. If you follow the recommendations exactly, the app can be 99% effective at preventing pregnancy.

There are no side effects as there is no medication. You simply download the app to your phone or tablet. If you do not like traditional contraceptives, you should try this app for yourself.


I’m Princila, founder of Check Ovulation and a proud mom of two. I’m an alumna of James Lind Institute. After working in clinical jobs, my passion for writing took its toll, and I ended up switching careers to work in the medical publishing industry. I also have a passion for healthy food, which prompted me to take several online courses in nutrition and health offered by Wageningen University. (I still haven’t completed the courses thanks to my busy mommy schedule!). When I’m not writing/editing scientific and medical manuscripts or taking care of my family, I use my free time to research, learn, and write about healthy living. I have also authored a few books in the self-help niche using the pen names Princila Murrell or PN Murray. Protection Status