By Ari Liakeas
As we live in a world now so ruled by technology, there seems to be an app for everything, even tracking our menstrual cycles. But are they a safe way to track our cycles and a well-informed method of bringing about good fertility awareness and natural birth control?
Now, if you are a bit old school like me, I follow my feminine movements by listening to my body and the rhythm of the moon. I know I will start my period on or a few days after the full moon as it enters its wane phase. Around this time, I will always wear my period panties so that I’m covered for the start of my bleeding. I absolutely love these! What a great invention and very ecologically friendly way of managing our periods, along with menstrual cups).
But this is only the way I keep track of when my bleeding will come, and it helps me plan or schedule certain events in my life. If you want to read more on the topic of maintaining a good work-life feminine balance, check out ‘The Optimised Woman” by Miranda Gray, I highly recommend this book.
But it’s not a method I use for fertility, just for my life balance!
So How Do We Learn More About Going Au Natural?
Many women like to track every movement of their cycle as a form of natural birth control, bringing awareness of the times in our cycles when we are most fertile to the times when we aren’t.
While there is a lot of science behind it, committed steps must be taken and practised, and learning about yourself and your body takes time.
Researching the Justisse Method is a great place to start. “The Justisse Method (1987) is a standardised system for learning fertility awareness in a way that allows for self-management of reproductive health and birth control needs.” The Justisse College International has great information on any questions on how to start the natural process. All their fertility awareness practitioners are AFAP (Association Of Fertility Awareness Professionals) certified.
It is essential to get guidance from a trained professional practitioner in fertility awareness like Chloe Skerlak. Chloe runs courses and provides training to help women learn and understand the different types of vaginal mucus, timings of ovulation and temperatures of our bodies to see when we are fertile.
Working in tandem with this, private verified apps can solidly support us too. These apps generally don’t collect our data or make grand promises that we are correctly tracking our menstrual cycle by just using the platform.
I understand that this method isn’t for everybody and that each woman’s body is different. Some of us have such busy lives that perhaps taking this more natural approach isn’t a convenient way of monitoring periods.
But if you are a woman who wants to move away from using hormonal-based birth control and return to your natural cycle, accessing support and knowledge from someone like Chloe is very important.
What Are The Potential Dangers Of Using A Period Tracking App?
Like most contraceptives, whether hormonal or natural, none can be 100% protected against pregnancy or sexually transmitted diseases. But using the fertility awareness method with training from a certified practitioner is undoubtedly very close to being a 100% effective form of birth control (if you commit and follow every step).
Although a period tracking app could be a good idea if you have a busy work and lifestyle. They are great if you just want to track when your period is due and avoid getting a surprise when wearing your favourite white outfit. Yes, ladies, I’m sure we have all been there!
Recently, there has been some controversy on how our data is being collected and used. It seems that many women who were using tracking apps for their menstrual cycle are now starting to delete them.
In this day and age, particularly if you are located in a country with strict abortion laws, there could be a problem. It is possible that the app’s data could be requested by law enforcement, meaning period tracking apps could lead to your data being potentially used against you. I’m sure none of us wants to put ourselves in that position.
So please do your research and connect with a trained professional for guidance if you want to start your journey into a more natural method of birth control and fertility awareness. All women should have access to ways to help track their natural cycles and move away from hormonal-based birth control. Relying on hormones can really throw our cycles out of whack, sometimes stopping our bleeding entirely and causing health-related issues. Whichever you choose, whether for health, fertility or convenience reasons, we hope you find a period tracker that works for you.
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