Studies show that while the pill is the most commonly used contraceptive method in many countries*, a significant percentage of women discontinue its use, primarily due to side effects and health concerns. Women who discontinue using a contraceptive method put themselves at risk of an unintended pregnancy and need to be counseled or educate themselves on effective, viable birth control alternatives.
Often women who stop using hormonal birth control methods are interested in natural family planning options - they don’t cause side effects and help a woman get more in tune with her body. While natural family planning options are a great choice for many women, it’s important to know how to transition to them from a hormonal method.
Tracy P, who happens to be using the iCycleBeads family planning app, has transitioned from using hormonal contraception to iCycleBeads on her iPhone.
"I had used hormonal birth control for years, but never really felt safe about the fact that I was messing with my hormone levels. Recently, I noticed that the birth control I was using was causing mood changes … ugh! So I decided to switch to a more natural method. I downloaded a number of apps to see which ones I liked best, and so far CycleBeads is the best! It gives me a simple, easy to understand visual and since it’s based on a scientifically researched method, I can trust it. I’m still in the “testing” mode to make sure my cycle falls within the necessary range, but I’m hoping it’ll fall back into its regular rhythm soon!"
Editor's Note: Tracy reports that her cycles have returned to normal since she shared her story with us, and she is now using the iCycleBeads app to prevent pregnancy.
Transitioning from Hormonal Contraception to CycleBeads
The transition period when switching between contraceptive methods can be a vulnerable time for an unintended pregnancy. When transitioning from hormonal contraception to CycleBeads, a woman must make sure that her cycles are back to normal before starting. The medical recommendation is that a woman should have three periods that are about a month apart and ensure that her last two cycles are in the 26-32 day range. Between the time she stops using hormonal contraception and the time that her cycles return to normal, a woman should use a back-up method such as condoms.
Women Choose CycleBeads Most Often Due to Concerns About Side Effects
Not surprisingly, the number one reason that women use the natural family planning option CycleBeads is out of “concern about side effects”. The #2 reason? “I want something natural.”
Hormonal methods can be effective at preventing pregnancy, but they are clearly not for everyone. If you are going to stop taking a hormonal method, it’s a good idea to know which birth control method you would like to switch to, and how to manage the transition time.
* Source: Population Reference Bureau
Tags: CycleBeads, discontinuation of the pill, hormonal contraception, natural birth control, natural family planning, side effects of hormonal ccontraception, side effects of the pill, the pill, transitioning from hormonal contraception, unintended pregnancy, unplanned pregnancy
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