When it comes to tracking menstrual cycles women use a variety of different methods. Some turn to the contraceptive pill, injection or patch to give them some more control over their bodies as well as their fertility.
So what does naturally tracking your cycle actually mean? It means just that. Instead of choosing one of the above (or many other) contraception methods they control their menstrual cycle by naturally tracking every element of their menstrual cycle. They do this in a variety of different ways by looking at their body’s signs, symptoms and even temperature.
But it is not just about contraception. In fact many women choose to track their menstrual cycles when they are trying to conceive. Knowing the right “windows” and phases is extremely helpful as it gives you the best opportunity to pin point exactly when you are ovulating. It also helps you to recognise certain signs and symptoms that may be indicative of conception and pregnancy.
Understanding the rhythm of your menstruation can be really empowering. It can help you manage pain and discomfort as the pattern can help you feel a little bit more prepared. It may encourage you to stock up on the pain relief that you often find yourself looking for when it comes upon you as a surprise.
Many women use this method for family planning reasons. If a woman has a very regular cycle the idea is that sexual intercourse is avoided during their most fertile period. It is believed that when doing this correctly it can be up to 85% effective. However, it is unlikely to work out as well for those who have irregular cycles as the fertile days are less predictable and routine.
For this reason your doctor is unlikely to recommend that you use this method to avoid pregnancy. It is also worth noting that tracking your cycle naturally will not provide a barrier for sexually transmitted infections. A condom is the recommended way of managing this.