Two years ago, after years of being on the pill and one failed IUD, I started using a fertility monitor for birth control. (I use this one, which is one of the more popular ones.) Here is what it’s like.
My day starts at 7:00 in the morning, my fertility monitor waking me up with an alarm beep. Before I get out of bed, check my phone or do anything else, I turn off the alarm and use my fertility monitor to take my temperature under my tongue. If I am on my period that day, there is one other button to press. I know it sounds like a lot to coordinate before you have even opened your eyes, but it only takes a couple minutes and it’s so easy that I don’t even know I’m doing it anymore. And it’s totally ok if you forget to take your temperature once in a while because the fertility monitor stores the information from your previous cycles.
The fertility monitor then uses my temperature and my menstrual cycle to determine if I’m fertile or not and gives me one of three lights: red, yellow or green. If I get a red light, it means that I’m fertile and able to get pregnant, so I need to use some other form of protection if I want to have sex. If I get a green light, it means that I’m not ovulating and not likely to get pregnant, so I’m good to go. If I get a yellow light, it means that the fertility monitor isn’t sure and should be treated like a red light. Do the red days suck when you want to get it on? Sure but most women are actually not fertile that often, so there aren’t that many red days.
Just in case you don’t remember everything from high school health class, here is how it works: Your menstrual cycle begins on the first day of your period. Most woman have a 28-day cycle but it can last anywhere from 25 to 36 days. During the first 10 to 16 days and the last 10 to 16 days of your cycle, you not fertile. You are only fertile when you are ovulating during the four to six days in the middle.
How I came to be an grown ass woman without understanding my fertility is beyond me but, according to a super scientific poll of my grown ass female friends, I’m not the only one. Using a fertility monitor has made me so much more in tune with my menstrual cycle and the emotional and physical effects of my hormones, which is pretty empowering.
So, have I had any pregnancy scares? Not one. I know it all sounds like some serious guesswork but it’s actually a pretty precise science. Fertility monitors have a reliability rate of 99 per cent, which is about the same as the pill, so I don’t stress about getting knocked up any more than I did when I was on the pill. And neither does my boyfriend. He’s not a fan of the red days but he loves that I’m not on the pill anymore (read: not acting like an unstable, hormonal bitch every four to five weeks).
The final word? Going off the pill and getting a fertility monitor was one of the best decisions I have ever made. If you’re looking for a natural method of birth control, you should definitely look into them!