BODY TALK: CONTRACEPTION

Hi guys, how are we all? Thank you once again for stopping by. Today’s post is a tad different, it’s something I’ve never talked about or covered on the blog before, yet something that for sure needs to be discussed. I’d like to turn this ‘Body Talk’ post into a little series, not as often as the Weekly Roundup but definitely something that I come back to every once in a while to talk about the more intimate topics that don’t get discussed often enough In my opinion. So here we are, it’s Wednesday the sun is (somewhat) shining and I’ve finally got a moment to sit down and write this post. It’s a subject I’ve wanted to write about for some time now and I know I can’t be the only one that has SO much to say on matter!

The subject – contraception.

*At this point I would just like to point out that I am in no way, shape or form a medical professional BUT I do have a womb and therefore entitled to have an opinion, which is exactly what this post is, simply my personal thoughts, experiences and opinions.*

So… let’s get into it shall we. I thought I should start by giving the actual definition of contraception, defined as – ‘The deliberate use of artificial methods or other techniques to
prevent pregnancy as a consequence of sexual intercourse.’ These methods fall into several different categories, the most well known and commonly used being –

Barrier contraception: such as condoms,

Hormonal contraception: such as the pill or injection,

Long-acting reversible contraception: such as the implant or IUD.

Now, at the grand old age of 28 I feel like I’ve finally sussed my body out (some what) in the way of what works for me and what doesn’t in regards to the world of contraception. It goes without saying that every single person and body is different and so what works for me may not work for you and vice versa. I think contraception is very much a personal journey and one that continually changes depending on your age, lifestyle and sexual activity.
I was 19 when I first went on the pill, I was originally put on it by my GP because randomly 5 years after they started, my periods suddenly became the demon! Severe cramps, dizzy spells, days were I literally couldn’t get out of bed. So after speaking with the doctor, the pill seemed to be the best solution to control them. Before this the only contraception I’d used previously had been condoms which up to that point had worked fine for me. I came off my original prescription of the pill after around 6-7 months, the type of pill I had been put on didn’t agree with me and was giving me headaches and making me feel sluggish. At this point in my life I hadn’t really given any thought to the implant, IUD or any other form of contraception. The pill was what all of my friends were on and so seemed the easiest option. I wish now I had taken it upon myself to research more into it however I did not and just went with whatever the doctor suggested. The second pill I went on was Rigevidon and although I stayed on this (on and off) for around three years, I was very aware of how the side effects from taking hormonal contraception were effecting me. Weight gain and mood swings were my biggest tell tale signs. I kept trying to see if anything would change if I stayed on it and allowed my body to get used to it but no. After three years I came off it and I can honestly say the difference I feel when I’m not taking hormonal contraception is amazing. I feel lighter, both physically and mentally and personally just feel more in control of my body. I know that hormonal
contraception works fantastically for some people, and it’s great that
the option exists, but for me, it’s not a match.

Recently (about 4 months ago) I made the switch to natural contraception. It’s something that for my current lifestyle works perfectly for me. Of course I’m not against hormonal contraception, I may even find myself back on it at some point but for now I’m removing that method from my life and focusing on new techniques.
It’s also important for me to point out that knowing what works for you takes time. You sometimes like me have to try different methods before finding the one that fits best. If there are any younger women reading this then be sure to research all the different kinds of contraception available. Venturing into the world of contraception for the first time can be overwhelming, there’s no need to rush and remember if you want some professional advice then make an appointment with your local family planning clinic or GP. Talk to friends and family about their experiences and collect as much knowledge as possible.

As I mentioned, I recently started my journey with a new, hormone free method of contraception – Natural Cycles.
In a nutshell, Natural Cycles involves an app and a digital medical thermometer which is used to measure your body temperature every morning before you get out of bed. You place the thermometer under your tongue, your temperature varies depending on the hormone levels in your body, and where you are in your cycle. You then enter the reading into the app where you’ll then be given  a notification of either a green day (safe to have sex) or red day (possibility of getting pregnant and need to use protection.) Of course as with all other contraception (apart from condoms) Natural Cycles doesn’t protect against STI’s so if you’re having casual sex or sex with a new partner always wear a condom.

I will say that using the app and getting into the routine of taking your temperature each morning does take time to get used to. For this method to work effectively you do have to be quite disciplined in order to measure at the same time everyday after the same amount of sleep (within two hours each way) so again, lifestyle does come into play here. If you’re a student or someone with an irregular sleeping pattern it might not be for you just yet. With that said I do think it’s a great alternative for those (aged 18+) that either don’t want to ingest additional hormones (like me) or don’t get on with other forms of contraception. I feel really strongly about making informed choices when it comes to sexual health, we shouldn’t treat it flippantly. When looking into Natural Cycles and seeing if it was something I wanted to try, I did a lot of research into the method itself – as have Natural Cycles themselves, there’s a whole science section on their website here.

For me Natural cycles has not only allowed me to remove additional hormones from my body but also has allowed me to truly understand my cycle and how it works. I’ve never felt more in tune with my body, I find the results fascinating and I’m looking forward to the next few months and seeing how it goes. I’ll be writing a follow up post in a couple of months to discuss any likes/dislikes etc as well as answering any questions you guys might have either about Natural Cycles or any other contraceptive methods I’ve used in the past. Again, I am not a doctor so this is only my personal experience but I think the best way to talk about these things is to be open and honest from the get go.
So with that said, I encourage questions and feedback in the comments below, tell me about your journey and what you’ve found works for you. If you’ve used Natural Cycles yourself or if it’s something you could be interested in. I want to here your thoughts!

 

K x

*This post was kindly sponsored by Natural Cycles however all thoughts, experiences and opinions are my own*

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19 Comments

  1. The Bandwagon Chic
    March 28, 2018 / 5:45 am

    That's a very helpful app.Great to know about it.Much Love, Jane | The Bandwagon ChicNew Vlog Entry!

    • Kate Winney
      April 4, 2018 / 2:50 pm

      Thanks Jane, it is extremely helpful as an alternative option for sure. Glad you enjoyed the post.Kate xxx

  2. Anonymous
    March 28, 2018 / 11:12 am

    I'm not on board with Natural Cycles, I imagine it would be very easy to end up with an unwanted pregnancy! What I will say though is your post was very informative and not just 'glamourizing'the app becuase they paid you. Some posts I've seen have been so stupid! You've included facts which I think is good and responsible.Laura P.

    • Kate Winney
      April 4, 2018 / 2:53 pm

      Hi Laura,Thanks so much for your comment. I really appriciate your feedback, I have tried to be as factual and truthful as possible, I didn't want to glamourize it and did put a lot of thought and research into it so I'm glad you noticed that. For sure you have to be strict and disciplined for this method to work. For me it's been great. I'm happy there are so many different methods so that we can all pick what suits ourselves best. Thanks for reading xxx

  3. Becky Nou
    March 28, 2018 / 11:19 am

    I saw your post on Instagram so I came along to read the blog. I've thought about using the app for a while becuase I've seen so much about it online. I'm not sure it's right for me just yet but your post told me a lot more about how it works etc. I've looked at getting the copper coil but have heard horror stories pain wise?! But I'm the same when it comes to the pill, my hormones go mental. So annoying we have this to cope with as well as periods and childbirth, men get it so easy haha!

    • Kate Winney
      April 4, 2018 / 2:55 pm

      Hi Becky, Thanks for stopping by! I really appreciate your comment. I think the best thing to do is to research your options, ask other friends and family about their expeiences etc. Perhaps Natural Cycles isn't right for you and your lifestyle right now but for sure keep it in mind for the future.Kate xxx

  4. Mica T
    March 28, 2018 / 12:06 pm

    Completely unrelated, but I love your tee! :)I've heard a lot of good things about the app but I also know without some kind of intervention, my cycle is not predictable at all, haha. I'm lucky to have a good doctor who listens and works with me to find the best things for me, and I'm happy with the combination of things I'm using now :)Hope you are having a good week so far! After being so busy last week, I'm enjoying a relatively quieter week and looking forward to the Easter long weekend. Away From The Blue Blog

    • Kate Winney
      April 4, 2018 / 2:57 pm

      Hey Mica,Thanks so much for reading and leaving a comment – it really does mean the world. I think thats great that you have such good relationship with your doctor and have found something that works for you. That's what this is all about, finding your own personal journey and what fits you best. Haha thanks, the top is from Primark PJ's section :DHopefully see you back here soon!Kate xxx

  5. Emma Newman
    April 4, 2018 / 3:02 pm

    Oooo. That sounds like a really interesting app! Would be great to really get to know your own cycle like that. I'm rather dubious that it's a good idea to use this without also using condoms to really prevent pregnancy, though. Stills seems like a mega risk! What do you think? And as you mention, STIs are still a thing. I've been so lucky to have had no reaction to the first pill I went on and have stuck with it. Only problem is that they don't sell it in the UK, so I have to have it sent from Australia when I run out!

    • Kate Winney
      April 4, 2018 / 3:02 pm

      Hi Emaa, Ugh that's soooo annoying! Yeah STI wise I'd always use condoms anyway until I was with a long term partner and we both got tested etc. For me it's working and I feel so much better but I do think it's such a personal thing. You have to be very disciplined and strict timings/sleep wise. I just can't do the pill anymore. I have looked into the copper coil as well but apparently it's very painful? Right now this works for me but it might not be a forever thing. I think it's great to have options though.

  6. Emma Newman
    April 4, 2018 / 3:03 pm

    So good to have options. I've known one or two women who got pregnant on the pill, though, so just going natural would make my brain so anxious. And the lifestyle regularity is also so difficult. Great to hear it's working for you though!Yeah, I've heard putting in and taking out the coil is painful. But once it's in it's fine! Can't wait for the man pill!

    • Kate Winney
      April 4, 2018 / 3:03 pm

      Bring on the man pill!!!!!

  7. Natasha Volley
    April 4, 2018 / 3:04 pm

    Sounds super interesting Kate Winney!I’ve just had the copper coil removed after 8 months of hell! Heavy bleeding that didn’t settle and three week periods!!! (mine were 5 days long before I had it)Hate the pill So I’m all for hormone free methods!!Thanks for sharing xxx

    • Kate Winney
      April 4, 2018 / 3:05 pm

      Hi Natasha, Yeah that's what happened to my friend, it's put me off completely! The just sends me loopy, my skin breaks out and I gain weight so no more of that. If you have the right lifestyle and discipline this is great, for me it's worked anyway. Again obviously everyone's different, I've heard other people praising the coil! Each body is different 🙌🏻 xx

    • Natasha Volley
      April 4, 2018 / 3:06 pm

      I just wish I had been told even though the copper is hormone free, you can still have side effects. There’s still a reaction happening in your body to a foreign object! I was led to believe I would have zero side effects x

    • Kate Winney
      April 4, 2018 / 3:07 pm

      I think in general we are not advised enough on the matter. When you're a teenager you just go on the pill because that's what everyone else is on. It's definitely something I've started to research a lot more into during the last couple of years.

  8. Georgia Louise Riley
    April 4, 2018 / 3:08 pm

    Thanks to this post I bought a years subscription! So so excited to go natural. Thank you lovely!

    • Kate Winney
      April 4, 2018 / 3:08 pm

      Amazing! It takes a bit of time to get used to but honestly you'll feel so in tune with your body after the first few cycles. Let me know how it goes xxx

  9. Emily H
    April 4, 2018 / 3:09 pm

    Hmm I went to get my pill check really recently and they kept pushing for me to think about the alternatives.. basically the coil. Perhaps cos it’s cheaper for the nhs? Or maybe better for me, idk I’m very dubious. The pill seems to work fine enough. I did ask her about this contraception app and she basically said it had a 9/10 protective rating. As a person terrified of being pregnant, the likelihood of me being the 10th person is just too much risk sadly. A few of my other gfs are on this and they love it! But then they’re like totally married and stuff so a possible baby isn’t the end of the world. Thanks for your insight though Kate! Perhaps it is time to research into this. Loving this pro body chat!

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