I'm a fan of talking about the taboo, the deep, and the pushed aside topics here on SL&Co. More often than not, those topics take the form of the fashion industry, ethics, and living with less, but today, I want to chat about birth control. For the second time.
Although *thankfully* the topic of fertility and birth control is getting more and more mainstream attention in recent years, I think most women still feel a lot of pressure when it comes to taking "the pill" and either aren't aware of or don't feel comfortable considering the other options available to them.
In my first post on the topic a few months ago, I shared about how at 22 years old, I went on a birth control pill (a progesterone only pill, since I was breastfeeding at the time,) for the first time in my life. I shared about the side effects of that supposedly "mild" version of the pill and how for the entirety of my time taking it I had a feeling that something was "off" with my body, mood, and hormones. I didn't suffer from any horrible health issues as a byproduct of my birth control, but the acne, bloating, and mood swings were enough to make me feel out of control.
I also learned that I'm most definitely not alone in my frustration with conventional birth control methods. A lot of you shared how the pill made you feel, how you struggle(d) through unpleasant symptoms for the convenience of knowing you wouldn't get pregnant when you didn't want to, and how you wished there was a simpler way to understand your cycle without "medicating" it.
Daysy entered my life in December and three months down the road, I'm not looking back.
Daysy is a fertility thermometer. I use it to take my temperature (more specifically, my basal temperature,) every morning before I get out of bed. (Usually it's in the middle of the night, before getting up with one of my two toddlers). After a minute or so of sitting with the thermometer under my tongue, Daysy gives a low, quiet beep and displays either a red, green, or yellow light to tell me where I'm at in my cycle that day.
Green means "go for it". On green days, I can't get pregnant and don't have to worry. Red means that I'm ovulating or at a point in my cycle where I'm fertile. Yellow means Daysy isn't sure where I'm at. Yellow days only happen for the first few weeks as Daysy learns your cycle, or if you've been skipping a few days (which has definitely happened to me in my three months using it).
If used correctly, Daysy is as effective for preventing pregnancy as the pill (and maybe even more so), without the hormones and side effects.
After three months of using the thermometer, my body feels like it's actually mine (that and the combination of not being pregnant or breastfeeding for the first time in three years ;). I know exactly where I'm at in my cycle for the first time in my life. I know exactly when my period will start. I understand why I break out/feel bloated/have mood swings and have learned more about how diet affects my mood and my cycle as well.
I was 100% ready to make the switch, but that's not to say I wasn't nervous about leaving the security of the pill. Here are a few pros and cons I thought of for using Daysy (although, be warned, the pros far outweigh the cons in my opinion):
- Complete awareness of your cycle and where you're at in it (with the help of the DaysyView app that maps it all out for you and predicts your fertility).
- Eventual loss of the negative side effects of hormonal birth control.
- The ability to plan and prevent pregnancy with one device
- The "adjustment period" when Daysy is getting to know your cycle can be frustrating. It takes about 2-3 full cycles before it knows you to a tee.
- It doesn't prevent pregnancy in the literal sense. You still need to use other methods for that.
- You will likely experience a "withdrawl" period as your body adjusts to life without the pill.
- Remembering to take your temperature each morning (buuuut if you took the pill every day, it's bascially the same thing ;).
Have you tried hormone-free birth control? What are your thoughts about it?