Basal body temperature? Cervical mucus? And what is actually the Symptothermal Method? Anna, the founder of ovolution, tells us! She fills us in on the benefits of the Symptothermal Method, the best way to get off your contraceptive pill, and her new ovolution app. You’ve always wanted to learn the best way to track your fertile days? Then read on!
Can you please introduce yourself briefly?
Hello, I’m Anna, NFP consultant following Sensiplan, founder of ovolution and mother of a two-year-old. I grew up knowing about my natural cycle, because my parents learned about Natural Family Planning (NFP) when they met. They counsel and train to become NFP counsellors according to Sensiplan®. The natural cycle, difficult cycles and cycle disorders have therefore always been a topic at the kitchen table with us.
In 2012, I then decided to also complete the training to become an NFP counsellor after Sensiplan® to pass on this knowledge.
How did you come up with the idea for ovolution?
I had the first ideas for founding ovolution after my son was born in 2020. During parental leave, my desire to do something meaningful became stronger and stronger. With ovolution, I want to educate about NFP and the natural cycle. I want to help menstruators make self-determined and informed decisions about their cycle.
What is special about the ovolution app? What makes it different from other cycle apps?
The ovolution app enables menstruating people to learn the rules of Natural Family Planning. This allows them to use contraception safely and self-determined or to specifically aim for pregnancy.
There are very few cycle apps that are based on the NFP rules. These usually evaluate for the menstruating whether they are in the fertile time or not. However, they do not say why they evaluate this way. The rules remain non-transparent, and errors cannot be traced or corrected by the user.
What exactly is the Symptothermal Method?
In the Symptothermal Method we observe two body signs. The basal body temperature, which is the temperature at which you wake up. And in addition the cervical mucus or the cervix. This double control distinguishes NFP according to Sensiplan® from other methods such as the temperature method or Billings. In terms of method safety, the Symptothermal Method is as safe as the pill.
How does Natural Family Planning help me make self-determined choices about my menstrual cycle?
Knowing our own cycle is such a powerful tool! If we know when we are potentially fertile, we can make self-determined decisions about whether or not to have unprotected penetrative sex during that time. Likewise, if there is a contraceptive breakdown, we know if the morning-after pill is even effective or if it is already too late.
If we have a desire to have children, NFP can help us find the most fertile days. If the desire to have a child remains unfulfilled, we may find clues as to why a pregnancy has not yet occurred. And if it has worked out, we can calculate the delivery date more accurately than gynaecologists do.
How do I recognize my fertile days and how do I track them correctly?
There are several rules to help you know when your fertile days begin. Which rule applies to you depends on how many cycles you have already observed or whether you have kept a menstrual calendar. Basically, however, you are always fertile as soon as you see or feel cervical mucus. You can see, feel, and sense cervical mucus. Always write down what you observe at the beginning and enter it in your cycle sheet or cycle app in the evening.
“Is the Symptothermal Method the right thing for me?” – What advice do you have for menstruating people in their search for the right contraceptive method?
Contrary to all myths and prejudices, the Symptothermal Method does not require a steady lifestyle and tons of discipline. But you must be willing to listen to your body, record your observations and familiarize yourself with the rules. If you have already decided not to use hormonal contraception, you can also just start writing down your observations. However, you should not have unprotected penetrative sex until you are sure that you are using the rules correctly! We are happy to support you. Have a look at our counselling service!
What are the advantages of a hormone-free contraceptive method like the Symptothermal Method?
When we observe our cycle, we always know exactly which cycle phase we are in. We get to know our body and our very individual cycle. We know when we have a lot of energy and when we have more desire for sex and when less. Plus, we know when we are particularly creative, like to go out and when we would prefer to curl up on the couch. This can help us to cope better with the ups and downs of the cycle.
In addition, we quickly notice when something is wrong. This helps us to ask for help specifically and to have medical examinations at the right time in the cycle.
What tips do you have for coming off the pill?
After stopping taking the pill, only about 50% of menstruators get their cycle back right away. And even then, it is often not regular at the beginning. So be patient!
Many menstruators who are experiencing their natural cycle for the first time may not expect that hormones can have such a strong impact on their mood, energy level, and libido. Each menstrual cycle phase has its own unique characteristics. Get to know your cycle and recognize your own pattern. It can help you deal with cycle fluctuations more easily.
Why not try the Symptothermal Method?
I would like to encourage everyone who is thinking about using the Symptothermal Method for contraception. Give it a try! It’s easier than you think. And when you start doing NFP, you will quickly notice many great changes.