We include products we think are useful for our readers. If you buy through links on this page, we may earn a small commission Here’s our process.

Medical News Today only shows you brands and products that we stand behind.

Our team thoroughly researches and evaluates the recommendations we make on our site. To establish that the product manufacturers addressed safety and efficacy standards, we:
  • Evaluate ingredients and composition: Do they have the potential to cause harm?
  • Fact-check all health claims: Do they align with the current body of scientific evidence?
  • Assess the brand: Does it operate with integrity and adhere to industry best practices?
We do the research so you can find trusted products for your health and wellness.
Was this helpful?

Natural Cycles is a smartphone app tracking fertile days that can help with planning a pregnancy or as an alternative birth control method. The app is compatible with Oura ring and offers competitive subscriptions.

This article talks about perfect and typical use of birth control. Perfect use describes how effective a form of birth control is if everyone uses it exactly as instructed every time they have sex. Typical use describes how effective a form of birth control is if a person sometimes uses it as instructed but may also use it irregularly or imperfectly.

Even with perfect use, contraception is not 100% effective. People should discuss birth control options with a healthcare professional to find the right option for them.

Was this helpful?

Please note that the writer of this article has not tried this app. All information presented is purely research-based and correct at the time of publication.

Natural Cycles is an FDA-cleared smartphone app that helps people track fertility to plan or prevent pregnancy. According to the company, this app is 98% effective at preventing pregnancy with perfect use and 93% effective with typical use.

This app tracks temperature and displays either a green or a red circle. A green circle means a person is unlikely to be in their fertile window, while the company recommends using a method of contraception if the app shows a red circle.

Learn about the different types of birth control here.

People should always consider the advantages and disadvantages of different types of birth control. Some pros and cons of Natural Cycles include:

Pros

  • a natural birth control solution with no side effects
  • has FDA clearance
  • studies show it is effective
  • different profiles for birth control and planning pregnancies
  • according to the company, it is suitable for people with longer and shorter than average cycles

Cons

  • may take a few months to detect a person’s cycle accurately
  • requires continuous use for the best results
  • does not consider other factors affecting fertility, including stress and illness
  • costs money, unlike some other tracking apps
Was this helpful?

Natural Cycles is available on iOS and Android devices. This app is free to download, but people will have to purchase a subscription plan.

People also need a basal thermometer – if they purchase an annual subscription to the service, this thermometer comes with the plan; otherwise, it costs $39.99. People can also purchase a basal thermometer from any local pharmacy or online.

Before the app is ready to take thermometer readings, a person needs to input details regarding their period cycle. According to the company, Natural Cycles adapts to each person’s unique cycle and does not require people to have a 28-day cycle.

When individuals wake up in the morning, they need to use the thermometer to take their temperature. They then input this data into the app. If they are unwell and think this may affect their temperature, they can choose not to input the data that day.

People can also add cycle symptoms, mood, and sexual activity, all of which can help inform when a person may be ovulating. The app can also provide premenstrual syndrome alerts and instruct when people should carry out a breast exam.

The app will analyze the temperature data and period cycle data. The app will show a green or red circle when a person inputs the data. A green circle means a person is less likely to be fertile, while a red one means a person should consider using contraceptives such as condoms to prevent pregnancy.

While the app is free to download, using the app requires a subscription.

Natural Cycles offers three plans: birth control, plan pregnancy, and follow pregnancy. A monthly subscription costs $14.99 per month, whereas an annual one costs $9.99 and includes a free basal thermometer.

The company partners with Oura, a wearable ring that collects metrics overnight while a person sleeps. The plans cost the same if a person has an Oura ring. If a person does not have one, they can benefit from a discount, with the ring costing $259 instead of $299.

Read our review of the Oura ring here.

People can use their FSA or HSA cards to pay for a Natural Cycles subscription. People will need to use their receipt to apply for reimbursement or pay directly using their credit card.

People can cancel their membership at any time. However, they may not receive a full refund if they have already paid for the month.

Research indicates this basal temperature, which people take after a period of rest, is a useful tool in determining ovulation.

However, environmental factors can also affect this metric, making it harder to determine ovulation accurately. For the best results, individuals need to record these temperatures every day at the same time.

As a contraceptive, natural family planning is 76% effective at preventing pregnancy. Using basal temperature increases the effectiveness of this contraception to 80–87% with typical use and 98% with perfect use.

Natural Cycles claims that the app is 93% effective with typical use, making it more effective than traditional basal temperature methods.

However, previous methods of contraception may influence the effectiveness of this app. A 2019 study found that people who used condoms had the highest typical use success rate of 96.5%, and those who used the pill had the lowest typical use success rate of 91.9%.

Natural Cycles is also effective in supporting conception, with people using the app becoming pregnant in around four cycles.

Natural Cycles has an average customer rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars on its Trustpilot page.

Positive reviews frequently comment on the product’s effectiveness and good customer service. Many of the reviews discuss the lack of side effects compared to other birth control methods and the ability to plan pregnancies more easily.

Negative reviews mostly cite refund issues. Others noticed the company was taking money out of their accounts after canceling their subscriptions. Some reviews also discussed unplanned pregnancies that have occurred while using the app.

Natural Cycles is a form of nonhormonal birth control. There are several other fertility tracking apps that offer similar services. Several online pharmacies offer hormonal birth control, which may be more convenient for some people.

The following table compares Natural Cycles to these alternative methods. Unless otherwise stated, all typical and perfect use effectiveness claims are from the company.

MethodTypical use effectivenessPerfect use effectivenessRequires prescriptionPrice
Natural Cyclesbasal temperature, cycle tracking93%98%nofrom $9.99 per month
Flocycle trackingno informationno informationnofree, or optional subscription from around $14
Nurxhormonal contraceptives93% for the pill
93% for the ring
96% for the shot
99% for the pill
99% for the ring
99% for the shot
yesfrom $15
Hershormonal contraceptives93%99%yesfrom $30

Find more birth control options, and learn about online pharmacies that offer contraceptive healthcare from Medical News Today’s reviews:

Was this helpful?

Here we answer some common questions about this app.

Is Natural Cycles any good?

Natural Cycles states that it can prevent pregnancy with a 93% success rate with typical use and a 99% success rate with perfect use. This is comparable with the typical and perfect use success rates of birth control, making this app a good option for people who prefer nonhormonal contraceptives.

However, no method of contraception is 100% successful. People may wish to use another method of contraception alongside the app.

Natural Cycles may increase the chances of pregnancy. A 2021 study found that people using the app were becoming pregnant after an average of four cycles.

Is Natural Cycles approved by the FDA?

No, Natural Cycles does not have FDA approval. However, it does have FDA clearance.

How long does it take Natural Cycles to work?

The company states that it can take several cycles to provide more accurate fertile window information. People may wish to use another method of contraception until the app has enough information to help prevent pregnancy.

According to research, people who use Natural Cycles to aid conception become pregnant in an average of four cycles.

Is Oura Natural Cycles worth it?

The Oura ring is a tracking device that can offer fitness insights as well as measuring sleep and body temperature. Buying the ring may be a good option for people who would like a more comprehensive view of their metrics.

Natural Cycles is an FDA-cleared app that can help indicate a person’s fertility window, which can help with birth control and pregnancy planning.

An individual needs to take their temperature in the morning, after a period of rest, with a basal thermometer. However, people may not see accurate results until after a few months of data input.

Please note: Medical News Today does not imply warranty of fitness for a particular purpose or endorse any of these applications. Nobody at MNT has evaluated these apps for medical accuracy. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not approved them unless otherwise indicated.