Fertility awareness methods (FAM) vs Hormonal coil (IUS)

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Fertility awareness methods (FAM)

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Hormonal coil (IUS)

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Overview

Rated 4.3

150 reviews

Daily

Frequency

92% - 98%

Effectiveness

None

Blood clot risk

None

Effect on fertility

Rated 3.5

752 reviews

Every 3-8 years

Frequency

Over 99%

Effectiveness

None

Blood clot risk

None

Effect on fertility

Fertility awareness methods (FAM) ingredients

Fertility awareness methods is an umbrella term for a method of contraception that works by being able to identify when in the menstrual cycle you are fertile through a range of factors.

Hormonal coil (IUS) ingredients

Main hormones in Hormonal coil (IUS)

progestogen

What Lowdown reviewers say

Benefits: What this contraceptive can help with

There are no benefits that are recognised in scientific research or guidelines for this contraceptive

Adenomyosis

Endometriosis

Heavy periods

Menopause

Period pain

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Check out our latest reviews

Real life reviews from people like you

Fertility awareness methods (FAM) reviews

150 reviews

Used for 5 - 8 yr
29 years old
🇬🇧 UK
  •  5 days ago

  •  Still using

I have used Natural Cycles for years now (alongside condoms when ovulating) and love using a non-hormonal method. I used to get side effects from the combined pill and mini pill so I have seen an improvement since coming off those. The data aspect of recording your temperature and seeing the patterns of my cycle is something I find really interesting. Plus the reminders of ovulation/upcoming period/breast checks are always helpful. I know myself and my body better since tracking my cycles.

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Top side effects not reported

0 helpful

0 comments

Used for 3 - 6 mo
34 years old
🇬🇧 UK
  •  5 days ago

  •  Stopped using

The Natural Cycles algorithm does not work to accurately track ovulation and therefore prevent pregnancy. Evidence based FAM/symptothermal methods use a '2 check method' including temperature and cervical fluid patterns. Natural Cycles only tracks your body temperature. After using for a few months I noticed my safe/green days changed after the date. So I had (what I thought was) safe unprotected sex in the non-fertile window, but then by the end of that cycle those days had changed to red/not safe. Surprise surprise, I got pregnant and had to arrange a termination. Since stopping this I have started using fertility awareness methods successfully for 4+yrs. Natural Cycles is just too risky without a 2 check method, and basing it on an algorithm.


Top side effects not reported

0 helpful

0 comments

Used for 3 - 5 yr
34 years old
🇬🇧 UK
  •  6 days ago

  •  Stopped using

I loved using Natural Cycles as it let my body just be itself. It was very effective for four and a half years…until I unexpectedly got pregnant! I will fully admit though we would occasionally take risks on early red days, and we know where we went wrong the month I became pregnant (travelling with time and environment changes led to confusing temperature readings coupled with not using enough caution). The only downsides of NC for me were needing to be on a predictable routine for morning thermometer readings (may be challenging for those travelling a lot or on shift work) and we had to use condoms or abstain during ovulation - which is of course the peak time for when you want some action! Overall though I would recommend it and will probably resume using it once our sleep schedule normalises with our beloved new baby. Having been on the pill and using a copper iud for years, it’s just hard to beat having zero side effects and letting your body do its own thing.


Top side effects not reported

0 helpful

1 comments

Used for 5 - 8 yr
29 years old
🇬🇧 UK
  •  5 days ago

  •  Still using

I have used Natural Cycles for years now (alongside condoms when ovulating) and love using a non-hormonal method. I used to get side effects from the combined pill and mini pill so I have seen an improvement since coming off those. The data aspect of recording your temperature and seeing the patterns of my cycle is something I find really interesting. Plus the reminders of ovulation/upcoming period/breast checks are always helpful. I know myself and my body better since tracking my cycles.


Top side effects not reported

0 helpful

0 comments

Used for 3 - 6 mo
34 years old
🇬🇧 UK
  •  5 days ago

  •  Stopped using

The Natural Cycles algorithm does not work to accurately track ovulation and therefore prevent pregnancy. Evidence based FAM/symptothermal methods use a '2 check method' including temperature and cervical fluid patterns. Natural Cycles only tracks your body temperature. After using for a few months I noticed my safe/green days changed after the date. So I had (what I thought was) safe unprotected sex in the non-fertile window, but then by the end of that cycle those days had changed to red/not safe. Surprise surprise, I got pregnant and had to arrange a termination. Since stopping this I have started using fertility awareness methods successfully for 4+yrs. Natural Cycles is just too risky without a 2 check method, and basing it on an algorithm.


Top side effects not reported

0 helpful

0 comments

Used for 3 - 5 yr
34 years old
🇬🇧 UK
  •  6 days ago

  •  Stopped using

I loved using Natural Cycles as it let my body just be itself. It was very effective for four and a half years…until I unexpectedly got pregnant! I will fully admit though we would occasionally take risks on early red days, and we know where we went wrong the month I became pregnant (travelling with time and environment changes led to confusing temperature readings coupled with not using enough caution). The only downsides of NC for me were needing to be on a predictable routine for morning thermometer readings (may be challenging for those travelling a lot or on shift work) and we had to use condoms or abstain during ovulation - which is of course the peak time for when you want some action! Overall though I would recommend it and will probably resume using it once our sleep schedule normalises with our beloved new baby. Having been on the pill and using a copper iud for years, it’s just hard to beat having zero side effects and letting your body do its own thing.


Top side effects not reported

0 helpful

1 comments


Hormonal coil (IUS) reviews

752 reviews

Used for 8+ yr
46 years old
🇬🇧 UK
  •  1 day ago

  •  Stopped using

I had my first Mirena fitted after the birth of my second child. It seemed to work well although my periods became even more irregular than then they were before and I had weeks of spotting at a time especially as I was approaching the 5 year mark. However overall I was satisfied and opted to have it replaced when it expired. This was quite traumatic and took a very long time as the strings had moved making it hard to access. However, the GP was able to remove it and I had a second one fitted which worked much like the first one. However, when it came time to have that one removed and a third one fitted my cervix went into spasm at the point of fitting the new one which was extremely painful and after what felt like forever the GP told me they were unable to fit a new coil that day and to come back. I went back and tried again a month later and the same thing happened. A month after that I was admitted to hospital with an abscess in my fallopian tube caused by repeated failed attempts to insert the coil. I was in hospital for 4 days and off work for over 3 weeks due to the pain/side effects of the antibiotics I had to take.


Top side effects not reported

0 helpful

0 comments

Used for 6 - 12 mo
21 years old
🇬🇧 UK
  •  5 days ago

  •  Stopped using

I started it after changing from the copper coil. Having previously had no issues with the mirena coil i thought this would be fine but instead i got constant spotting, bled after sex, had a painful and irritated cervix and lost my sex drive.


Top side effects not reported

0 helpful

0 comments

Used for 1 - 3 mo
43 years old
🇬🇧 UK
  •  6 days ago

  •  Stopped using

I have pmdd, I could not track my cycle with an iud fitted, it helped initially then made me so much worse. I seen 3 doctors who didn't help, I'm now treating holistically, tracking my cycle and tailoring my food, lifestyle, exercising to my cycle and Somatic healing.


Top side effects not reported

0 helpful

0 comments

Used for 8+ yr
46 years old
🇬🇧 UK
  •  1 day ago

  •  Stopped using

I had my first Mirena fitted after the birth of my second child. It seemed to work well although my periods became even more irregular than then they were before and I had weeks of spotting at a time especially as I was approaching the 5 year mark. However overall I was satisfied and opted to have it replaced when it expired. This was quite traumatic and took a very long time as the strings had moved making it hard to access. However, the GP was able to remove it and I had a second one fitted which worked much like the first one. However, when it came time to have that one removed and a third one fitted my cervix went into spasm at the point of fitting the new one which was extremely painful and after what felt like forever the GP told me they were unable to fit a new coil that day and to come back. I went back and tried again a month later and the same thing happened. A month after that I was admitted to hospital with an abscess in my fallopian tube caused by repeated failed attempts to insert the coil. I was in hospital for 4 days and off work for over 3 weeks due to the pain/side effects of the antibiotics I had to take.


Top side effects not reported

0 helpful

0 comments

Used for 6 - 12 mo
21 years old
🇬🇧 UK
  •  5 days ago

  •  Stopped using

I started it after changing from the copper coil. Having previously had no issues with the mirena coil i thought this would be fine but instead i got constant spotting, bled after sex, had a painful and irritated cervix and lost my sex drive.


Top side effects not reported

0 helpful

0 comments

Used for 1 - 3 mo
43 years old
🇬🇧 UK
  •  6 days ago

  •  Stopped using

I have pmdd, I could not track my cycle with an iud fitted, it helped initially then made me so much worse. I seen 3 doctors who didn't help, I'm now treating holistically, tracking my cycle and tailoring my food, lifestyle, exercising to my cycle and Somatic healing.


Top side effects not reported

0 helpful

0 comments

Used for 6 - 12 mo
31 years old
🇬🇧 UK
  •  6 days ago

  •  Stopped using

This was the first coil I had put in and the process itself was okay but felt very woozy and nearly fainted on the way home. Overall it was not a pleasant experience! I have since swapped to the copper coil and this process, whilst not fun, went a lot smoother! I had the hormonal coil removed primarily due to it's effect on my mood (feeling very low a lot of the time) and big drop in sex drive. It's worked very well for many of my friends but really just didn't suit me!


Top side effects not reported

0 helpful

0 comments

Used for 6 - 12 mo
24 years old
🇬🇧 UK
  •  6 days ago

  •  Stopped using

The insertion process took longer place at my GP without the local anaesthetic and it was much less scary than made out to be. It took 10 minutes, I experienced a few cramps the day of and for the following few days but was otherwise ok. Initially I had no bleeding but from around 5 days post insertion to 6 weeks post insertion, I had significant spotting which affected my mood and my sex drive. Eventually this stopped. I did have irregular periods, however when they did come, they were the same as usual, no lighter. I suffered with acne and intermenstrual cramps during this time. I put up with it for 12 months to ensure I had time for it to settle in but unfortunately this was not the right choice for me.


Top side effects not reported

0 helpful

0 comments

Used for 18 mo - 3 yr
44 years old
🇬🇧 UK
  •  2 weeks ago

  •  Still using

I’m 44 with recently diagnosed PCOS and endometriosis which is why my specialist told me to try the Mirena to lighten the lining of my uterus and help with my awful periods. I had to go off of the pill at 40 and suffered for 2 years while debating what to do. I got the mirena in at 42 and have had it 2.5 years now. I do get pelvic pain and cramping twice a month for a few days randomly and feel like I can tell which ovary is active but it is still better than dealing with the bleeding and irregular periods I had previously. My periods are non existant apart from spotting for a few days but not enough to even merit wearing a liner! Sex drive is definitely lower and dryness comes and goes as well but breasts have grown which I’m not upset about! I’m leaving it for another 2 years then will decide if I should opt for a hysterectomy.


Top side effects not reported

0 helpful

0 comments

Used for 12 - 18 mo
27 years old
🇬🇧 UK
  •  2 weeks ago

  •  Still using

Wish I'd got the Mirena coil sooner it's been great for me! I have no side effects, my periods have almost stopped except for a little spotting once a month. Insertion for me was a little painful and I had immediate cramps but by the end of the day they had passed (I had an anaesthetic injection which probably helped with the pain). My first period after insertion was heavier and more painful than usual and I had some spotting throughout the month for about 6 months, but now my periods have almost stopped.


Top side effects not reported

0 helpful

0 comments

Used for 3 - 5 yr
28 years old
🇬🇧 UK
  •  2 weeks ago

  •  Stopped using

I had an awful time getting it in and out. I have never given birth, which can make it worse. The cramping pain was so bad, I vomited when getting it in and they had to use arterial forceps to remove it as the strings got lost (ouch). My skin was better and my moods were more stable. My period also stopped which saved a lot of money. I gained a lot of weight, though and the amount and intensity of my migraines increased a lot. I also had terrible cramping pain despite no periods, which was linked to PCOS. I haven’t had any symptoms since getting it removed 2 years ago.


Top side effects not reported

0 helpful

0 comments

Used for 3 - 5 yr
28 years old
🇬🇧 UK
  •  2 weeks ago

  •  Stopped using

the coil was much better than the pill for me, especially in terms of my mental health.


Top side effects not reported

0 helpful

0 comments

Used for 6 - 12 mo
32 years old
🇬🇧 UK
  •  2 weeks ago

  •  Still using

jaydess coil. i wanted a low hormone coil after bad experiences with pills. best thing ive tried. some negative mood and quite a few cramps initially, but pretty good now.


Top side effects not reported

0 helpful

0 comments

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