Fertility awareness methods (FAM) vs Implant

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Fertility awareness methods (FAM)

Want to switch contraception?

Implant

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Overview

Rated 4.3

154 reviews

Daily

Frequency

92% - 98%

Effectiveness

None

Blood clot risk

None

Effect on fertility

Rated 2.8

578 reviews

Every 3 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.

Implant ingredients

Main hormones in Implant

progestogen

What Lowdown reviewers say

51% very positive

54% no change

49% increased sex drive

83% no impact

61% no impact on skin

Cycle return

64% in 1 month

38% somewhat negative

39% irregular periods

50% lost sex drive

41% gained weight

58% no impact on skin

Cycle return

31% in 1 month

Benefits: What this contraceptive can help with

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

Heavy periods

Ovulation pain

Period pain

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Check out our latest reviews

Real life reviews from people like you

Fertility awareness methods (FAM) reviews

154 reviews

Fertility awareness methods (FAM)  
Used for 18 mo - 3 yr
24 years old
🇬🇧 UK
  •  2 weeks ago

Natural Cycles App  

I started using Natural Cycles a few years back. I was never on any birth control as a teenager as my mum didn't want my young body being put on hormones. However, once I settled down with my current long-term partner, I wanted to have the peace of mind that I wasn't going to fall pregnant. The first few years of using Natural Cycles were great and empowering, understanding the changes in my body and knowing when I had ovulated was great. What I had failed to understand was it predicted with its algorithm your date of next month's ovulation based on your previous month. Well. I managed to fall pregnant not once, but twice in the space of 8 months. The first time around, I thought it was my fault and I had not taken my temps properly (even though I never had an issue in the past). I had a surgical abortion as I was 3 months pregnant before I actually found out. I was willing to try again and really get to grips with it even though the clinic was very strongly advising me to go on some form of HBC. In the past 6 months, my body has recovered from the abortion and got back into its usual swing of periods and I saw I was ovulating again. This time around I invested in an Oura ring to pair with my NC app to be certain of my temps being taken. All was well, I stuck to my green and red days religiously. I use the pull-out method on red days (if we do have sex). And I trust our pull-out method completely because we definitely know he does not ejaculate inside of me or we tend to stick to oral sex rather than penetrative. I noticed my temperatures lately had been higher than usual and my ovulation was confirmed a bit earlier than usual. I didn't think much of it as I had stuck to our red days and green days as shown. When I went on calendar view, I saw that my fertile window just gone was a lot shorter than 6 days and I had unprotected sex (on a green day) that was 2 days before I ovulated. I did a test and indeed am pregnant yet again. I contacted NC straight away and got them to go through my data, which they did and have taken full responsibility for the muck up with their algorithm. I advise you to check your fertile windows and note any other observations (cervical mucus), because the algorithm cannot be trusted. And from what I now know, ovulation may change throughout different cycles (stress, sleep etc). I will no longer be using them ever again which is sad as I did so enjoy using it.

Read more

Somewhat positive mood

0 helpful

0 comments

Fertility awareness methods (FAM)  
Used for 18 mo - 3 yr
33 years old
🇬🇧 UK
  •  2 weeks ago

Natural Cycles App  

Amazing


Very positive mood

0 helpful

0 comments

Fertility awareness methods (FAM)  
Used for 18 mo - 3 yr
25 years old
🇬🇧 UK
  •  1 month ago

Natural Cycles App  

First few months lots of ‘red’ days (no unprotected sex days). Coming off the pill was a personal choice and brought back lots of issues i.e needing prescription pain medication. However, my sex drive and mental health have significantly improved and impacted on my relationship. I’ve used natural cycles for 2 years religiously and no problems or pregnancy.


Very positive mood

3 more effects

0 helpful

0 comments

Fertility awareness methods (FAM)  
Used for 18 mo - 3 yr
24 years old
🇬🇧 UK
  •  2 weeks ago

Natural Cycles App  

I started using Natural Cycles a few years back. I was never on any birth control as a teenager as my mum didn't want my young body being put on hormones. However, once I settled down with my current long-term partner, I wanted to have the peace of mind that I wasn't going to fall pregnant. The first few years of using Natural Cycles were great and empowering, understanding the changes in my body and knowing when I had ovulated was great. What I had failed to understand was it predicted with its algorithm your date of next month's ovulation based on your previous month. Well. I managed to fall pregnant not once, but twice in the space of 8 months. The first time around, I thought it was my fault and I had not taken my temps properly (even though I never had an issue in the past). I had a surgical abortion as I was 3 months pregnant before I actually found out. I was willing to try again and really get to grips with it even though the clinic was very strongly advising me to go on some form of HBC. In the past 6 months, my body has recovered from the abortion and got back into its usual swing of periods and I saw I was ovulating again. This time around I invested in an Oura ring to pair with my NC app to be certain of my temps being taken. All was well, I stuck to my green and red days religiously. I use the pull-out method on red days (if we do have sex). And I trust our pull-out method completely because we definitely know he does not ejaculate inside of me or we tend to stick to oral sex rather than penetrative. I noticed my temperatures lately had been higher than usual and my ovulation was confirmed a bit earlier than usual. I didn't think much of it as I had stuck to our red days and green days as shown. When I went on calendar view, I saw that my fertile window just gone was a lot shorter than 6 days and I had unprotected sex (on a green day) that was 2 days before I ovulated. I did a test and indeed am pregnant yet again. I contacted NC straight away and got them to go through my data, which they did and have taken full responsibility for the muck up with their algorithm. I advise you to check your fertile windows and note any other observations (cervical mucus), because the algorithm cannot be trusted. And from what I now know, ovulation may change throughout different cycles (stress, sleep etc). I will no longer be using them ever again which is sad as I did so enjoy using it.


Somewhat positive mood

0 helpful

0 comments

Fertility awareness methods (FAM)  
Used for 18 mo - 3 yr
33 years old
🇬🇧 UK
  •  2 weeks ago

Natural Cycles App  

Amazing


Very positive mood

0 helpful

0 comments

Fertility awareness methods (FAM)  
Used for 18 mo - 3 yr
25 years old
🇬🇧 UK
  •  1 month ago

Natural Cycles App  

First few months lots of ‘red’ days (no unprotected sex days). Coming off the pill was a personal choice and brought back lots of issues i.e needing prescription pain medication. However, my sex drive and mental health have significantly improved and impacted on my relationship. I’ve used natural cycles for 2 years religiously and no problems or pregnancy.


Very positive mood

3 more effects

0 helpful

0 comments


Implant reviews

578 reviews

Implant  
Used for 18 mo - 3 yr
24 years old
🇬🇧 UK
  •  3 days ago

Nexplanon implant  

For two years I had good and bad experiences with the Implant. I would definitely say the negative side effects definitely fall under mental health (depression and mood swings), sometimes I would get nausea to the point of wanting to vomit everywhere, migraines, lower back pain. My libido is below low levels. I think I lost myself over this 2 years, I don't feel like the same person mentally. However, this is the best contraception in terms of insertion and daily practicality. I wanted to start having contraception but I didn't want the pill (because I am very forgetful), I didn't want the diaphragm (too complicated) but this one was just perfect and painless procedure. Also, my body changed a little bit over the years but it was because I started being careless with my eating habits, so it is easy for your weight to change with the implant. And in terms of hair and skin, for me it didn't change much, I would get a pimple every now and then but it would go away by itself. If it wasn't for the mental health for sure I wouldn't take it out.


Very negative mood

1 more effect

0 helpful

0 comments

Implant  
Used for 3 - 6 mo
36 years old
🇬🇧 UK
  •  1 month ago

Nexplanon implant  

Getting it put in: was a little more involved and bigger than I expected. It was fine, little gross but I couldn't feel it and just avoided looking. They numb the arm area, and slowly insert it. It feels like the they're slowly inserting the pointy side of one of those old school card sized mail openers. It was fine. You can do it. Was much more appealing to me than pill or any vaginal coil. Experience 0-3 months: irregular bleeding, spotting, almost constantly for the first three months. Not heavy at all, very light but irregular. No cramps and before I had these a lot! Experience 3-7 months: no period, no spotting, no cramps. It's amazing and I'm so happy with it. My hair has been shedding more but I have a lot of very thick Asian hair so unsure if related. I've had increased appetite, but again this could be due to other factors in life. No other side effects. I'm very pleasantly surprised. I expected a pretty difficult journey with this one, but it's the best contraceptive I've used so far.


Top side effects not reported

0 helpful

0 comments

Implant  
Used for 3 - 6 mo
28 years old
🇬🇧 UK
  •  1 month ago

Nexplanon implant  

I was originally on the Evra patch, but I got the implant as I was moving from the UK to NZ - where the patch is not available and id have to pay out of pocket for any other kind of pill. My experience was awful. I had constant, nonstop breakthrough bleeding, anxiety, stress, depression, suicidal ideation and no libido. I was very sensitive to stress and pollen so would come home from work and be absolutely drained, stuck in bed with an awful headache. I was bloated all the time and gained weight as I was bingeing to help deal with the stress of moving and my side effects from the implant - I suffer from an eating disorder… I was a mess. Not a great mix when you move to the other side of the world with your boyfriend. I do deal with real bad dryness around ovulation when I’m not on any contraception - so the patch and implant did help with that - but of course bleeding for 4 months straight did not help anything else. My doctor was very worried about my iron levels… Everything got so bad with my moods and the physical side effects, my boyfriend was like “you need to sort this out and have it remove or think about moving home…” I had it removed in November 2022. Currently not on any contraception but thinking about Yaz or Yasmin. Although not subsidised here in New Zealand, everything else available that is subsidised has a high androgenic strength. Not impressed, however i had a very good experience with Yasmin back in 2017, so maybe it’s best I eat up the £75 charge for 6 months worth? Can’t wait to move back home so I have access to free contraception lol.


Very negative mood

3 more effects

0 helpful

0 comments

Implant  
Used for 18 mo - 3 yr
24 years old
🇬🇧 UK
  •  3 days ago

Nexplanon implant  

For two years I had good and bad experiences with the Implant. I would definitely say the negative side effects definitely fall under mental health (depression and mood swings), sometimes I would get nausea to the point of wanting to vomit everywhere, migraines, lower back pain. My libido is below low levels. I think I lost myself over this 2 years, I don't feel like the same person mentally. However, this is the best contraception in terms of insertion and daily practicality. I wanted to start having contraception but I didn't want the pill (because I am very forgetful), I didn't want the diaphragm (too complicated) but this one was just perfect and painless procedure. Also, my body changed a little bit over the years but it was because I started being careless with my eating habits, so it is easy for your weight to change with the implant. And in terms of hair and skin, for me it didn't change much, I would get a pimple every now and then but it would go away by itself. If it wasn't for the mental health for sure I wouldn't take it out.


Very negative mood

1 more effect

0 helpful

0 comments

Implant  
Used for 3 - 6 mo
36 years old
🇬🇧 UK
  •  1 month ago

Nexplanon implant  

Getting it put in: was a little more involved and bigger than I expected. It was fine, little gross but I couldn't feel it and just avoided looking. They numb the arm area, and slowly insert it. It feels like the they're slowly inserting the pointy side of one of those old school card sized mail openers. It was fine. You can do it. Was much more appealing to me than pill or any vaginal coil. Experience 0-3 months: irregular bleeding, spotting, almost constantly for the first three months. Not heavy at all, very light but irregular. No cramps and before I had these a lot! Experience 3-7 months: no period, no spotting, no cramps. It's amazing and I'm so happy with it. My hair has been shedding more but I have a lot of very thick Asian hair so unsure if related. I've had increased appetite, but again this could be due to other factors in life. No other side effects. I'm very pleasantly surprised. I expected a pretty difficult journey with this one, but it's the best contraceptive I've used so far.


Top side effects not reported

0 helpful

0 comments

Implant  
Used for 3 - 6 mo
28 years old
🇬🇧 UK
  •  1 month ago

Nexplanon implant  

I was originally on the Evra patch, but I got the implant as I was moving from the UK to NZ - where the patch is not available and id have to pay out of pocket for any other kind of pill. My experience was awful. I had constant, nonstop breakthrough bleeding, anxiety, stress, depression, suicidal ideation and no libido. I was very sensitive to stress and pollen so would come home from work and be absolutely drained, stuck in bed with an awful headache. I was bloated all the time and gained weight as I was bingeing to help deal with the stress of moving and my side effects from the implant - I suffer from an eating disorder… I was a mess. Not a great mix when you move to the other side of the world with your boyfriend. I do deal with real bad dryness around ovulation when I’m not on any contraception - so the patch and implant did help with that - but of course bleeding for 4 months straight did not help anything else. My doctor was very worried about my iron levels… Everything got so bad with my moods and the physical side effects, my boyfriend was like “you need to sort this out and have it remove or think about moving home…” I had it removed in November 2022. Currently not on any contraception but thinking about Yaz or Yasmin. Although not subsidised here in New Zealand, everything else available that is subsidised has a high androgenic strength. Not impressed, however i had a very good experience with Yasmin back in 2017, so maybe it’s best I eat up the £75 charge for 6 months worth? Can’t wait to move back home so I have access to free contraception lol.


Very negative mood

3 more effects

0 helpful

0 comments

Implant  
Used for 18 mo - 3 yr
34 years old
🇬🇧 UK
  •  1 month ago

Nexplanon implant  

Persistent thrush immediately after getting it fitted, also VERY low mood when period is due and generally more emotional.


Somewhat negative mood

2 more effects

0 helpful

0 comments

Implant  
Used for 3 - 6 mo
25 years old
🇬🇧 UK
  •  1 month ago

Nexplanon implant  

I love the implant. My doctor refused to renew my combination pill due to high blood pressure, and at first I was really disappointed and angry because I had been really happy with that method and I was afraid that a new method would give me side effects. After five months, however, I haven’t had any unwanted side effects whatsoever. The only change for me is that I don’t get periods, but it’s actually a bonus. During the first five months I’ve had a tiny bit of spotting maybe twice and it only lasted a day if that. I know everyone is different but I would highly recommend the implant!


Top side effects not reported

0 helpful

0 comments

Implant  
Used for 3 - 5 yr
25 years old
🇬🇧 UK
  •  14th May 24

Nexplanon implant  

It was good for the first implant but then when my second one was fitted I bled for almost a whole year and became very exhausted


Somewhat positive mood

0 helpful

0 comments

Implant  
Used for 18 mo - 3 yr
29 years old
🇬🇧 UK
  •  14th May 24

Nexplanon implant  

I really enjoyed the implant for the first 12 months, however after this I started to spot more and more and for longer periods. These were also accompanied with increased fatigue and pain. The breakout bleeding than got progressively worse until the end of the 3 year period. Otherwise little to no symptoms which was made the increasing spotting so much more annoying!


Somewhat positive mood

1 more effect

0 helpful

0 comments

Implant  
Used for 12 - 18 mo
28 years old
🇬🇧 UK
  •  7th May 24

Nexplanon implant  

It was my first time on contraception, I was afraid to forget the pill and had the feeling that the implant had less hormones in it. My mood was very fluctuating for the first 4-6 months but then settled. My period was much lighter at the beginning and not painful for the first few months, then actually got irregular after 7-8 months (only a few days, then nothing for 2 weeks, then 3 weeks long period...) The insertion of the implant was very easy and not too painful, been able to feel it since the beginning.


Somewhat negative mood

1 more effect

0 helpful

0 comments

Implant  
Used for 3 - 5 yr
29 years old
🇬🇧 UK
  •  7th May 24

Nexplanon implant  

Loved having no periods and the convenience around not needing to remember anything for 3 years at a time. But over time I did realise I was getting vaginal dryness and thrush more often.


Decreased sex drive

0 helpful

0 comments

Implant  
Used for 6 - 12 mo
39 years old
🇬🇧 UK
  •  7th May 24

Nexplanon implant  

I didn't get on with the implant. After 4 months of heavy bleeding most days, a nurse was worried it was exacerbating my endometriosis. I agreed it probably was, so went on the cerelle mini-pill for 3 months at the same time. Cerelle and the implant together did stop the constant bleeding for 2 months, but then it came back slowly and I was no better off. I suffered from low mood, leg aches, acne and bloating for the entire 7 months I had nexplannon, so it was a relief to get it removed.


Somewhat negative mood

3 more effects

0 helpful

0 comments

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