Holly H: Reclaiming her health with fertility charting after a copper IUD

This story was submitted to Kindara by Holly H.

In 2010, I made the decision to get a copper IUD. After spending my teens and early twenties cycling through different birth control pills, I decided I'd had enough of the mood swings. At the time, I felt good about the fact that I was choosing a "natural" alternative — no hormones, no pills to take, and one of the highest efficacy rates available.

Flash forward four years: I'd gained sixty pounds, my periods were excruciating and ten days long, and I was constantly battling anemia. It never once occurred on me that my IUD was at fault for my health challenges, because after all, it was only copper.

I started seeing a naturopath to get to the root of my weight gain, moodiness, and overall health concerns. When I told her I had a copper IUD, she gave me a look. "You know, I've seen patients have severe health challenges with those."

"You must be talking about the hormonal one," I said. "This one's natural — it's just copper."

"Any foreign object in the body isn't natural," she said. "Your IUD is causing a dangerous inflammatory response. You should look into natural family planning."

"You mean ... what Catholics do?" I asked. "I don't think I can do that. I REALLY can't get pregnant. I don't want to take the chance."

I brushed it off, but several days later, it started nagging at me — wouldn't it be great if my periods were shorter? If I felt better? If I could get back down to a healthy weight?

Like so many people, I was ill informed about natural family planning (NFP). It's often confused with the rhythm method, which is why it has a bad reputation. I spent hours educating myself online, and I also read Taking Charge of Your Fertility.

I was absolutely blown away by how much I learned about my body — it was a combination of enlightenment and rage. Why hadn't I ever been told that my cervical mucus was anything but "icky"? How had this fundamental part of reproductive education been glossed over in health class?

Within days, I was sold. I decided to get my IUD removed and start charting.

There was only one problem: "The paper," I thought. "I don't want to carry a chart around. Why can't there be an app for this?"

A quick search through the iTunes store showed me there WAS an app for charting — Kindara! I immediately put it to use, and never once used a paper chart. I'd used apps in the past to predict my period, but they were clunky and difficult. Kindara was the opposite: intuitive, beautiful, and robust.

I had my IUD removed and have been charting with Kindara for four cycles. My period is now five days instead of nine, and I barely have cramps. My weight is dropping, and my other health challenges are also stabilizing.

Before Kindara, my hormonal processes were a complete mystery to me. Now, I'm completely in tune with my body. I know what's going on, and I know with 100% confidence when I can and can't get pregnant. Best of all, it really is natural — you're working with reliable signals from your body to determine your fertility.

Kindara has changed my life. For now, I don't want children, but if I change my mind in the future, I know I can count on Kindara to help me determine the best time to conceive.

Thanks to Kindara, I don't just have a convenient, highly effective form of birth control — I also have my health back.

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