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Today I’m going to review a product I’ve been really excited about for a long time. Cyclotest myWay has been on my list to try out ever since I first heard about the Fertility Awareness Method. I really struggled to choose between it and my now usual tracker, Lady-Comp, when I was first looking for a fertility monitor. Of course, given that I now teach others to use the method as a qualified Natural Family Planning instructor, fertility trackers are less important to me in terms of providing insight into my fertility. However, it is more of an exciting hobby for me to see the pros and cons of each device (as well as just enjoying the fact that many are very good at storing temperatures so I don’t lose my reading if I don’t write it down quickly enough!). I also love being able to provide a well-rounded opinion of some of the devices so that those who cannot chart for whatever reason still have the option of using a fertility awareness-based method (FABM) despite the natural decrease in efficacy vs using own knowledge following learning the method.
Before we get into things, I just want to say that I received the Cyclotest myWay for free in exchange for my honest thoughts and review. The fact I did not pay for the device has not influenced my views in any way – free products never equal automatic positive reviews!
Background on Cyclotest MyWay
Cyclotest is a German company specialising in fertility computers (such as the Cyclotest 2 Plus, myWay and their up and coming Cyclotest mySense – an app-linked thermometer which isn’t currently going to be available in the UK but they hope to be able to ship it here after release). Their devices aim to tell you when you’re fertile/infertile so you are able to make decisions on whether to use additional protection during intercourse to prevent an unplanned pregnancy (or to help you to target your most fertile days when trying to conceive!). The company also make other interesting products such as condoms, fertility supplements and various types of at home tests. In my personal opinion, it seems as though Cyclotest is not a very well-known company in the world of femtech so I hope to shed some light on my experience with them during this review.
Initial reactions and using the device
On opening the box, I was pleased to find that they had included English instructions as well as instructions in German. There was a quick start guide, a reminder to check your device software was up to date as well as a full instruction booklet. The device itself came separate from its battery pack and basal body temperature thermometer meaning that some self-assembly was required but this was very straightforward. After charging the device for the recommended amount of time, I turned it on to add in some data about my previous cycles as well as the start date of the cycle I was currently on. From there, I set up the usual time I would be taking my temperature as well as toggled on the sensor light (a light that illuminates on the thermometer when it’s within the window to take your temperature). I also selected that I would be taking my temperature vaginally for this cycle – you are able to select which site you wish to use at the start of each cycle. There were also some other settings to play with such as toggling on or off reminders for skincare based on your cycle day, reminders to enter weight and an option to allow the device to show a symbol for the days you may experience PMS as a reminder to engage in more self-care.
I usually take my temperature at 6:45am and, for the purpose of this review, I continued to take my temperature on my Lady Comp alongside the myWay to enable me to compare the two. Unfortunately, during the first night, I realised that I wasn’t going to be able to use the sensor light as it shone very brightly, enough to bring me into a much lighter sleep than usual. However, the experience of taking my temperature was very positive. Firstly, the thermometer on the myWay is flexible, making vaginal temping extremely comfortable compared to any other thermometer I’ve used. The beep from the device when temping was complete was also much softer in comparison to Lady Comp. After taking my temperature with the two devices, I set them aside until the evening since this is my usual time for inputting any cervical mucus observations as well as my cervical position for the day. When using the myWay to input these symptoms, I was excited to see that they employ Sensiplan signifiers for cervical mucus. This is not something I have ever heard of with fertility computers and would probably be very much appreciated by those who use Sensiplan as a primary method of charting. The cervical position options also allow for a decent description of your observation with a choice of low, medium or high, soft or hard and open, medium or closed. This offers greater flexibility in comparison to some apps available. Aside from these symptoms, you are also able to log any disruption (toggling this lights up the day as blue on the chart view), log weight, intercourse, bleeding, LH test results and ovulation pain. I also love that you can easily view the whole chart, alongside fluid observations, from the device itself without having to scroll from left to right (for longer cycles, you may have to scroll a little but definitely less than some apps/devices on the market). On the front page, there is also an estimate of when you will enter and end your fertile phase. Although not to be completely relied upon, this is useful if you’re planning a trip with your partner or are looking for the best time to achieve or avoid a pregnancy within a given time span.
Analysing my cycle
With regards to analysis, as mentioned before, the device allows you to determine which method of temping you are going to use at the beginning of each cycle (I selected vaginal) as well as whether you are following Symptothermal rules or an LH protocol. I selected the former as I have no experience with an LH based method but I really hope someone reading this may be able to provide insight as to how the device responds in this mode! This is incredibly exciting as it opens up the device to being more compatible with a variety of different FABM practices (either those that employ LH as a primary tool or those that follow traditional cervical mucus/temping protocols).Below is a copy of my chart alongside one produced via my own observations and Lady-Comp temperatures. I have also charted Lady-Comp’s lights along the bottom of this Kindara chart so you can see the difference in the interpretation of the cycle.
Kindara/Lady Comp chart
According to manual calculations using NFPTA rules, during this cycle, my fertile window would have opened on cycle day 6 and closed on the evening of day 22. Below is a comparison as to what the two devices made of this cycle in comparison to personal calculations:
In this case, I’m happy to see that neither of the devices were too far off compared to my own calculations however, it is worth noting that the myWay did leave a large safety margin when deciding when to close my fertile window. On one hand, this may be to do with the devices’ algorithm but it may also be to do with the fact that I’m very new to using the device so, over time, this margin may get smaller.
Overall pros of the device
Light – I have never before seen a thermometer light up on any fertility computers. This adds a really unique way of seeing whether it’s time to take your temperature if you choose not to have a clock in your room.
Sensiplan fluid – this feature is amazing for those who have learned to use the Sensiplan methodology but would still like a fertility computer for a more casual charting experience.
Cervix – there are enough options to choose from to allow you to accurately note your observations.
Algorithm uses LH or Symptothermal – this is great for those who like to use LH sticks as a major part of their charting experience.
View the chart clearly – viewing charts can be a difficult experience with other apps or devices, myWay makes it far easier to view your chart at a glance.
Charges off mains – This is an advantage if you struggle to find batteries when you need them.
Nice case – the case provided with the device is high quality and feels like it would really protect the device while travelling.
Separate thermometer – this is handy for cleaning. According to the instruction manual, the thermometer is submersible so it’s useful to be able to disconnect it to save any accidents when the thermometer needs cleaning.
Thermometer flexible/rubbery – this makes taking your temperature really comfortable compared to more ridged designs.
Beautiful design – the device looks sleek, modern and has a good quality display.
Rubber feet – it seems silly to mention this but, compared to Lady-Comp which does not have rubber feet, this factor makes temping while half asleep really easy. I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve almost slid Lady-Comp off my bedside table as it does not grip to the surface.
Bright display – the display is bright with vibrant colours. The display can also be adjusted to be dimmer so it isn’t so harsh first thing in the morning.
Temp sound softer – the sound when myWay completes a temperature reading is far softer than many other thermometers available, this comes in handy if your partner is a light sleeper.
Holistic – the device incorporates more choice than other apps and devices with regards to disturbance reason selection, ovulation pain, skincare, and BMI for example. I feel that this gives a more holistic approach to women’s health and fertility.
For TTC or TTA – the Cyclotest myWay can be used for both trying to conceive (TTC) or trying to avoid (TTA) a pregnancy. This is really useful as you can move from one stage of life to another without purchasing any new software or a new device.
Light very bright – unfortunately, as amazing as the sensor light is, it was too bright for me so I was unable to use it
English translation – at times, the English translations are little unusual. For example, the device refers to cervical mucus observations as ‘Cervix’ and cervical position observations as ‘Neck of uterus’ which is a little unusual compared to how a native English speaker might refer to it.
Lots to learn – this device has far more included in it compared to other apps or devices on the market. If someone was less fond of technology, this might be a con for them.
Slightly larger than other devices – although not by much, myWay is slightly larger than Lady-Comp and the cable has a tendency to dangle from my bedside table (while Lady-Comp’s is coiled up around the device). This may not be a problem to most but if you’re a frequent traveller, this may be something you’d take into account.
No clear effectiveness rating – unfortunately, Cyclotest devices appear not to have any peer-reviewed research confirming a Pearl index rating (the effectiveness scale used to measure birth control methods). In my opinion, this is not automatically a negative but just another thing to consider when thinking of purchasing. I personally believe any woman aiming to use a fertility computer such as the myWay, Lady-Comp/Daysy devices, Natural Cycles or other products on the market should have a decent knowledge base of charting beforehand. This will allow you to ensure you’re aware of anything that could effect the device’s efficacy such as lifestyle changes.
To close, I really enjoyed writing this review overall enjoyed using the device. This device would be an option for someone who could not learn a manual method of charting. As always, I like to remind people that there will be a natural decrease in effectiveness when using technology like this vs own knowledge of manual charting for those trying to avoid pregnancy.