Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation
Top

Mobile app officially approved as a method of contraception

contraceptive app mobile fertility natural cycles pregnancy.jpg

At first, the idea of using a mobile app instead of the pill might sound a little odd. How one uses a phone to prevent unwanted pregnancy could lead the imagination in all kinds of directions.

But one app has indeed just been officially approved as a method of contraception – and previous studies have shown it to be nearly as effective as the hormone-laden alternatives.

As stylist.co.uk reported in April last year, Natural Cycles is similar to standard fertility and period-tracking apps in that it allows the user to record their menstrual cycle and thus work out when they’re most fertile to plan or prevent pregnancy.

However the app also monitors body temperature, which works as an indirect measure of hormone levels. And the algorithm has proved so effective that Natural Cycles is now the world’s first app to gain official approval as a method of contraception.

contraception app natural cycles pregnancy

The app uses a unique algorithm to predict fertile periods

Certification body Tüv Süd approved the app as a class IIb medical device, allowing it to be marketed as a contraceptive option – meaning those unhappy with the often life-impacting side effects of the pill, injection, implant or coil now have another hormone-free alternative.

Users are required to take their temperature every morning and input their score – a method also particularly useful for women whose irregular cycles make fertile windows more difficult to predict. A study of 4,000 women found that the app to be nearly as effective as the pill in preventing pregnancy. While the rate of accidental pregnancy while using the pill is three in every 1,000 women, the rate with the app is five in every 1,000.


Read more: “Why are women still bearing the brunt of responsibility for contraception?”


Natural Cycles was created by husband and wife team Dr Raoul Scherwitzl and Dr Elina Berglund. Berglund, one of the scientists who discovered the Higgs boson no less, says the app gives women choice: “Women around the world are interested in exploring effective non-hormonal, non-invasive forms of contraception, and now they have a new, clinically verified and regulatory approved option to choose from.

“Our high quality clinical studies, together with the required regulatory approvals, means we can provide women everywhere with a new option for contraception. Natural Cycles allow women to better understand their bodies so they can make choices that are right for them.”

According to a press release, the app, which is free to download but requires a monthly fee, is already used by more than 150,000 women in 161 countries.

Images: Natural Cycles

 

Related

GettyImages-3424330.jpg

Women policing each other's sex lives: a history of lust and censure

rexfeatures_7734504a.jpg

Republicans announce plans to defund Planned Parenthood

Sperm_rt.jpg

“Why is contraception still a woman's job?"

More

The deadly secret hidden within that creepy Game of Thrones hug

Spoilers are coming…

by Kayleigh Dray
18 Aug 2017

Why it’s totally fine if you don’t have a ‘work wife’

Having friends at work is nice – but it’s not the be all and end all

by Moya Crockett
18 Aug 2017

Meteorologist’s epic response to troll who called her “disgusting”

“Enough is enough.”

by Sarah Biddlecombe
18 Aug 2017

Acts of love, humanity and solidarity following the Barcelona attack

In the darkness, there is light.

by Moya Crockett
18 Aug 2017

How you can help those caught up in the Barcelona attack

The ways you can support the victims, survivors and investigation

by Kayleigh Dray
18 Aug 2017

People are furious about Trump’s response to the Barcelona attack

The world is sick of his double-standard on terrorism

by Kayleigh Dray
18 Aug 2017

Ryan Phillipe on how he tackles depression

“I’m thinking about how to focus and steady myself”

by Susan Devaney
17 Aug 2017

Are black girls being forced to grow up too fast?

A study has shown that black girls as young as five are seen as more adult than their white peers

by Kemi Alemoru
17 Aug 2017

Teen receives sickening messages after asking for career advice

This businessman's response was shocking

by Sarah Biddlecombe
17 Aug 2017

We want everything from this new high-street Disney collaboration

Seriously magical

by Megan Murray
17 Aug 2017