Have you ever heard of an app called Natural Cycles? Well, this app, which is highly prevalent in Europe is causing quite the controversy.
The app’s website claims that it is “93% effective for contraception” as well as being non-hormonal and non-intrusive. The site also boasts that the app is backed by clinical research and is a certified medical device in Europe.
Sounds great, right? So what exactly does it do?
According to the founders, a couple named Elina and Raol Berglund, the app uses “an algorithm that accurately detects and predicts ovulation and fertility” and provides a natural way to conceive as well as avoid pregnancies.
To obtain information for the algorithm, users take their temperatures and input the data into the app.
With this information, the algorithm lets the woman know when and when not she can have unprotected sex to promote or prevent pregnancy.
According to The Telegraph, the app has 700,000 active subscribers, and after hundreds of thousands of downloads, some women are blaming the app for unplanned pregnancies.
The news is confirmed after the Södersjukhuset hospital in Stockholm, Sweden, filed a complaint with the Swedish Medical Products Agency. The hospital’s claim stated that the Natural Cycles app resulted in 37 unwanted pregnancies in the last quarter of 2017.
The founders of the app have responded: “Perhaps young people should use another form of contraception.”
They further add, “We’re also inclined to agree that this app might be more suited to understanding your own cycle and fertility than necessarily using it as a contraceptive.”
One study on the use of the app was published in The Journal of Contraception and Reproductive Healthcare and followed 4,053 users. Out of all these women who used the app, only 143 women claimed to become unexpectedly pregnant. According to the Pearl Index measuring system, this results in a 7.0 rate of unwanted pregnancies while using the app.
These odds are not bad, and this is why this study is even referred to on the Natural Cycle company’s website.
It is important to note that the app has not been approved as a contraceptive device in the United States.
So what’s the consensus?
There seem to be mixed reviews, but it appears that relying solely on the use of the Natural Cycles app may be a bit risky if you are trying to prevent pregnancy. If this is the case, it might be wise to use an additional form of contraception just to be safe.
On the other hand, if you are looking for a natural way to conceive and are eager to start a family, Natural Cycles may be an app for you.
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About the Author: Amanda Clark resides with her family in Ocala, Florida. In addition to contributing works for Peace Quarters, she also creates educational content for Atlas Mission. She is recently transitioning from a full-time middle school English teacher to a stay-at-home mom, tutor, transcriber, and writer. She has written four books of poetry: Looking at the Moon, Beautifully Mixed-Up World, Flying Fall, and Through the Blinds. She loves technology, juggling pins, and playing with her two-year-old son who will become a big brother in February. She also is a pro at multitasking.