Last week, th fertility app Natural Cycle became the first software to be officially certified as a reliable form of contraception. The German testing organization Tüv Süd approved the app as a class IIb medical device, meaning it can be prescribed as a hormone -free, non-invasive contraceptive option in the UK.
Natural Cycle has around 150,000 users in 160 countires and it works with an algorithm that considers factors like body temperature, sperm survival, temperature fluctuation and cycle irregularities. The app calculates the user´s fertile days with information on their menstrual days and body temperature. It shows green days as safe days and red days as fertile days where there is a risk of pregnancy.
A study published in 2016 evaluated the effectiveness of Natural Cycle with 4,000 women using the application. The results showed that seven out of 1,000 women got pregnant in one year when using natural cycle due to failure of other contraceptive methods used during red days, whereas only five women out of 1,000 got pregnant due to the algorithm falsely attributing a green day.
The National Youth Survey done in Mexico in 2015 revealed that 49 percent of those within ages 12 and 29 do not use contraceptive methods, some of them because they did not have access to them. This option, which only requires a smartphone, could be an alternative to reduce those rates.