There’s a company that claims its smartphone fertility-tracking app is as good as the pill at preventing pregnancy.
Women have long monitored their menstrual cycles as a method of contraception but this has often been seen as unreliable because of the practical difficulties of sticking to the method consistently.
So could Natural Cycles, or other similar apps, really offer women a reliable, hormone-free way to avoid getting pregnant?
The basis for Natural Cycles’ claim is a study of 4,054 women aged 18 to 45 that was published in the European Journal of Contraception & Reproductive Health Care.
It indicated that using the app for contraception resulted in about seven out of every 100 women falling pregnant each year. This included pregnancies that the researchers felt were due to mistakes by the users, a so—called “typical failure” rate of the method.
This is similar to the “typical” failure rate of the combined oral contraceptive pill, which is about eight or nine women a year and includes women who, from time to time, forgot to take the pill. [Read more…]