NaturalCycles, a new fertility app, could be an effective hormone-free alternative to contraceptive pill to prevent and monitor pregnancies, a recent study has revealed.
Developed by Dr Elina Berglund and Dr Raoul Scherwitzl, the new app is believed to analyse a woman’s temperature and ovulation tests using an algorithm to identify fertile days.
The app notifies the user about when she has ovulated or is likely to ovulate in her next cycle, thereby identifying when a women can and cannot get pregnant with high accuracy.
As part of the study, nearly 4,054 women aged between 20 and 35 years used the app to prevent pregnancies.
The study analysed the Pearl Index, the most common technique used in clinical studies for reporting the effectiveness of a birth control method.
Figures released by the study show that NaturalCycles, when used correctly, reduced accidental pregnancies to five in every 1,000 women, when compared to pill that reduced the number to three in 1,000.
Berglund said: "Mobile technology is the most transformative trend for healthcare in recent years. NaturalCycles uses data instead of chemicals to prevent pregnancies, thereby allowing women to educate and empower themselves and take control of their fertility.
"The future of birth control lies in knowing your body rather than altering it with hormonal contraceptives, and we are excited to be leading the way and creating a future where every pregnancy is wanted."
The study was carried out at the Karolinska Institute in Sweden with leading contraception experts including Professor Kristina Gemzell.
Gemzell added: "More and more women, especially in the age group of 20-30, tend to abstain from hormonal contraception and desire a ‘hormone-free’ alternative. It is important to increase choice among contraceptives for women and inform them about their pros and cons.
"Studies on natural family planning have been scarce and actually non-existent for any mobile applications, this work is an important step towards understanding how new technologies can improve old methods."
Image: Natural Cycles app analyses a woman’s temperature and ovulation tests using an algorithm to identify fertile days. Photo: courtesy of hotcherry.co.uk.