FDA approves app as a form of birth control

15 Août, 2018, 03:50 | Auteur: Yves Courtet
  • FDA approves marketing for a contraception app for the 1st time

"No contraception is 100 percent and unwanted pregnancies are an unfortunate risk with any contraception", the company said at the time.

If all the birth control methods you've tried thus far have left you dissatisfied-or, even worse, with painful side effects-you may be happy to hear that there's a new option on the market in the US, and it's newly FDA-approved as a method of contraception.

Natural Cycles, a Swedish company, is the first app in the U.S.to be approved for this designation.

The app then tells users what days they are more likely to be fertile and should abstain from sex or use protection if they do not wish to get pregnant.

In a statement, the FDA warns that the app is not foolproof in preventing pregnancies- but can be effective if used correctly and carefully. If a woman does decide to use an app for birth control, however, she needs to have a plan for what she would do if she does have an unplanned pregnancy.

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Using data like daily body temperature and monthly menstrual cycle tracking, the app is said to have a fail rate of almost 2% for "perfect use", and a fail rate of 6% for "typical use", not unlike barrier methods and the pill.

The app had a "perfect use" failure rate of 1.8 percent in clinical studies that involved more than 15,500 women, or a "typical use" failure rate of 6.5 percent, according to the FDA. With those kinds of failure rates for some of the most commonly used birth control methods, the failure rate for Natural Cycles doesn't seem too bad.

For reference, male condoms have a failure rate of 18 percent, and oral contraceptives have a failure rate of 9 percent.

One Stockholm hospital launched an investigation into the app following 37 unplanned pregnancies in women who were using it.

The system Natural Cycles uses is nothing new-women have avoided sex during certain times of the month for centuries, to varying degrees of contraceptive success-but the technology it presents is utterly that of our digital age.

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