Digital Contraception Predicts Pregnancy in a New Way
The term “Digital Contraception” is a new one to many. While it’s not surprising that something new has adopted a digital form in our day and age, the topic of contraception remains a tough one to talk about. This is mainly because the highly-debated topic of contraception brings out religious beliefs, political views and deeply-rooted personal experiences that must be handled with care.
We haven’t seen much movement by way of new contraception in recent decades. The most recent invention would be the male pill, which still hasn’t made its way to market. The company Natural Cycles, however, is trying to change all of this. Now is the time for new a new form of contraception; not by way of a physical pill, but by phone app.
Natural Cycles consider themselves a form of “digital contraception”, which gained certification as a contraceptive in the European Union back in February.
Last July they were granted $6M in their Series A round, and were recently granted $30M in their Series B round by EQT Ventures and existing investors.
What is Natural Cycles?
The company created a fertility-tracking app, which individuals and couples can use to track when a female is fertile and not fertile. There are more than 500,000 users across 160 countries using the app, which collects personal data on a daily basis to recognize fertile days in a month.
With an annual subscription, users receive a body basal thermometer that reads the female’s temperatures on a daily basis. A calendar in the app shows days in either green or red, green for when a woman is not fertile, and days in red for when she is fertile.
The color choices are simply to represent when it is safe to have unprotected sex, and when she has a greater chance of becoming pregnant with unprotected sex. The app, however, does not offer any kind of protection against STD’s and this is at the discretion of the individual and couple.
How Do You Use the Digital Contraception?
It is ideal that women take their temperature every morning before getting out of bed, which helps to get the best reading. Temperatures are used to predict hormone levels and fertility rates, and even factors in sperm survival rates!
Of course, not every woman is going to remember to take their temperature every morning, or every day for that matter. The digital contraception takes all kinds of factors into account, including fluctuating temperatures, irregular cycles, lifestyle, etc.
There are a lot of opinions around this digital contraception, as you can image. Many experts have pointed out the lack of a solid efficacy study, and others are looking for more studies to be done in comparison with other forms of contraception.
At this point, the tool is meant to be a guideline for women, informing them about their bodies fertility levels and that it can be used however they see fit. Most of the users at this point are women between the ages of 25 and 35 who are in stable relationships and who are preparing for or who are considering child-bearing in the future.
About 25% of the women are using the tool to become pregnant, and it can also be used as a means to track hormone levels during pregnancy and when women think they may be pregnant. The algorithm will even prompt women to take a pregnancy test if their hormone levels reach a certain measurement.
While it’s still not clear how well this application will do, the team seems optimistic that Natural Cycles can at least offer another option for people who want to keep track of their bodies and their chances for pregnancy.
Technology is blowing our minds on the daily! Did you ever think that people would be able to track their fertility levels via phone app? If you’ve got something to say on the topic, feel free to leave a comment below! Otherwise, check out this neat little tidbit on the new documents design we might be seeing in the near future!