A contraceptive app used by over 125,000 women has been reported to Swedish authorities after 37 women claimed to have gotten pregnant whilst using it.
The Natural Cycles app enables women to pinpoint how fertile they are by tracking their period and temperature. The app measures a women’s temperature from underneath their tongue then utilises an algorithm which predicts if they are fertile on any specific day.
The app was approved as a class IIb medical device by the regulatory body Tüv Süd in February last year.
The app was reported to the Medical Products Agency in Sweden by midwives at Stockholm’s Södersjukhuset hospital after 37 women got pregnant whilst using the app.
The creators of the app claim that it is as effective as the pill for a form of contraceptive. A study of the app showed that it was 93% effective at preventing pregnancies after almost 23,000 women took part in the research.
A Natural Cycles spokesperson told Swedish news agency SVT: “No contraception is 100% and unwanted pregnancies is an unfortunate risk with any contraception.”
“To have 37 unwanted pregnancies out of the 668 mentioned in this study at Södersjukhuset means that 5.5% of women who stated they used Natural Cycles also had an unwanted pregnancy.
“This is in line with what we communicate as the risk of unwanted pregnancy with typical use and which is comparable to other types of contraception.”
Natural Cycles recently responded to the reports on its website, stating that it’s “looking into ‘each of the individual cases”.
Speaking about how effective the app is, Natural Cycles stated: “An unwanted pregnancy is, of course, very unfortunate and we deeply care every time one of our users becomes pregnant unplanned. Unfortunately, no contraception is 100% effective and unplanned pregnancies are an unfortunate risk with any contraception. Natural Cycles is 93% effective under typical use, which means 7 out of 100 women will get pregnant due to all possible reasons (e.g. having unprotected intercourse on red days, failure of the contraceptive method used on red days). Under perfect use, where women use protection on every fertile day, Natural Cycles is 99% effective. For an overview of efficacy levels of other contraceptive methods please see WHO’s factsheet.”