The world of birth control may never be the same.
For the first time ever, an app has gained medical approval to be used as a successful contraceptive method.
The Natural Cycles app gets to know your cycle as you track your body temperature and when you're on your period. The app then can tell you which days are "green days" (safe to have unprotected sex) and which are "red days" (use protection).
While there are other cycle-tracking apps on the market, Natural Cycles is the only one backed by clinical research and has been granted medical approval to be used as a contraceptive.
This is a huge breakthrough in the birth control world. This app is the first of its kind to have such a high preventative rate while also eliminating hormonal and intrusive birth control measures completely.
Isn't it just the calendar method?
Yes. And no. Natural family planning (also known as the calendar or rhythm method) is when a woman tracks her body's natural function to determine the days she'd most likely get pregnant, rather than using birth control drugs or devices. To be effective, natural family planning requires careful and accurate record keeping.
"Natural Cycles only takes objective measurements into account such as temperature, LH (ovulation) tests, sperm survival, etc., and adapts to your unique cycle," the app's website says. "There is no extensive studying, paperwork or second guessing - the app does the work for you and tells you exactly when to use protection, so you can learn about your body and cycle along the way."
How effective is it?
According to clinical studies, the app might be slightly more effective than the pill as a contraceptive.
In a study performed on more than 4,000 women, researchers found Natural Cycles to have a Pearl Index of 7.0 (7 out of 100 women in a year got pregnant while using the app). The pill has a Pearl Index of 9.0 and natural family planning is at about 25.0.
When it comes to the Pearl Index, a large contributor to the number is user error - like when not using protection on a "red day" or when forgeting to take a pill. The study showed that only 5 out of 1000 women in a year got pregnant while using Natural Cycles due to a mistake on the app's part.
What does this mean for you?
Every woman responds differently to the various forms of birth control out there. It's all about figuring out what's best for you, because when it comes to birth control, it's definitely not one-size-fits-all.
Also, unlike most other birth control options, Natural Cycles has absolutely zero side effects, which is especially good news for women who experience negative physical and emotional side effects from hormonal contraceptives. With its impressive medical backing and effectiveness statistics, Natural Cycles looks like a great new option to consider.
Would you consider looking into this new form of birth control?