Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

An App Substitutes Contraceptive Pills | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
Select Page
Media ID: 55367219

An NGO health worker holds contraceptive pills during a family planning session with housewives in Tondo, Manila August 6, 2012. REUTERS/Erik De Castro

London- The European Union (EU) has granted a mobile app medical approval to be used as a contraceptive instead of pills.

Natural Cycles is an app that uses body temperature to track a woman’s menstrual cycle and records daily temperature to determine whether users are fertile on any given day.

It has been used by around 150, 000 women around the world.

It is the first time that such technology has been classified as being effective in preventing pregnancy — it is similar to the natural planning or rhythm method.

The Natural Cycles app works in conjunction with a thermometer and algorithm to determine whether users are fertile on any given day. For it to work accurately, women must take their temperature every morning and enter it into the app. Because of minor temperature fluctuations after ovulation, which increase by up to 0.45C, the app can tell the days users will be fertile.

It was created by Nobel Prize winning physicist Dr. Berglund and her mathematician husband Dr. Raoul Scherwitzl — they designed an algorithm that can learn individual women’s temperature fluctuations over time.

Natural Cycles gives users red and green days that indicate whether they’re safe to have unprotected sex. For women with a regular 28-day cycle the app will suggest abstaining from having sex in specific days.