Contraceptive App Tracks Cycle, Complaints Pouring In

There’s an app that tracks a user’s fertility cycle and recommends when you can or can’t have unprotected sex, and of course it isn’t accurate.

By nowproducerdave on January 17, 2018
(Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

Long story shot – there’s an app designed to track a woman’s fertility cycle, and will tell you what days you can have sex without protection, and not worry about getting pregnant. It’s even certified as an actual form of birth control. Problem is, it’s only about 93% effective.

Long version – The app is called “Natural Cycles,” and with it, you keep track of your cycle in the app. You enter info into the app, like your temperature (daily), weight, and when you’re on your period. The app calculates when you should be “safe” to have sex without a physical form of birth control and not get pregnant. It gives you a “green day” meaning you can’t get pregnant, and a “red day” for when you need to use protection. Women have been using the app, and despite the app’s “all-good” message, have been becoming pregnant. Here’s their video about how it works:

We’ll pause for a moment so you can take that in.

People are actually using an app on a phone as a form of birth control. That’s its intended purpose too, to be used as a birth control app. It’s not designed to help a couple determine when they should become pregnant, it’s designed to tell you when you can’t become pregnant. The people who make the app are working to determine what went wrong though, after about 37 women so far have come forward to receive abortions after becoming pregnant due to their use of the app and its incorrect advice.

The company’s official statement though? “At first sight, the numbers mentioned in the media are not surprising given the popularity of the app and in line with our efficacy rates. As our user base increases, so will the amount of unintended pregnancies coming from Natural Cycles app users, which is an inevitable reality.”

So basically, “yeah, but we told you it’s only 93% effective.” Touché.


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