nature cycles app

EU-certified contraception app probed after 37 unwanted pregnancies logged

Birth control app investigated after medics in Sweden found 37 women who were using it had abortions in recent months.

A popular brand of digital contraceptive is being investigated by the Swedish Medicines Agency after medics identified instances in which at least 37 women who were using it terminated unwanted pregnancies over the past four months.

The app, which a 2016 clinical study featuring one million women concluded could be as effective in preventing pregnancy as taking the pill, was last year certified by the EU as an approved form of contraception.

This certification means the app meets EU standards. However, it has not been similarly certified by British or American regulators.

Diana Mansour, vice president of clinical quality for the Faculty of Sexual and Reproductive Health of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, has previously said more trials of the technology are needed and has warned of “room for misunderstanding and inaccurate use”.

In a statement, Natural Cycles, which claims to be 93 per cent effective when used correctly, said unintended pregnancies on the part of the app’s users would “inevitably” result as the user base of the technology increased.

“We’d like to reassure the medical community and the public that Natural Cycles is an effective, clinically proven form of contraception, which hundreds of thousands of women worldwide trust as their birth control to prevent or plan a pregnancy,” the company added.

Natural Cycles, which charges around £7 per month for a subscription, predicts when a woman is at her most fertile and when she is not, using algorithms that crunch data which is input via a digital thermometer meant to indirectly assess hormone levels.

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