Sunday, September 17, 2017

Largest clinical study ever reveals this app is more effective than the pill and other fertility awareness based methods

The largest prospective observational study* ever performed on the effectiveness of Fertility Awareness Based (FAB) methods (also called natural family planning) has concluded that Natural Cycles, the first app to be certified as a contraception in the EU, provides an effective alternative for women who are looking for non-hormonal options, and represents a significant improvement when compared to traditional FAB methods for contraception. This is the third study performed on Natural Cycles and is an important step towards substantiating clinical evidence around natural birth control methods.

In the study, 22,785 women, with an average age of 29 years, who use Natural Cycles for contraception, were observed to establish how many became pregnant within a year. The study analysed 224,563 menstrual cycles to calculate the Pearl Index for perfect and typical use of the application. The Pearl Index is a rate that summarizes how many women out of 100 may experience an unintended pregnancy within 1 year of using a contraceptive method.

Under perfect use, the app is 99% effective. Under typical use, the app is 93% effective - more effective than traditional FAB methods (with 75% effectiveness) and comparable to the contraceptive pill (with 91% effectiveness).

Natural Cycles, which is currently used by over 380,000 women worldwide,  works by recording the daily temperature under your tongue and inputting details about your menstrual cycle as well as data on urine luteal hormone, sexual activity and pregnancy. The advanced algorithm then pinpoints whether you are fertile on that day so you accurately know if and when to have protected intercourse (as such, the app is recommended for couples in a stable relationship where you are sure your partner is free from any STIs). The algorithm makes use of this data to detect ovulation and to predict future ovulation, and these predictions improve with time as users add more data.

Kristina Gemzell Danielsson, Professor, MD, PhD at the leading medical university Karolinska Institutet and Karolinska University Hospital in Sweden says "Since more and more women are choosing natural contraception as an option, we welcome that there is a certified app with solid clinical evidence."

James Trussell,  PhD,Professor emeritus at Princeton University and co-author of that publication says "This is the first study to provide typical- and perfect-use estimates of effectiveness of an app and shows the app is effective."

Dr Raoul Scherwitzl, co-founder of Natural Cycles says "The real life evidence collected in the largest study ever conducted on this method not only confirms the effectiveness of Natural Cycles but allows us to study how it is used in real life. It's a modern and innovative way of doing research that the industry wants to see more of."

Future research will be focused on studying acceptability among women by observing the impact of factors such as age, country of origin, social stratification, irregular menstrual cycles and dedication to the method.

Natural Cycles is available for download in the  App Store and Google Play Store. 

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