The FDA has approved a birth control app as a form of contraception for the first time in history.
On Friday the Food and Drug Administration approved the Swedish app, Natural Cycles, as a form of birth control. The app uses body temperature to determine when a woman is most fertile so she can decide whether to use protection or to avoid having sex.
Natural Cycles uses a basal body thermometer and requires a woman to take her temperature orally upon waking up and then entering the data into the app. Throughout the course of a month, Natural Cycles gives a woman a “green light” if her temperature reading indicates a less fertile day and a “red light” if it’s one of her most fertile days. On the more fertile days, the app suggests that a woman should use an additional contraceptive. According to Natural Cycles, most women have 10 red days a month.
“Consumers are increasingly using digital health technologies to inform their everyday health decisions, and this new app can provide an effective method of contraception if it’s used carefully and correctly,” Dr. Terri Cornelison, assistant director for the health of women in the FDA’s Center for Devices and Radiological Health said in a statement.
“But women should know that no form of contraception works perfectly, so an unplanned pregnancy could still result from correct usage of this device,” she added.
The FDA reports that Natural Cycles has a “perfect use” failure rate of 1.8 percent in clinical studies. According to Natural Cycles website, 7 out of 100 women will become pregnant over the course of a year due to incorrectly using the app, such as going without contraception on a red day.
The company celebrated the FDA announcement on their Twitter page on Friday.
“We are delighted that the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has cleared Natural Cycles as the first digital method of birth control in the US,” the tweet read.
— Natural Cycles (@NaturalCycles) August 10, 2018
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