FDA OKs First Medical Mobile App for Contraceptive Use

The FDA permitted marketing of the first mobile medical app that can be used as a method of contraception to prevent pregnancy.

The FDA permitted marketing of the first mobile medical app that can be used as a method of contraception to prevent pregnancy. Natural Cycles Nordic AB’s app utilizes the fertility awareness method of contraception, and is intended for use in premenopausal women aged 18 and older.

The app, also called Natural Cycles, was designed for mobile devices by husband-and-wife physicists for their personal use. The app contains an algorithm that calculates the days of the month a woman is likely to be fertile based on daily body temperature readings, and menstrual cycle information. Natural Cycles requires women to take their temperature daily using a basal body thermometer, and to enter the reading into the app, which also tracks a user’s menstrual cycle.

Basal body thermometers are more sensitive than regular thermometers and are used to detect a minor rise in temperature, of about half of 1 degree Fahrenheit, around the time of ovulation. Women using the Natural Cycles app for contraception should abstain from sexual intercourse or use protection (such as a condom) when the app displays a message that they are experiencing a “fertile day,” which typically occurs 4 or 5 days each month, according to the FDA.

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