Natural Cycles, the first and only FDA-cleared Digital Birth Control, announces findings of new study surrounding correct fertile window identification
It’s estimated that over 200 million people have now downloaded period tracking apps, as reported by British public service broadcaster, the BBC. As so-called period trackers continue to rise in popularity, so, according to Natural Cycles, does the need for women to understand the differences between the hundreds of options on the market, as well as how they differ from digital birth control. It’s with this in mind that the company, responsible for the first and only app to be FDA-cleared and EU-certified as a contraceptive, has announced the findings of a new study surrounding correct fertile window identification.
Correct fertile window identification is vital, Natural Cycles says, in preventing pregnancy, by avoiding unprotected sex during the window, or to plan a pregnancy, by engaging in unprotected sex during the same timeframe. “Many women rely on correct fertile window identification for exactly these purposes,” explains Elina Berglund, co-founder and CEO of Natural Cycles.
Two commonly used approaches recognized by the World Health Organization employed to identify this window are known as the ‘rhythm’ and ‘standard days’ methods. “These methods have been around for many years,” suggests Berglund. Some women, she says, calculate the window on their own, or using period trackers, while others rely on the window that their period tracker or fertility tracker calculates for them, often based on these methods.
What, then, did the Natural Cycles correct fertile window identification study find? The Natural Cycles study, published in the peer-reviewed medical journal, the European Journal of Reproductive Healthcare & Contraception, analyzed data from over 42,000 women and more than 280,000 menstrual cycles found a significant discrepancy in accuracy when determining the fertile window between the rhythm method and standard days method.
When evaluated against Natural Cycles‘ algorithm, the probability of receiving a wrong non-fertile day was 69% lower when using Natural Cycles’ algorithm than with the Rhythm Method and 97% lower than with the Standard Days Method.
“While the accuracy of determining the fertile window differed, so did the number of non-fertile days provided across methods,” adds Berglund. While the Natural Cycles app and the standard days method delivered a similar number of non-fertile days-56 percent and 58 percent on average-the rhythm method provided just 17 percent of non-fertile days over the course of 12 months, according to the study.