Fertility app gets approval as a contraceptive device

A fertility app that tracks a woman’s fertility and replaces birth control medication has been approved by both the FDA and the German inspection and certification agency Tüv Süd.

Users of the app have a lower unintended pregnancy rate than the pill (6.5 percent as against 9 percent), without the side effects of hormonal contraception.

The app – which also works for pregnancy planning – was developed by Swedish nuclear physicist Elina Berglund and her husband Raoul Scherwizl.

Berglund says the app uses scientific research to empower women with knowledge about their body and to replace medication with technology.

“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,” the FDA says.

Users download the app to a mobile device and use it to keep a record of their temperature (which they take each morning with an “extra-sensitive” thermometer). Temperature records are important, as a woman’s body temperature rises slightly when she is fertile.

The temperature data is combined with information about the woman’s menstrual cycle into a ‘smart’ algorithm, which helps determine when a woman is ovulating.

This in turn lets users know when they should avoid having unprotected sex if they don’t want to get pregnant – or have unprotected sex if they do want to get pregnant.

The Church teaches using contraception is immoral, because it intentionally separates procreation from the sexual act. However, it does approve of fertility mapping methods like natural family planning.




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