The only birth control app approved by the European Union appears to have disappointed several women, a Swedish news report claims.
According to SVT, midwives working in a Stockholm, Sweden, hospital learned that out of the 668 women who went to the hospital looking to perform abortions between September and December 2017, 37 had ended up experiencing unwanted pregnancies after using the Natural Cycles app.
The incidents implicate the app, which is advertised to be 99 percent effective with perfect use and at least 93 percent with typical use.
Women using Natural Cycles are able to track their fertility using their daily body temperature. By uploading this info into the system, the app is able to let users know whether that day is a “red” or “green” day. On red days, women are advised to either abstain or to wear condoms.
Unfortunately, the system may not be so accurate as dozens of women have reported that they still became pregnant after using the app regularly.
With 700,000 users worldwide, Natural Cycles is extremely popular. Naturally, Twitter users had a lot to say about the app’s shortcomings.
Contraceptive app that offered couples high-tech "natural family planning" turns out to have an error rate of 5.5%. ?? https://t.co/baXXwwYdss— some personal news (@morninggloria) January 15, 2018
well I'm shocked that this app promoted by Instagram influencers, which claims to replace actual contraceptives, and was warned against by every sexual health nurse I interviewed a year or so ago may have led to unwanted pregnancies https://t.co/CS3JCJMyVV— Barbara Speed (@bspeed8) January 16, 2018
guess the answer was "no" pic.twitter.com/X0qy8X0vNr— baby new year (@frozenblueber) January 11, 2018
Some, however, either stood with the company, maintaining that Natural Cycles never promised to be perfect, or simply told followers that talking to a doctor is always the best option.
No contraception is 100%. Natural Cycles states it’s 93% effective and at first shouldn’t be used exclusive as the app takes time/shouldn’t be used if your periods are irregular. This is an alternative to hormones & condoms and this article is stupid https://t.co/5iXJH8puPk— Char ???? (@lunarchar_) January 15, 2018
Stop depending on apps for your health. Learn your body or go see a doctor, especially when it comes to contraception. https://t.co/6SaKwPwp69— Seline Reyes (@LadyxFett) January 16, 2018
It’s almost like you should see a doctor instead of an app. https://t.co/UTt1r1jH2a— Chase Gallagher (@chasegallagher) January 16, 2018
After midwives noticed the high volume of complaints, they told SVT that the hospital was going to report Natural Cycles to the Swedish regulatory organization Medical Product Agency.
While the app never claimed to be 100 percent accurate, it’s important to keep in mind that everybody is different, so what works for the majority of women may not work for all.
And as many Twitter users noted, discussing contraceptive methods with a doctor first is a safer bet than relying solely on an app.