FDA approves marketing for a contraception app

Published: Aug. 13, 2018 at 10:30 PM CDT
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For the first time the U.S Food and Drug Administration approved a birth control app to be marketed as a method of contraception. It's called Natural Cycles, and it calculates peak fertility using a woman's daily body temperature and menstrual cycle information.

“Basically it's an awareness of the signs and symptoms of fertility in a woman's body, and so there are actually specific signs that women look for on a daily basis, and that those signs actually let the woman know if she's in a fertile time or if she's not in a fertile time,” said Amber Nonn, who is a diocesan instructor for Natural Family Planning.

Nonn said it can be empowering for women and couples, and this new age approach, using apps like Natural Cycles, all comes down to education.

“It's kind of interesting that there would be an FDA approval on something that's an educational thing and not specifically a medicine, but I'm glad that there is this approval because it's brought awareness to what NFP is and maybe some more validity out there that it's an option out there for couples,” said Nonn.

The app tells users when they are more likely to be fertile and should abstain from sex or use protection if they don't want to get pregnant.

According to the FDA, this newly approved app, Natural Cycles, to be marketed as a form of contraception, had a perfect-use failure rate of 1.8 percent in clinical studies involving more than 15,500 women, with a failure rate of 6.5 percent.

However, health care professionals say they want to remind users that no form of contraception is perfect or 100 percent effective.