Science//

Swedish Contraceptive App Linked to 37 Unwanted Pregnancies

Just because there's an app for it, doesn't mean there should be.

No matter what you’re trying to do in today’s world, there’s likely an app to help you do it, and the list of such apps now includes contraception. So how does technology fare against perhaps the ultimate human process? Results are mixed, which isn’t really what you want in a contraceptive. According to Business Insider Nordic, the Swedish app Natural Cycles has been reported to have caused 37 unwanted pregnancies.

Carina Montina, a midwife at Södersjukhuset (SÖS), a Stockholm based hospital, said the number of unwanted pregnancies led the hospital to report the app to the Medical Products Agency.

According to the app’s website, here’s how it works: In the morning, women take their temperature using a two decimal basal thermometer (you’re on your own for purchasing unless you get the annual subscription), and then enter the reading directly into the app. Using a “unique algorithm,” the app will then signal to the woman whether she should use protection or “enjoy more sexual freedom with her loved one.”

Despite the claims against the app, Natural Cycles remains steadfast, releasing the following statement in response to Babble:

“We have not been involved in the study that SÖS is referring to so we cannot comment on specifics. However, we understand that it sounds alarming, but when Natural Cycles’ user base increases, naturally so will the amount of unwanted pregnancies coming from users using us, just as it would do with any kind of new contraception. We’d like to reassure the medical and community and the public that Natural Cycles is a safe, clinically proven and certified form of contraception which women worldwide trust as their birth control to prevent or plan a pregnancy.

Furthermore, SÖS is following protocol when submitting their analysis to Läkemedelsverket. This is something we welcome as it helps the medical community and the public bring transparency on such an important topic as birth control and its efficacy levels. Just as we have in the past, we look forward to work with and assist Läkemedelsverket in their work.”

Read more about the situation here

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