Life 101

This App Claims To Be 'As Effective As The Pill' But Should You Use It?

This App Claims To Be 'As Effective As The Pill' But Should You Use It?

Would you ditch your normal birth control and use an app that claims to be "the only certified app for contraception"? The Natural Cycles app has been granted medical approval all over Europe by certification body Tuv Sud, and claims to be "as effective as the pill but using only mathematics".

The app uses an algorithm that takes into account things like your body temperature, sperm survival and cycle irregularities. It all comes down to ovulation because when you're ovulating your body temperature rises by around 0.3℃.

(A little biology lesson kids: a woman's eggs only live for around a day. So, if a woman has sex after ovulation she won't get pregnant, but if she has sex before ovulation she can, as sperm can stay alive for up to a week. So what the app does is give you green, red and clear days that say when it's okay or not okay to have sex.)

So how effective is the app? According to Business Insider, Natural Cycles did a case study of women between the ages of 18 and 45. When the app was used perfectly (aka followed strictly with no slip ups) only 5 out of 1000 participants got pregnant, which is similar to the pill. However, when used 'typically' (not followed strictly with a few slip ups), 7 out of 100 women got pregnant.

The app is significantly cheaper than your run of the mill contraceptive methods, costing €5.40 a month or €64.99 yearly. This will include a free thermometer to document your temperature. Claire Cohen from the Telegraph tested the app this year and explained, "one of the best – and entirely unexpected – side-effects is that I feel better informed about my own body, something that 70 per cent of Natural Cycles users agreed with in a 2014 survey."

Now, being real here, who the hell wants to be told when they're allowed to have sex? The app is fertility awareness-based but doesn't take into account one important thing – human bodies aren't always reliable. Periods can vary from length month to month, and factors such as stress (hello, exam season) can affect this.

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What the app fails to include is the fact that not everyone has a predictable sex schedule, regular periods, are STI-free and even are able to not have sex for certain periods every month. So our final consensus? The app is probably great for women who are in steady relationships and know their partner's entire sexual history. However, we don't think it's a perfect fit for college students, though we'll let you decide for yourselves.

 

Disclaimer: College Times do not promote the use or disuse of contraception. Please see a doctor for more information, if you do wish to use any sort of contraception.

Also Read: A New Law Is About To Make It Illegal For Students To Pay For This Sneaky Service

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Ciara Finnegan

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