How does our site make you feel?
Great   Indifferent

Natural Cycle App: Great Idea, not so great results. Vasectomy still rules when it comes to reliabil

Smart phones are everywhere and their applications are ubiquitous. There’s an app for almost everything. Why not an app for birth control?

Natural cycle is a smart phone application that uses algorithms based on the “rhythm method” to guide couples to have sex outside the “fertile window” of the woman’s cycle as a means of ensuring birth control. Another way of saying that is the couple stays abstinent during a woman’s “fertile window”. Great idea as a concept.

Unfortunately, the rhythm method itself doesn’t have a great track record. Reports suggest that, when done properly, the rhythm method offers a seventy-six to eighty-seven percent chance of success at avoiding pregnancy. Natural cycle represents its success rate to be 93% stating it uses a more sophisticated algorithm.

A woman’s “fertile window” lasts only about six days, starting five days before ovulation. So, as long as one can accurately predict ovulation, this should work. The Natural Cycle App uses basal body temperature to predict ovulation. Basal body temperature ticks up about a degree after ovulation. Once ovulation and its corresponding change is determined, that data can be used to predict the fertile window. Of course, it is known that basal body temperature is not completely reliable. Also, some women’s cycles vary in length from month t month and even a one day variation can lead to failure. Therefore, it’s not surprising that a Swedish hospital has documented thirty-seven “unwanted” pregnancies among women relying on the app for contraception. Those 37 women were among 668 women seeking an abortion at that hospital during a four month period in 2017.

Other forms of birth control also have a failure rate. Diaphragms are 86 to 94% effective. Condoms are 85 to 98% successful when used properly. Tubal ligation is about 98% successful and is a major surgical procedure.

Vasectomy continues to look like the promising alternative for permanent birth control as a minor surgical procedure with an effectiveness of 99.8%. And you don’t even need to own a smart phone.

You Might Also Enjoy...

Recovering from a Vasectomy: What to Expect

Are you considering a vasectomy? It’s a safe and effective form of birth control, but the thought of undergoing surgery is enough to make anyone nervous. Learn what it’s like to recover from a vasectomy.

Types of Kidney Stones

Kidney stones range in size, location, and mineral makeup, but they all have one thing in common: They can be very painful. Dr. Seaman discusses the common types of kidney stones.

Common Signs of Low Testosterone

As you get older, your testosterone level naturally decreases. But when it drops too far, you might notice unpleasant symptoms like low sex drive and loss of muscle mass. Learn to recognize the signs of low testosterone.

Signs and Symptoms of Prostate Cancer

Prostate cancer is the second most common type of cancer affecting men, and your risk increases as you get older. Get regular prostate screenings to catch the disease early, and learn the signs of prostate cancer here.

Am I a Candidate for a Vasectomy Reversal?

Maybe you thought you didn’t want to have children in the future, but now your plans have changed. Though a vasectomy is a permanent form of birth control, it may be reversed. Find out if you’re a candidate for vasectomy reversal here.

Common Causes of ED

Millions of men are living with erectile dysfunction (ED), a common but embarrassing medical condition. Sexual arousal and erections are complicated, and the causes of ED vary. Find out more about the causes of ED here.