Natural Cycles, an app which is cleared by FDA, touts itself as digital contraception, an important part of femtech.
Natural Cycles, an app which is cleared by FDA, touts itself as digital contraception, an important part of femtech.(Photo: iStockphoto)
  • 1. Understanding Digital Contraception
  • 2. How ‘Natural Cycles’ Works?
  • 3. The Science Behind Tracking Your Cycle
  • 4. What Went Wrong?
  • 5. Beyond Digital Contraception
Digital Contraception and How It’s Soon to Become a $50Bn Industry

Female biology may not be rocket science, but keeping track of menstrual calendars is not always the easiest thing either. Raise your hand if you agree with me, or so asked the tech world before plunging itself headlong into a field now termed ‘femtech’. Femtech, in simpler words, is an assertion that the female reproductive system is often a complex, moody thing and technological assistance can go a long way in helping us understand it.

Consider exhibit A - a paid mobile application called Natural Cycles. Developed by a former CERN physicist Elina Berglund, it claims to be “highly accurate” when it comes to preventing pregnancies.

  • 1. Understanding Digital Contraception

    App stores are flooded with several apps of this kind which track a woman’s reproductive cycle, helping her understand when she is most fertile and otherwise, to map her sexual activity accordingly. All of them together form the realm of digital contraception.

    Natural Cycles, an app which is cleared by FDA, touts itself as digital contraception, an important part of femtech.
    Contraception is no longer limited to a pill or an external tool, but now apparently is also constituted by technology.
    (Photo: iStockphoto)

    Yes, contraception is no longer limited to a pill or an external tool, but now apparently is also constituted by technology. Why I specifically mention Natural Cycles is because it is approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). It is also the only app of its kind which is certified as contraception, according to The Guardian. Earlier this year, the app was in news because several women who had been using it found themselves in that one situation they were using it to avoid - pregnancy.

    The international backlash against Natural Cycles took the form of medical investigation in Sweden, and a general questioning of this whole idea of femtech, an industry expecting to be a 50 billion-dollar-industry by 2025, according to this report.

    Also Read : Let’s Talk Ovulation, Your ‘Fertility Window’ and Making Babies

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