Technology Revives the Rhythm Method as Birth Control
the MPR take:
Natural family planning as a form of contraception is seeing a revival thanks to new technologies that help women predict their fertility. Devices such as Daysy, a thermometer that connects to a smartphone for tracking the basal body-temperature changes that often follow ovulation, are alternatives to the pen-and-paper methods that women have utilized for decades for both pregnancy prevention and conception. Only about 22% of women in 2010 reported using “periodic abstinence” (ie, counting days, measuring temperature, and assessing cervical mucus) to predict fertility, but new apps like Clue and OvuView could increase that number in the coming years. CycleBeads, a string of multicolored beads and iPhone app for tracking fertility, claim a success rate of 95% with perfect use and 88% with typical use (an improvement over the success rate of condoms, but less than that of oral contraceptives). The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists warns that “natural family planning is not as effective as most other methods of birth control. One in four women who use this method become pregnant," and that women who experience abnormal bleeding, vaginitis, cervicitis, frequent fevers, or who are on certain medications should not use natural family planning as a method of birth control.
Tired of condoms and the Pill, many women are turning to new apps that help them practice one of the oldest forms of contraception. Every morning when she wakes up, Becca, a college student in Pennsylvania, puts a teardrop-shaped thermometer called the Daysy under her tongue. But while in past ...
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