Doctors: Birth control app ignores variables for contraception

Posted: Updated:
LAKE SUCCESS -

A birth control cellphone app has been certified as a medical device in Europe, but doctors are warning users that it should not be used as a solo source of contraception. 

The app, Natural Cycles, is available in Apple's App Store and the Google Play store to users everywhere. It digitizes an age-old method of preventing pregnancy, sometimes called the rhythm method, natural family planning or fertility awareness. 

The idea is to track ovulation and avoid sex (or use additional protection) on days when a woman is most likely to be fertile. These methods have a failure rate of about 25 percent, even though the promotional materials for Natural Cycles claim that the app is 93 percent effective. 

Dr. Carol Dunetz, of NYU Langone Gynecology Associates in Lake Success, says she is concerned that the app is being marketed as a contraception method. 

"There are a lot of variables to consider," she says. "To get the success rate they're claiming, you have to disregard all these variables," says Dunetz.

The company that makes Natural Cycles is headquartered in Sweden. The app was certified as a medical device in February, making it the only app that can call itself "contraception" in Europe. 

The app tracks body temperature and the menstrual cycle – taking into account the amount of time that sperm are likely to survive in the body. 

There are more than 250 versions of menstruation apps available.

  • NewsMore>>

  • Coram family trapped in house without power due to storm

    Coram family trapped in house without power due to storm

    Thursday, October 17 2019 10:06 PM EDT2019-10-18 02:06:41 GMT
    A Coram family was trapped in their home Thursday without power following a nor'easter that took down trees and power lines across Long Island.A Coram family was trapped in their home Thursday without power following a nor'easter that took down trees and power lines across Long Island.
    A Coram family was trapped in their home Thursday without power following a nor'easter that took down trees and power lines across Long Island.A Coram family was trapped in their home Thursday without power following a nor'easter that took down trees and power lines across Long Island.
    A Coram family was trapped in their home Thursday without power following a nor'easter that took down trees and power lines across Long Island.
    A Coram family was trapped in their home Thursday without power following a nor'easter that took down trees and power lines across Long Island.
  • Astros power past Yanks for 3-1 ALCS lead, Verlander up next

    Astros power past Yanks for 3-1 ALCS lead, Verlander up next

    Friday, October 18 2019 5:33 AM EDT2019-10-18 09:33:10 GMT
    George Springer and Carlos Correa each hit three-run homers and the Houston Astros got another wild ace off the hook to beat the sloppy New York Yankees 8-3 Thursday night and reach the cusp of a second World Series visit in three years.
    George Springer and Carlos Correa each hit three-run homers and the Houston Astros got another wild ace off the hook to beat the sloppy New York Yankees 8-3 Thursday night and reach the cusp of a second World Series visit in three years.
  • School Spirit Showdown: Vote on the Top 12 schools

    School Spirit Showdown: Vote on the Top 12 schools

    It's a battle for bragging rights! News 12 is looking for the schools with the most school spirit! Is it yours?

    It's a battle for bragging rights! News 12 is looking for the schools with the most school spirit! Is it yours?

  • SlideshowsGalleriesMore>>

  • Your Oct. 16 storm photos

    Your Oct. 16 storm photos

    Storm photos Oct. 17Storm photos Oct. 17
    Storm photos Oct. 17Storm photos Oct. 17
    Heavy right and high winds swept through the tri-state area due to a large coast storm on the night of Oct. 16. Here are your photos from the storm.
    Heavy right and high winds swept through the tri-state area due to a large coast storm on the night of Oct. 16. Here are your photos from the storm.
  • Yankees in the 2019 Playoffs

    Yankees in the 2019 Playoffs

    New York Yankees pitcher CC Sabathia throws against the Houston Astros during the 10th inning in Game 2 of baseball's American League Championship Series Sunday, Oct. 13, 2019, in Houston.New York Yankees pitcher CC Sabathia throws against the Houston Astros during the 10th inning in Game 2 of baseball's American League Championship Series Sunday, Oct. 13, 2019, in Houston.
    New York Yankees pitcher CC Sabathia throws against the Houston Astros during the 10th inning in Game 2 of baseball's American League Championship Series Sunday, Oct. 13, 2019, in Houston.New York Yankees pitcher CC Sabathia throws against the Houston Astros during the 10th inning in Game 2 of baseball's American League Championship Series Sunday, Oct. 13, 2019, in Houston.
    Photos on the field of the New York Yankees in the 2019 American League Division Series vs. the Minnesota Twins.
    Photos on the field of the New York Yankees in the 2019 American League Division Series vs. the Minnesota Twins.
  • Your Long Island Fall Fun Photos

    Your Long Island Fall Fun Photos

    Monday, October 7 2019 12:12 PM EDT2019-10-07 16:12:23 GMT
    Fall FunFall Fun
    Fall FunFall Fun
    Are you and your family doing fun things this fall? Whether you're out apple or pumpkin picking, at a farm or corn maze or just hanging around in your home or yard, News 12 Long Island wants to see your Fall Fun pics!
    Are you and your family doing fun things this fall? Whether you're out apple or pumpkin picking, at a farm or corn maze or just hanging around in your home or yard, News 12 Long Island wants to see your Fall Fun pics!
sorry to interrupt
your first 20 are free
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Spectrum Networks® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please enjoy 20 complimentary views of articles, photos, and videos during the next 30 days.
you have reached your 20 view limit
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Spectrum Networks® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please login or create an account to continue enjoying News12.
Our sign-up page is undergoing maintenance and is not currently available. However, you will be given direct access to news12.com while we complete our upgrade.
When we are back up and running you will be prompted at that time to complete your sign in. Until then, enjoy the local news, weather, traffic and more that's "as local as local news gets."