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.

  • SlideshowsSlideshowsMore>>

  • What's Cooking Photos

    What's Cooking Photos

    Chef Rob, of Uncle Giuseppe's, adds a little clarified butter, fresh herbs, some olive oil and, of course, salt and pepper, to season the steak. Add some roasted potatoes and sauteed broccoli rabe and some white wine to complete your perfect summer meal.Chef Rob, of Uncle Giuseppe's, adds a little clarified butter, fresh herbs, some olive oil and, of course, salt and pepper, to season the steak. Add some roasted potatoes and sauteed broccoli rabe and some white wine to complete your perfect summer meal.
    Chef Rob, of Uncle Giuseppe's, adds a little clarified butter, fresh herbs, some olive oil and, of course, salt and pepper, to season the steak. Add some roasted potatoes and sauteed broccoli rabe and some white wine to complete your perfect summer meal.Chef Rob, of Uncle Giuseppe's, adds a little clarified butter, fresh herbs, some olive oil and, of course, salt and pepper, to season the steak. Add some roasted potatoes and sauteed broccoli rabe and some white wine to complete your perfect summer meal.

    Each week, News 12's Lily Stolzberg heads into the kitchen with a different chef to cook up some delicious meals.

    Each week, News 12's Lily Stolzberg heads into the kitchen with a different chef to cook up some delicious meals.

  • Dog Day Fridays for July 20

    Dog Day Fridays for July 20

    Friday, July 20 2018 7:45 AM EDT2018-07-20 11:45:59 GMT
    This week's dogs are up for adoption at Ruff House Rescue.This week's dogs are up for adoption at Ruff House Rescue.

    This week's dogs are up for adoption at Ruff House Rescue. The shelter is located in Island Park. Their phone number is (516) 960-6388.

    This week's dogs are up for adoption at Ruff House Rescue. The shelter is located in Island Park. Their phone number is (516) 960-6388.

  • Guide: Where to find food trucks on Long Island

    Guide: Where to find food trucks on Long Island

    Rolling Smoke can be found across Long Island.Rolling Smoke can be found across Long Island.
    Rolling Smoke can be found across Long Island.Rolling Smoke can be found across Long Island.

    Craving something savory or sweet? It doesn't really matter when it comes to food trucks, where you can have it all -- you just have to know where to find them! Here is a list of food trucks and where you could find them on Long Island. 

    Craving something savory or sweet? It doesn't really matter when it comes to food trucks, where you can have it all -- you just have to know where to find them! Here is a list of food trucks and where you could find them on Long Island. 

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."