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Contraceptive app under fire for unwanted pregnancies

A contraceptive app is under fire after more than three dozen users experienced unplanned pregnancies.The Natu...

Posted: Jan 17, 2018 4:14 AM
Updated: Jan 17, 2018 4:14 AM

A contraceptive app is under fire after more than three dozen users experienced unplanned pregnancies.

The Natural Cycles app, a certified contraceptive in Europe, uses an algorithm to predict when a woman is most fertile. But a Swedish hospital is raising attention about unintended pregnancies related to the app.

S-dersjukhuset hospital in Stockholm said at least 37 women sought abortions at its facilities after using it as a birth control method.

The hospital reported the app to the Medical Products Agency, the Swedish government agency for regulation and surveillance of drugs and medical devices. The news was first covered by Swedish media outlet SVT.

The app, which launched in 2014 and became a certified contraceptive in Europe last year, takes into account factors such as a woman's body temperature, sperm survival rates and past menstruation cycles to predict when women should use traditional contraception. It can also be used as a tracking tool to maximize the chances of getting pregnant.

The app has about 700,000 users worldwide.

Related: Men's health gets the Silicon Valley treatment

The Swedish-based Natural Cycles confirmed the report to CNNMoney, calling unplanned pregnancies an "inevitable reality."

"No contraception is 100% effective, and unwanted pregnancies is an unfortunate risk with any contraception," the company said in a statement. "At first sight, the numbers mentioned in the media are not surprising given the popularity of the app and in line with our efficacy rates."

Natural Cycles has launched an internal investigation with its clinical department to look into the matter.

S-dersjukhuset and the Medical Products Agency did not immediately respond to request for comment.

With 400,000 users in Europe, Natural Cycles is considered a less invasive alternative to taking an oral contraception or using an intrauterine device (IUD). It claims its effectiveness is comparable to the birth control pill, citing a clinical study in a peer reviewed medical journal, European Journal of Contraception and Reproductive Health Care.

In the U.S., it bills itself as a fertility monitoring app rather than a contraception method.

On its website, it warns that one out of 100 women who use the app for one year may become pregnant. The birth control pill is said to be 99% effective, when used as intended.

"As our user base increases, so will the amount of unintended pregnancies coming from Natural Cycles app users, which is an inevitable reality," Natural Cycles said in a statement sent to CNNMoney.

The company said that "hundreds of thousands" of women continue to trust the brand as a birth control prevention or pregnancy planning tool. It added that individuals must be 18 or older to use the app and suggested it may not be best suited for younger women.

In November, Natural Cycles announced $30 million in new funding to scale its global presence.

"Today, there is a big trend for women to move away from hormonal contraception, and Natural Cycles can provide a helpful option for these women," the statement said. "We therefore expect to decrease the unwanted pregnancy rates because we're increasing contraceptive choice, and see that many of our users are women [who] have not used any type of contraception before."

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 497790

Reported Deaths: 9917
CountyCasesDeaths
Harrison34102530
DeSoto31839398
Hinds31837622
Jackson24314377
Rankin21881388
Lee15427234
Madison14525279
Jones13772241
Forrest13412250
Lauderdale11937314
Lowndes10934185
Lamar10470135
Pearl River9431237
Lafayette8454138
Hancock7697126
Washington7365156
Oktibbeha7111129
Monroe6727174
Warren6642176
Pontotoc6609101
Neshoba6606205
Panola6460131
Marshall6386132
Bolivar6266145
Union596094
Pike5784152
Alcorn5633101
Lincoln5417134
George491879
Scott470998
Tippah465381
Prentiss464181
Leflore4627143
Itawamba4596104
Adams4570119
Tate4546109
Copiah445191
Simpson4421116
Wayne438572
Yazoo438586
Covington427394
Marion4216107
Sunflower4215104
Coahoma4115104
Leake407787
Newton380879
Grenada3692108
Stone358464
Tishomingo356391
Attala330289
Jasper328265
Winston313191
Clay306375
Chickasaw296767
Clarke290694
Calhoun277945
Holmes266987
Smith262550
Yalobusha232647
Tallahatchie225251
Walthall217763
Greene215548
Lawrence211140
Perry204755
Amite203954
Webster201645
Noxubee185340
Montgomery179056
Jefferson Davis170642
Carroll167438
Tunica158639
Benton147438
Kemper141241
Choctaw133026
Claiborne131237
Humphreys129038
Franklin119128
Quitman106227
Wilkinson104539
Jefferson94234
Sharkey64020
Issaquena1937
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 813481

Reported Deaths: 15179
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson1139971910
Mobile722271323
Madison51970686
Shelby37279341
Baldwin37069540
Tuscaloosa34934599
Montgomery33953725
Lee23142240
Calhoun22142470
Morgan20639372
Etowah19758496
Marshall18245300
Houston17302405
St. Clair15912337
Cullman15306290
Limestone15202198
Elmore15075284
Lauderdale14143294
Talladega13715272
DeKalb12569259
Walker11085366
Blount10094174
Autauga9893146
Jackson9789180
Coffee9182189
Dale8859181
Colbert8789200
Tallapoosa7044195
Escambia6732127
Covington6682179
Chilton6587160
Russell625958
Franklin5930105
Chambers5559142
Marion4955126
Dallas4882199
Clarke472782
Pike4719105
Geneva4564126
Winston4473101
Lawrence4264117
Bibb421686
Barbour355475
Marengo334089
Monroe330262
Randolph327063
Butler324794
Pickens313882
Henry310965
Hale309187
Cherokee299957
Fayette290679
Washington250951
Cleburne246958
Crenshaw243575
Clay240367
Macon230562
Lamar215846
Conecuh185652
Coosa178538
Lowndes173761
Wilcox167438
Bullock151744
Perry138040
Sumter131038
Greene125544
Choctaw86927
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A cold front passing through our area overnight will bring into our area some of the coolest temperatures of the season so far. We will see most of the highs this weekend only in the upper 60s to lower 70s. While overnight lows will drop off down into the 40s Saturday night.
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