Natural Cycles: officially certified for contraception

The Natural Cycles office is absolutely jumping with joy at the moment because we can finally share this news with you: Natural Cycles has officially become the only app certified for contraception in Europe.

A big thank you goes out to all of you who have believed, trusted and supported Natural Cycles in the past years, because without you – our Cyclers – we wouldn’t be here today.

We are happy to be able to say that the app is now a certified and CE marked medical device of class IIb, intended to be used for contraception. Below you can read more about the research, algorithm and regulatory processes behind it.

So, what’s new?

“The biggest change is in the way we talk about Natural Cycles. We can now proudly say that Natural Cycles is an effective contraceptive, comparable with others like the pill, the IUD and condoms. It’s another option for women to choose from.”- Elina

Natural Cycles has been and remains to be accurate in detecting ovulation and calculate fertile days.

So the app pretty much remains as it is and you can download the new version we just released for our latest tweaks. We have relaunched the website, with a new design and in-depth information about everything you need to know about Natural Cycles, our research into women’s health and much much more. The app will give you a green day when you are ‘not fertile’ and can enjoy sexual freedom, or indicates to ‘use protection’ on a red day to effectively prevent a pregnancy.

 

Here are a few of the reasons why Natural Cycles is the very first and only app to be certified for contraception;

1. Research in women’s health

Natural Cycles heavily invests and drives research in women’s health by collaborating with top-notch experts within the gynaecology, fertility and the reproductive field. Because we believe, that progress starts with research we have carried out two major clinical studies. You can read up on the study of Natural Cycles’ effectiveness as a contraceptive here.

2. The precision of the algorithm 

The algorithm, which is the brains behind the app that calculates your green and red days, has been shown to be highly accurate. It takes many factors into account such as sperm survival, cycle irregularities and temperature into account to accurately detect and predict ovulation and fertile days.

3. Quality assurance and certifications

Natural Cycles is a certified and CE marked medical device of class IIb, intended to be used for contraception. This puts our app into the same risk category as a condom, which requires us to follow international standards regarding quality assurance and product development processes. We are the only fertility app in Europe to be in this risk class. This means that every step of product development, to how we hire people at Natural Cycles is audited by one of the leading auditing organisations in Europe.

Help us spread the word about Natural Cycles becoming the only certified contraceptive app, ever. Share this blog post or your Natural Cycles story and tag with #CyclerOfTheDay on social media.

Your Natural Cycles Team

New beautified NaturalCycles website out!

Today is the most amazing Friday ever! It’s a beautiful spring day in Stockholm and we could have lunch outside in the sun for the first time here at SUP46. They have a nice really big courtyard just outside the office.

What of course makes the day even better is that the new, beautified NaturalCycles website is out and the new iOS app has been submitted for approval. The new website is not only much prettier, but it also allows you to try NaturalCycles Prevent of Plan for free for 3 months, or you can pay for a year and get a basal thermometer shipped home to you. Cool! Another amazing feature of the new website is that it’s available in 6 languages!

NaturalCycles website

Continue reading

Great business meeting!

This Tuesday, NaturalCycles had a business meeting just outside Stockholm, in Kista, with an exciting potential business partner.

We discussed with them how we could work together in different ways. It went really well and they seemed enthusiastic about our ideas and also our product.

business meeting

We will meet them again for a longer meeting, about half a day, when we will go through our methodology and scientific studies to show them exactly how the algorithm behind NaturalCycles works. They will bring their own experts who will challenge us. This will be a very crucial step, but it will also be fun and exciting. We are now working on converting our long and detailed scientific paper into a shorter one, excluding the details of the algorithm that we don’t want to disclose.

Will quitting the pill disrupt your cycle?

I get a lot of concerned questions from women who are coming off the pill, or other hormonal contraception, and starting to use NaturalCycles as a birth control. How much will the hormones affect my cycle? Will NaturalCycles be safe and take the pill into account? How many green days (no need for condom) will I get? For those who are not familiar with NaturalCycles, it is a natural contraception, which analyses your body temperature, and optionally ovulation test data, to determine when you are fertile (red days) and when you most definitely are not fertile (green days).

Contraceptive pill

How much will the hormones affect my cycle?

The cycles of many women, although they had been many years on hormones, just directly go back to normal. Some women are only mildly affected, like for instance myself. I had the Implanon (the hormonal implant in the arm) for 10 years and after taking it out, my first 2 cycles were 5 weeks long, then a few cycles were 4 weeks and then back to 3.5 weeks, which is normal for me. Some women are unfortunately highly affected. The worst case I saw was a woman who quit the pill last summer and started measuring for NaturalCycles. Her first cycle was 108 days and since the time between ovulation and the next menstruation usually stays the same for one woman, she ovulated on day 97. Her next cycle was a bit shorter; about two months, and the one after that about 6 weeks. Basically it took almost a year until her cycle was back to normal.

The research that has been carried out on the subject has different conclusions, much depending on who was financing and/or performing the studies (one should not forget that the pharmaceutical industry has a very strong lobbying business). One interesting fact that I read is that the hormonal treatment that affects the cycle the most is the combined oral pill, which contains both progesterone and estrogen. For women using the combined pill, 50% got severely affected for the following year after stopping the pill. This was clear from a study performed on women quitting the pill in order to get pregnant and the majority of women who had been taken the combined pill had more difficulties to get pregnant. The good news is that after a year of being free of hormones more than 90% of the women had gone back to having regular cycles.

One conclusion to draw from this is that it is important to quit the pill quite some time before one plans to get pregnant. Not only due to the decreased chances of falling pregnant, but also to give the body a break for a while. It’s clear that being on a constant dose of hormones, is very disruptive and unhealthy for the body. If this is followed directly by pregnancy, which is an even stronger dose with lots of hormones, it might be even more difficult to find a balance again after the pregnancy and breastfeeding is over.

Will NaturalCycles be safe and take the pill into account?

Yes, definitely. When you set up your personal account with NaturalCycles, we ask you if you’ve recently been on the pill, for how long and when you stopped. NaturalCycles will then be extra cautious with your cycle and it knows that it’s very likely that you’ll start off with longer cycles, due to delayed ovulation, which will get shorter and shorter with time. So there is no need to worry, just be patient and confident that your cycle will eventually go back to normal.

How many green days (no need for condom) will I get?

How many green days you will get of course greatly depends on how much your cycle is disruptive by the use of hormones. If your cycle directly goes back to being somewhat regular, then no problem, you will get a nice amount of green days. If your cycle is very disrupted and you almost never ovulate, then the green days will be few. In that case, on the other hand, it is still very useful to monitor your cycle and confirm that it is slowly improving with time. The woman I mentioned above, who had a very disturbed cycle after quitting the pill, only had 25% green days her first year using NaturalCycles. 25% is still better than nothing and it’s nice for a couple to not have to use condoms 100% of the time, which is the other option when quitting the pill.

Overall, it is a big decision to quit the pill and to change birth control, and there is no guarantee that your cycle and body will just continue as nothing happened if you have been taking hormones for years. It’s nevertheless important to give your body a chance and to try to take the healthier path for the future.

Elina on the beach at sunset

Launching NaturalCycles.com in Spanish

I’ve been bad at blogging lately, but I’ve been in a good working mode. I’m now pregnant in week 12 and getting less and less tired and nauseous. I’ll tell you more about my pregnancy in another post, but honestly, I haven’t thought much about it lately since I’m now back to enjoying working many hours straight again.

Since the Swedish version of NaturalCycles.com came out last week, I’ve finally had some time to work more on the app. It is almost there now, just missing the instructions and medical basics pages. I redid the way to visualize the MyCycles statistics on the app, but I also put it on the website, since it looks much nicer than just plain text. Below you can see the widgets for my personal cycle.

Spanish website - NaturalCycles

This week we also launched the website in Spanish.

Both our contraceptive method and pregnancy planning are very popular in Latin and South America so we’ve had many requests for a Spanish version. Implementing the Spanish texts made me realize how different the length of a language can be. The text in Spanish is so much longer than the English version.

Otherwise I’m getting excited about the move to Stockholm both for us privately and for our company. There are many details to think about and since we don’t know many people there it’s important that we find a good start-up office and other ways to network. We are going there next weekend to look for apartment, office space and meet potential people for joining our Stockholm team. Will be so much fun!

From NaturalCycles Prevention to Planning

Our NaturalCycles website is now finally finished and women can use it both as a contraception method (NC Prevention) and as a tool to get pregnant when they want to (NC Planning).

NaturalCycles web desing with beautiful natural women in nature

For the last 18 cycles, which correspond to about 1.5 years, my husband and I have been using NC Prevention as a birth control. It has been working very well for us, with usually around 10 fertile (red) days per cycle where we have to take care not to get pregnant. For those days we use a condom and for the remaining non-fertile (green) days we can enjoy not using anything. My husband says that he likes the variation, as it feels very special for the first green days after ovulation.

Fertility projection with ovulation day today

Today is my ovulation day for this cycle and probably the last time that we will use a condom in quite a long time, since as of next cycle we will switch to NC Planning and start trying to get pregnant. Our wedding anniversary is coming up on the 11th of August, which is next month, and we are going on a romantic getaway to south of Switzerland for the weekend. I am due to ovulate right after, placing our anniversary during the most fertile days in the cycle. I am a sucker for romance and I imagine it very romantic to conceive a baby on our first wedding anniversary. I realize that I might be naive thinking that things will go our way during the very first time we try, but due to my work with NaturalCycles I know exactly when I ovulate and all the details that come with it. We’ll just have to see and I will keep you posted on how it goes.

Fertility calendar with red and green days

I am also very excited to see how my temperature chart will change if I get pregnant. I will definitely notice it very early as the temperatures rise further around the time of implantation (~9 days after ovulation). I’m wondering how to tell my husband when I find out. I’d like to make some kind of romantic surprise gesture, but I’m not sure exactly what yet. Any ideas?

Exciting times are definitely ahead!