FDA clears Natural Cycles birth control app for use with wearables

But that doesn't mean wearable support is coming soon to most users.

Natural Cycles

Since 2018, an app called Natural Cycles has allowed women to track their temperature and menstrual cycle as a way to know whether they’re fertile. In that time, the process of using the app hasn’t changed significantly. Every morning when you wake up, it asks that you take your temperature with a basal thermometer and log that data. And while Natural Cycles says it’s okay for users to miss some days, the app is at its most effective as a contraception method when someone is methodical. With typical usage, the software is 93 percent effective at preventing unwanted pregnancies, according to studies published by the company.

Following an application last fall, Natural Cycles has obtained clearance from the FDA to allows users to track their temperature with a wearable device, the startup told Fast Company. With the help of 40 women who used an Oura ring, the company found its software was able to accurately predict when they were about to ovulate. In fact, the wearable helped Natural Cycle better predict non-fertile days. The company said the approval makes it the “world’s first wearable birth control,” in a statement it shared with Engadget.

At the moment, the feature is only available through an invite-only beta, and the company told Fast Company it currently doesn’t have a timeline for when it will widely roll out wearable supports to its users. It plans to first test a variety of different devices, as well as work on its own first-party offering.

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