How is Natural Cycles different from other forms of Digital Birth Control?

Natural Cycles became the first FDA cleared form of digital birth control in 2018, leading the way for more non-hormonal and non-invasive birth control options. Three years later, in 2021, another app received FDA clearance - joining Natural Cycles as the second app able to market themselves as a contraceptive.

While both forms of digital birth control are delivered through an app, behind the scenes the apps work very differently. Learn more about how Natural Cycles is different below.

Natural Cycles

Other Digital Birth Control¹

How it works

The Natural Cycles app is powered by a smart algorithm that analyzes basal body temperature (BBT) and other key fertility indicators to detect ovulation and determine a user’s personalized fertility status each day. 

Users measure their BBT and input their temperature into the app.

The app provides users with information about their daily probability of pregnancy based on the length of their menstrual cycles over time. 

No biometric data is collected or used from the woman other than period dates.

Confirms ovulation

Yes

No

Works with irregular cycles

Yes

No

Effectiveness

93% effective with typical use

98% effective with perfect use

92% effective with typical use

97% effective with perfect use

Clinical Evidence²

Natural Cycles’ FDA clearance is based on the study of more than 15,000 women and 180,000 cycles.

In addition, 4 clinical studies have been published on Natural Cycles effectiveness, the largest including over 22 000 women and 200,000 cycles.

The app’s FDA clearance is based on the study of 700 women and 5,397 cycles. 

Real life evidence³

Natural Cycles monitors how the app works and follows up on unintended pregnancies on a monthly basis. Claimed effectiveness rates have been in line with real-life effectiveness rates for the past 4 years - and over 5 million cycles.³

This information is not yet available given how new the app is.


We believe the more information available when choosing the right birth control method, the better. If you have any questions around Natural Cycles, our support team is here to help. You can reach them at support@naturalcycles.com.

1. Based on FDA’s 510(k) Premarket Notification
2. According to C. Gerlinger, et al. 2003 paper, at least 23,000 cycles are needed for a Pearl Index of 3.0 and the higher the Pearl Index, the more cycles needed. 
3. Real life evidence is often very different from a clinical study setting (where participants often tend to perform better than in real life).