Elina Berglund, a nuclear physicist from Sweden, and her husband Raoul Scherwizl have created the first app to ever be approved of as a contraceptive and therefore, a medical device. The app from Natural Cycles calculates daily fertility using an algorithm.
“To use the app, women measure the temperature underneath their tongues every morning and enter the measurement into the app. An algorithm developed uniquely for the app then determines whether you’re fertile or not that day, so that you know if you risk pregnancy by having unprotected sex.”1
Natural Cycles has over 150,000 users in 161 countries and a clinical study proved using the app was as effective as a method of birth control as being on the pill. (This is great news for people who don’t want to play God with hormone pills.)
However, the road to get here wasn’t easy at all.
Beginning in November of 2016, everyone using the app was abruptly told to stop while the Swedish Medicinal Products Agency investigated it. Then, there were news articles about Natural Cycles “attempting to trick young women who lack the discipline to protect themselves.” Not to mention the close monitoring by the Medicinal Products Agency once they were given the all clear. And, once information leaked that the Medicinal Products Agency was investigating them, revenue sharply dropped.
But, more than a year later, Berglund and her husband have finally been vindicated. While they wait for FDA approval they plan to charge full steam ahead into the UK, one of their biggest markets.