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Natural Cycles app gets FDA clearance for first wearable birth control

Apps for tracking fertility have been around for years, but they require people to take their temperature at the same time every day and manually enter the results. One of those apps, Natural Cycles, has now gained FDA clearance to combine their app with a wearable device to provide no-fuss digital birth control.

Natural Cycles performed a proof-of-study using the popular health tracking device Oura, which looks like a regular ring but records the wearer's body temperature, heart rate and other markers related to health and wellbeing. That automatically recorded data then enables Natural Cycles to predict when someone is ovulating and should take additional precautions to avoid pregnancy.

Now that Natural Cycles has gained FDA clearance, the Stockholm-based company will select wearable device makers to partner with before launching the service for use by consumers.

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As Johnson & Johnson's COVID-19 vaccine was rolling out earlier this year, reports emerged connecting the jab to rare blood clotting, particularly among women. Aiming to reassure the public, health experts stated the blood clot risk was much lower than for commonly used oral contraceptives. For people taking birth control pills, that just underscored a gendered inequity in healthcare, and the need for safer forms of contraception. 

Women — and all others capable of becoming pregnant — have the right to be in charge of their own reproductive system. Whether they're trying to conceive, seeking to prevent pregnancy for health or economic reasons, or just not interested in having (more) children, they'll welcome innovations like Natural Cycles that provide them with control without risking their health.

Innovation of the day

Spotted by: Mariia Golub

Image: Oura