Should You Use the Birth Control App as A Form of Contraception?

written by Skye Sherman - Feb 10, 2020
medically reviewed by Dr. Tolulope Olabintan, MD - Sep 28, 2022

Photo Credit: screenshot by @Skye
Photo Credit: screenshot by @Skye

For many women, popping their daily birth control pill is as much a part of their standard routine as brewing their morning cup of coffee and brushing their teeth. There are a variety of contraceptive methods available, from pills to patches to shots, implanted devices, and more.

However, it’s also possible to conduct your contraception approach in a completely natural way, without the utilization of these external tools. In fact, a woman’s body can determine its own days of the ability to get pregnant or not.

In this article, we’ll take a look at the increasingly popular fertility apps as a method of contraception to prevent pregnancy. We’ll explain how the fertility tracking app works as well as ovulation, fertile days, and other factors that play a major part in a woman’s reproductive choices. Keep reading to learn more about how the birth control app works and whether using the app as a form of contraception may be right for you.

How Does the Birth Control App Work?

The fertility apps on the market today are not billed solely as prophylactics, but they certainly offer this service. While you can now download a handy tracker and a tool for getting in the know on the go, this method of family planning has been around since the dawn of humanity.

After all, a woman is typically only able to get pregnant when she is ovulating. So, by finding out when you’re ovulating, you can determine days you want to avoid--or to prioritize, if you are attempting to procreate. Looking at the tell-tale signs including cycle length, cervical mucus characteristics, and basal body temperature (BBT) can all help you determine where you’re at in your monthly cycle--but an app that organizes all this information for you comes in handy to track all these metrics and get even more insight from your daily readings.

During her menstrual cycle, a woman’s chances of getting pregnant are next to zero since there should be no eggs for the sperm to work with. An article in Parents explains, “No matter how long your periods are, ovulation generally starts about 14 days before your next scheduled period. When it happens, your body temperature rises about a half a degree.” It’s during this window that a woman is most likely to conceive.

Essentially, fertility apps work by helping women to track and monitor their ovulation cycle so that they can figure out when they are fertile and when they are not. This is also known as the rhythm method, or natural family planning. By being aware of these windows into a woman’s cycle, the woman can either choose to engage in sexual intercourse--or not--thereby working with her own natural cycle as a method of contraception or as a smart approach to pursuing pregnancy.

Photo Credit: screenshot by @Skye
Photo Credit: screenshot by @Skye

The Natural Cycles App for Family Planning

As more and more women become interested in this completely natural method of birth control, mobile phone apps like Natural Cycles have increased in popularity in recent years thanks to an increased interest in health and more organic, natural options.

Women of all backgrounds turn to natural family planning strategies or the rhythm method to track their cycles and work with their bodies to make reproductive choices in tune with their desires.

An article in the Huffington Post explains, “The Food and Drug Administration approved the program Natural Cycles in August as a legitimate ‘method of contraceptive to prevent pregnancy’ ? the first app-based fertility tracker to get the agency’s stamp of approval. The smartphone app helps people track their menstrual cycle and uses tracking and daily body temperature readings to predict the days when they might ovulate so the information can be used for pregnancy planning or contraception.”

An article in Business Insider states, “Natural Cycles claims to be around 93% effective under typical use, and 98 or 99% effective under perfect use. That could make it more effective than condoms, less effective than implants, and just as effective as the birth control pill.”

So, essentially, the Natural Cycles app and others like it are comparable to the more common methods of birth control.

Is the Birth Control App for Contraception Right For You?

While millions of women around the world love the birth control app and the ability to tune into their body’s natural rhythms, it’s true that users are more subject to errors, misunderstandings, or even mistaken misuse of the app, which could lead to unintended outcomes. Not getting it right could certainly cost you if having a baby wasn’t what you were going for!

The Huffington Post article continues, “Typically, fertility tracking on your own as a form of birth control is dicey, said Alan Copperman, director of the division of reproductive endocrinology and infertility in the department of obstetrics, gynecology and reproductive science at Mount Sinai in New York. ‘Fertility awareness methods, or the ‘timing’ method, are ineffective approximately 20 to 25% of the time in preventing pregnancy,’ he said, which means 1 in 4 people will get pregnant using the method for one year. ‘Birth control pills, IUDs, implants, surgical procedures and of course condoms are all far more effective at preventing unwanted pregnancy.’”

So, while natural family planning can be a good strategy depending on your needs and interests, it also comes with drawbacks and takes a bit more time, attention, and focus than simply popping a pill every day.

You’ll want to make sure you fully understand how the app works plus some of the signs to look out for before you jump in headfirst, trusting your future to the fate held in the proper functioning of the app. You may want to use a backup form of protection as you get used to approaching birth control from this new and unfamiliar perspective.

However, there are many benefits, too, such as the fact that using a birth control app is completely hormone-free and does not require the implantation of any type of device into the body. You may even experience benefits like an improved sex life since there are no longer any tools, devices, or hormonal medications interfering with your moods and libido.

Remember that getting pregnant (or choosing not to) takes two to tango: if you’re trying to have a baby but he’s not performing his part well, it may be time to consider talking to the doctor about erectile dysfunction.

Where to Order Birth Control Pills

Looking to order birth control pills Canada? Birth control packs like Ortho Tri Cyclen Lo and Diane 35 are available online and may be a more cost effective and convenient option.

If you are not ready to go the natural method and track your cycle and fertile windows using a birth control app, you’re not alone. For some women, traditional methods of birth control are preferred.

If your doctor recommends the birth control pill, we’ve got you covered. Make sure to browse our site for your prescription and order it straight to your door. We are happy to stock you with the prescription items you need.



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While the above article is based on thorough research, we do not claim to offer a substitute for medical advice from a qualified healthcare provider. The article was written for information and educational purposes only. We aim to provide helpful information to our readers, but cannot provide a treatment, diagnosis, or consultation of any sort, and we are in no way indicating that any particular drug is safe or appropriate for you and your individual needs. To receive professional medical attention, you must see a doctor.