The fertility tracking app Natural Cycles revealed today it has received clearance from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to be integrated into the Apple Watch — a device estimated to be on the wrists of over 100 million people worldwide.
Natural Cycles made history in 2018 when it became the first digital contraceptive method to be approved by the FDA, combining inputted temperature data from users with its algorithm to work out individuals’ fertile and non-fertile days during their menstrual cycle. It’s now about to be integrated into the most popular smartwatches on the planet.
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The request for inclusion on the Apple Watch, which has offered body temperature-based ovulation tracking since its Series 8 version was released in 2022, has been the highest requested feature of Natural Cycles’ 3-million-strong user base according to the company. It has already been used for over a year on the Oura Ring, after winning FDA clearance for it in 2021.
Credit: Natural Cycles
But is the method that Natural Cycles supports, the fertility awareness method, safe for Apple Watch users to now consider as their contraceptive method?
How does Natural Cycles work?
Natural Cycles may have hailed a new generation of contraception, but it didn’t arrive without controversy. It helps users practice the fertility awareness method, a rebranding of natural family planning that involves heavily monitoring changes in your body to assess your fertile and non-fertile days every month; as a non-hormonal method, it has proven attractive to many who are concerned about hormonal methods’ safety and possible side effects.