New app designed to prevent pregnancy

Women take temperature with a special thermometer and type it into app

By Lauren Freeman - Anchor, Keith Dunlap - Graham Media Group

There’s a Food and Drug Administration-approved app designed to prevent pregnancy.

Before getting out of bed in the morning, women take their temperature using a special thermometer and type it into the app.

Green means, "not fertile," or "go," while red means ‘"fertile," and "use protection."

College student Mikiya Johnson said the app is something her friends would try.

“We get up every morning and look at our phones, so I think it’d be pretty easy to do it,” Johnson said. 

Temperature readings and tracking fertility without hormones have been around for a long time.

Developers say the app’s algorithm that tracks fertility is 99 percent effective with perfect use.

Typical use is 93 percent, so pregnancy is possible.

The app warns that without perfect use, seven out of 100 women will get pregnant. That’s less effective than birth control implants, IUDs or shots, with an efficiency of 94 to 99 percent.

“Do I think it could be a problem in providing a safe sense of security?” asked Dr. Christine Greves. “Yes, I do. But I can understand a teenager’s desire to have, to try to do things discreetly.”

The app costs $10 a month and $80 for an annual subscription, a price tag that may seem high to women, especially when compared to other forms of birth control covered by insurance.

But the bottom line is it’s a hormone-free choice. For some, that’s worth the price and potential risk.  

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