The fertility tracking app Natural Cycles is the first such product to be certified as a method of contraception. The app guarantees protection of up to 99.5 percent, and has been certified by the UK's Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), which appointed Germany-based Tüv Süd to perform the inspection.
The Stockholm, Sweden-based startup, which launched in 2014, is currently used by 150,000 women in 161 countries. Like some other apps, it too is relying on women's body temperature to determine peak fertility.
In order to use Natural Cycles, the woman takes her temperature every morning, feeds the data into the app, and waits for the result, with green light indicating that it is safe to have unprotected sex and a red light indicating a risk of getting pregnant.
"We've always wanted to be a contraceptive product," Raoul Scherwitzl, CEO and cofounder of Natural Cycles, said in an interview with VentureBeat. "This is a huge step for mobile apps, because if you want to impact people's lives, then there's no way around regulations."
The Natural Cycles app is available on the App Store for the iPhone, Apple Watch, and iPad, as well as Google Play Store for Android devices. It competes with the likes of Glow, Clue and Ava, among others.
The company has raised a total of $8 million in venture funding from Sunstone Capital, Bonnier Media Growth, and e.ventures. It currently has 20 employees.