Sweden has graced the world with many wonderful things: Spotify, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Ikea, and, of course, ABBA – and is now pioneering the world of fertility with the Swedish start-up Natural Cycles, the hormone-free fertility app, that has helped over 5,000 Swedish women to get pregnant within less than three months of using the app, on average, and now wants to empower women in the UK who are planning to conceive.
Natural Cycles was invented by husband and wife team Dr Elina Berglund and Dr Raoul Scherwitzl. In recent clinical studies the app was shown to be as effective as the contraceptive pill* and could pinpoint ovulation with the same accuracy as methods used in clinics and hospitals**. It is also the first health app for women to be regulated as a medical device.
Natural Cycles co-founder Dr Elina Berglund, a physicist who was part of the Nobel Prize-winning team that discovered the Higgs boson, is so confident about its new #HappyPregnancy campaign that the start-up is offering to refund women in the UK if they don’t conceive in the first nine months of use.
Natural Cycles works by identifying a woman’s ovulation and fertile window by tracking her period and temperature. Women are required to record the temperature under their tongue in the morning and enter it into the app which uses a unique algorithm to determine whether you are fertile on that day.
“The success of Natural Cycles depends on its algorithm”, says Dr Elina Berglund. “We’ve called the algorithm ‘Alba’ (after our daughter) and it’s unique because it has collected data from hundreds of thousands of cycles. This means Natural Cycles can adapt to each individual woman’s body and, with a high degree of precision and accuracy, determine when she is ovulating.”
Launched in 2014 and headquartered in Stockholm, Sweden, Natural Cycles has over 100,000 active users in 161 countries. In 2016 the company raised $6m funding to conduct new clinical studies and aid international expansion, and donated $25m worth of free subscriptions to women in Brazil to help fight the Zika virus.
*Results of the clinical study demonstrating the effectiveness of Natural Cycles as a natural birth control has recently been published in the peer-reviewed European Journal of Contraception & Reproductive Health Care.