How safe are cycle apps?

Many women do not want to use hormones anymore. They prefer natural contraception by watching their cycle. But because ovulation is not suppressed by pill or hormone spiral, a pregnancy can never be completely ruled out. Cycle apps should help to determine the fertile days more precisely. But are you really sure? And how do you use them? We have with gynecologist Dr. Eva Lehner-Rothe ( spoke and presented some apps. "Most apps are based on an algorithm that recognizes patterns in the user's cycle data, the timing and duration of menstruation, pain, bleeding, outflow, mood swings, etc. The more comprehensive the information, the more accurate the prognosis," explains Lehner. Rothe. For some apps (eg NaturalCycles or Ovy Cycle), a basal thermometer (with two decimal places) measures the body temperature in the morning, which you then enter into the app. The daily change in the temperature curve, the time of ovulation and fertile days calculated so much more accurate. "By accurately documenting the cycle, you know your body better and can get pregnant faster if you want to have children." These apps are excellent, "emphasizes Lehner-Rothe. "Nevertheless, they are not safe as a contraceptive, the female body is not a machine, we have stress and hormonal fluctuations, that can change the cycle, nobody can reliably measure it." Accuracy is further affected if you do not always measure at the same time or sloppy with the symptom input. "The Pearl Index, which indicates the safety of the method, is only 2-20, which is up to 20 unwanted pregnancies per 100 users." If you want to exclude a pregnancy, hormone-free alternatives to the pill are recommended as copper balls or spiral.

With these apps, you have your cycle in view

Natural Cycles
Calculates the fertile days based on daily temperature measurements and other factors. The app advertises to be certified and as effective as the pill. Critics consider that questionable. For iOS and Android, € 5,40 / month. OvuView
In addition to basal body temperature and comprehensive information on vaginal discharge, mood, sex, etc., it also indicates the color of the menstrual period, exciting feature. The app then gives individualized health tips. Free for Android. clue
With data on menstrual bleeding and physical symptoms, the algorithm calculates the fertile days. Information on sleep duration, fitness, mood take into account the individual stress level. Clean design. Free for iOS and Android. whether calendar.
Has a clear calendar format, in which one enters the time, duration and strength of the menstrual period. There is also space for notes and medical appointments. Very standardized, only a little individuality possible. Free for iOS and Android. Strawberry week.
Tracker in a clear calendar format. Green dots mark all days on which conception is possible. Mood and physical symptoms, even to PMS, can be well recorded. Free Android. Ovy Cycle & Ovulation.
In the morning, the body temperature is measured and entered into the app. Comprehensive data on outflow, mood, sleep, disruptive factors such as medication, illness or travel. Very user friendly. Free for iOS and Android.