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Contraception App Advert Banned By UK Regulator After Women Get Pregnant Using It

Contraception App Advert Banned By UK Regulator After Women Get Pregnant Using It

The Natural Cycles app has been banned for "exaggerating" how effective it is at preventing unplanned pregnancies.

Women have been reporting how they were "misled" by the Natural Cycles app, a natural contraceptive tool, which works by tracking a woman's menstrual cycle.

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However, a number of women have said they've become pregnant while using the app.

Natural cycles app. Credit: Natural Cycles
Natural cycles app. Credit: Natural Cycles

If you use social media, chances are you'll have seen the ad somewhere. It's been pushed heavily on social, and ads show women entering their details on the app every morning.

It has over 900,000 registered users and the company's own research claims the product is 93 per cent effective, Laura Silver, writing for Buzzfeed, reported. If this doesn't sound totally reassuring, consider that the pill is only 91 per cent effective, and condoms are just 85 per cent effective.

The app tracks a woman's periods and tells her the days she can and cannot get pregnant. The company has marketed the product for women who want a natural contraceptive method, but also for women who might be planning to get pregnant, and can see the days they are most fertile.

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According to the Buzzfeed article, in Stockholm, where the firm is based, 37 out of 668 women who had abortions at Stockholm's biggest hospital, had been using Natural Cycles when they fell pregnant.

The UK's advertising standards authority (ASA) has banned the company from saying the app is "highly accurate" as a number of people got in touch to complain how misleading the app was. The ASA has also ruled that saying the app has been "clinically tested" was misleading.

The app tries to be clear in its communication. Credit: Natural Cycles
The app tries to be clear in its communication. Credit: Natural Cycles

Rebecca Woodhead, 26, spoke to the BBC about becoming pregnant when she used the app. "I was sucked into the 99 per cent effective, more effective than the pill thing."

She says she chose the app also because she liked the idea of a hormone-free contraceptive. She jokes: "What could possibly go wrong?"

"There are some days I just feel really frustrated and say "Oh that stupid app" as there are still quite a few things I would like to have done," Rebecca said.

Another woman, who approached the BBC anonymously, said she became pregnant after finding the software "tricky to use" while caring for her two children.

She said the staff at the app, when she contacted them, were "sympathetic but not apologetic" and blamed her for not entering the data properly.

Featured Image Credit: Press Association

Topics: Health, Life News, Real, Sex & Relationships

 

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