Illustrated by Austin Watts.
Of course, fertility apps are a great tool for tracking your cycle, whether you're rooting for or against a pregnancy. But, using one of a new slew of basal thermometer-linked apps can make some birth control methods even more effective, reports Gizmodo.
A spike in basal temperature — your body temperature immediately after waking up — signals the increase in progesterone that usually happens the day right after ovulation. A few app/thermometer combos have come out recently that claim to help you prevent or plan a pregnancy with greater accuracy: Daysy, Ovatemp's ONDO, and Kindara's Wink sync your basal temperature to a fertility-tracking calendar. When combined with the planning inherent to the fertility awareness method, using these apps could increase the chances of getting your desired result in a natural way. Daysy even claims to "learn" your biological rhythms and will blink different colors to let you know where you are in your cycle.
Using the fertility awareness method is about 98% effective at preventing pregnancy when used perfectly, and 80% effective with typical use. Combined with withdrawal, fertility awareness is 94.6% effective with typical use. This is more effective than typical use of condoms (85%) or the pill (92%). So, the fertility awareness/withdrawl combo can be a pretty effective, natural method of birth control if you're willing to do a little planning. And, these apps hope to make that planning even easier.
Of course, we should point out that neither of these will protect against STDs — condoms are probably still your best bet for that. But, fertility awareness can act as a secondary method of pregnancy prevention — just in case a condom breaks. Regardless of your relationship status or family plans, more effective fertility apps are a welcome way to keep track and keep on track.