Catholic Medical Quarterly Volume 66(4) Nov 2016


New Fertility Apps: a warning


Many young people are deciding that hormonal contraception is not the way they want to go. They are purchasing Fertility Apps on their phones and other devices, which use different forms of NFP. They are not available on the NHS. They have not been trialled.

Some use the Calendar method only, others add the mucus method (Billings) and others add the Temperature method.

Sadly these Apps do not teach them the facts of fertility e.g. the length of life of the sperm and the ovum, and the hormonal control of the menstrual cycle. Consequently the User is not able to make a correct judgement about when they are fertile and when they are infertile. There will be many pregnancies as a result of basic ignorance of the facts of fertility and then there will be more terminations.

The British Pregnancy Advisory Service, on its website, claims that two thirds of terminations are due to failed contraception either user failure or method failure.They will soon be able to claim that NFP is as bad as hormonal contraception.NFP which has become 99.96% safe will be thrown back to the 1960s.

The FRSH Guidelines regarding Fertility Awareness Methods, newly revised, are biased and are quoting references that are old. They do not reflect the modern NFP methods promoted by the various teaching groups in this country, Europe or in the wider world.

APP images

It is vital that parents and young people are warned that Fertility Apps are only in the early stages and will probably improve. Also that a wider knowledge of the facts of fertility would be advantageous to all. At the Fertility Summit held in June at the RCOG it was propose that the facts of fertility and the menstrual cycle be taught in schools to 10 year old as part of PSHE!

Kind regards
Dr Olive Duddy MB ChB MRCGP