Catholic Medical Quarterly Volume 66(4) Nov 2016


New Fertility and Menstrual Date Predicting Apps: A Further Warning


The rapid development of smartphone based apps for identifying the likely date of a woman's period has been debated on the BBC. (Woman's hour, 24th August 2016). Discussion on that programme pointed out how easily such apps can be invented, developed and sold commercially. With very little in the way of evidence base backing them up. Sadly, the discussion also demon­strated that many of them are based upon the old calendar method. There is a real risk that such apps will turn the NFP clock back by decades, enabling old methods that were so much less effective to be brought back in the guise of smart new apps.

NFP, properly taught and using the symptothermal and Billing methods works very well and effectively. But there is an urgent to avoid unreliable new technologies based upon old “calendar” methods. Enabling the promotion of the best NFP apps as the effective and life changing opportunities that they truly are.

To achieve that, we really do need to be sure that the apps we recommend use the best, modern methods and are properly evidence based.

Dr Adrian Treloar, MRCGP, DRCOG. FRCP, MRCPsych