Švedinja Elina Berglund je v Cernu sodelovala pri iskanju Higgsovega bozona. Po razburljivem odkritju delca si je zaželela novih izzivov. Posvetila se je razvoju algoritma, ki bi ji na osnovi spremljanja telesne temperature pomagal napovedovati, katere dni v mesecu lahko zanosi. Ustvarila je aplikacijo, ki ima sedaj že veliko zadovoljnih uporabnic: Prevent pregnancies naturally – safe and hormonefree.

Berglund’s algorithm – based on advanced statistical methods from her time at CERN – uses body temperature to determine fertility. After ovulation, increased levels of progesterone make women’s bodies up to 0.45°C warmer. Input your daily temperature into her app, and by comparing the readings with those in its data set, it lets you know when you can have unprotected sex (shown as a green day in its calendar) and when to use contraception (shown as red).

Natural Cycles has conducted two clinical trials, the second of which analysed the data of more than 4,000 women aged 20-35. Over the course of one year, there were 143 unplanned pregnancies, ten of which occurred on green days, giving the app a 99.5 per cent efficacy rating – the same as the pill. Natural Cycles is currently the only app of its kind to be regulated as an approved medical device, putting it in the same category as condoms and IUDs – albeit in a different class. …

Berglund recently hired another particle physicist from CERN, to analyse the data from the app. She hopes that, in this way, she can convince women in the security of her app. “It can be very scary, especially when it has to do with your body and your health,” she says. “We know we are dealing with women’s lives here and we take that very seriously.”

Vir: Can an algorithm replace the pill? Natural Cycles app wants to do just that

The menstrual cycle consists of two phases: the pre-ovulatory (follicular) phase and the post-ovulatory (luteal) phase. The cycle begins with the first day of menstrual bleeding and lasts, on average, 29 days. The individual cycle length can vary significantly from woman to woman. The follicular phase is estrogen-rich and cooler than the luteal phase, where progesterone dominates and ‘warms’ the body. These two phases are separated by the ovulation day. The body temperature rises then by 0.2-0.45 °C, which marks the end of the fertile window. Two days prior to ovulation, a surge in Luteinizing Hormones (LH) occurs, indicating the most fertile days of the cycle. By tracking your temperature every morning, you will know when ovulation occurs regardless of the regularity of your cycles. Natural Cycles uses an intelligent algorithm that quickly learns your cycle and accurately detects and predicts ovulation, and thus, your fertile window. The algorithm takes into account temperature and LH testing (optional) – both quantitative fertility indicators. We do not take into consideration cervical mucus, which, despite being a good fertility indicator, can take a long time to gather, analyze and implement findings. (Vir: The science behind your fertility)

Fertility awareness-based mobile application for contraception: The European Journal of Contraception & Reproductive Health Care: Vol 21, No 3

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