CERN physicist – who helped find the Higgs boson particle by the way – Elina Berglund, has created an algorithm that has been used to both prevent unwanted pregnancies and help women conceive.
The new algorithm is now a fertility app called Natural Cycles. “I wanted to give my body a break from the pill,” Berglund says, “but I couldn’t find any good forms of natural birth control, so I wrote an algorithm for myself.”
This algorithm is based on advanced statistical methods – it uses body temperature (input into the app) to determine women’s fertile and infertile days. It’s able to calculate this because, after ovulation, increased levels of progesterone make women’s bodies up to 0.45°C warmer.
Trials for the app have shown positive results. The last one analyzed the data of more than 4,000 women aged 20 to 35, and it showed that if used correctly, it’s effective in 99.5% of users. Amazingly, this makes it as efficient as the pill.
Additionally, Natural Cycles can be used to more accurately help track ovulation, meaning it can be used to help women get pregnant. So far, over 5,000 Swedish women became pregnant within less than three months of using the app.
WIRED UK (http://www.wired.co.uk/article/natural-cycles-ovulation-app)
Daily Record (http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/lifestyle/family-kids/natural-cycles-fertility-app-set-8982550)