FDA-cleared birth control platform Natural Cycles can now be integrated with the Apple Watch.
The birth control brand analyzes a user’s daily body temperature to determine their fertility status. Now, instead of taking their temperature orally, users can rely on their Apple Watch. Apple added temperature sensors to its watch last September.
“The first year starting Natural Cycles, many people including myself said, ‘Oh, if only the Apple Watch would add a temperature sensor,’ then we wouldn’t have to measure in their mouth,” said Natural Cycles cofounder and chief executive officer Elina Berglund.
According to Berglund, when Apple announced it would add the temperature sensor to its watch, requests from Natural Cycles users flooded in.
“This became our number-one request from our users, so we started collecting data and performing clinical studies to validate it, submitted it to the FDA which they cleared a couple of weeks ago,” she told WWD.
During the clinical evaluation, Natural Cycles, which received $7 million in funding from Samsung Ventures in February, analyzed 272 women and 505 complete menstrual cycles. As with an oral thermometer and the Oura Ring, Natural Cycles found when using the Apple Watch it was 93 percent effective at preventing pregnancy with “typical use” and 98 percent effective with “perfect use.”
When wearing an Apple Watch and using Natural Cycles, a user will allow Apple Health to track temperature which can then be synced up with the Natural Cycles app, making the process more convenient.
“What really changes is the ease of use,” Berglund said. “It’s just easier to sleep with it than to remember to do something first in the morning when you wake up.”
Before integrating with Apple, Natural Cycles also partnered with Oura. Through that integration, temperatures are recorded via the Oura Ring. According to Berglund, the amount of days that the temperature is tracked is outnumbered by those using the Oura Ring versus those taking their own temperature. While this is the case, Berglund doesn’t think the use of thermometers will ever go away for the brand.
“Women are different and they want to have options, what suits them, so I do think that we’ll always have women using the thermometer,” she said.
With the success of the Oura partnership and the requests for the Apple integration, Berglund expects wearables to continue to drive the business and perhaps help in acquiring new customers who haven’t tried the brand because they don’t want to take their temperature daily.
“We expect it to be big and we expect demand to be very high because we just see how often we get this request, that users want to use Natural Cycles with their Apple Watch because we know so many women out there have an Apple Watch already, including many of our existing users today,” she said.
The brand, which nearly doubled subscription sales (subscriptions are $99 annually) between August 2022 and August 2023, plans to partner with additional wearable brands in the future.
“It seems like more and more wearables are adding temperature sensor capabilities, which is great for us,” Berglund said. “We want to offer integration with the biggest players out there.”