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The Freyja study aims to improve understanding of how technologies like Natural Cycles are used by women and their partners when trying to conceive

Natural Cycles today announced that the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) in collaboration with the University of Plymouth, have initiated the Freyja study – an independent study to explore the views and experiences of people who currently use, or have previously used, the Natural Cycles app in ‘Plan a Pregnancy’ mode.

Natural Cycles uses a smart algorithm that is sensitive to subtle patterns in a woman’s cycle to determine daily fertility; it does this by analysing changes in basal body temperature, which increases after ovulation. To use Natural Cycles, women take their temperature with a basal thermometer first thing in the morning and enter the reading into the app at least 5 times a week, as well as adding their period dates each month.

The Natural Cycles algorithm analyses this data to predict the fertile window (around 6 days per cycle), which can help women to increase their chances of becoming pregnant. For example, while the likelihood of conceiving is negligible after ovulation, for healthy women this increases to 10% if they have intercourse five days before ovulation and to 33% if they have intercourse on the day of ovulation.[1]

There has been a growing interest in using online and app-based methods like Natural Cycles to monitor daily fertility: in a recent survey of over 1,000 women in the UK, 35% reported that they used a fertility tracking app at least once a month.[2] However, this area has received limited research attention to-date. In this qualitative study, researchers will interview women who use Natural Cycles themselves and the partners of those who do so, to explore their respective experience using the Natural Cycles app and other fertility-awareness based methods when trying to conceive.

Dr Simon Rowland, Head of Medical Affairs at Natural Cycles, said: “We are delighted to be supporting this independent collaboration between the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine and the University of Plymouth, and we very much look forward to seeing the results. At Natural Cycles, our mission is to pioneer women’s health with research and passion, so that every woman is empowered with the knowledge she needs to take charge of her own health. We hope that the insights generated by the Freyja study will help in advancing these efforts and in building our understanding of how the Natural Cycles app can support women who are trying to conceive.”

If you would like to read more about the Freyja study, please visit: http://www.lshtm.ac.uk/freyja.