There are numerous birth control options available to women – condoms, IUDs, the pill and injectables are a few among many– but each comes with concerns around health and cost.
If you’re not interested in invasive forms of birth control, and if you find that hormone-based methods trigger mood changes, then new technology in fertility-awareness methods (FAMs) might offer a solution.
Dot is a new period and fertility tracking app that is used to accurately predict a woman’s risk or chance of pregnancy using just her period start dates.
Developed in collaboration with global health experts, the patent-pending technology behind Dot dynamically calibrates to a woman’s unique cycle lengths. Dot is designed specifically for menstrual cycles ranging between 20 and 40 days.
A huge drawcard of Dot is its simplicity; all it requires is that you enter the start date of your period. No other fertility signs such as temperature or secretion are required.
With each new start date entered, Dot calculates the user’s risk for pregnancy and classifies days as High, Medium or Low risk. As more start dates are entered, Dot’s algorithm is able to personalise the information further and refine its predictions. It will ultimately narrow your potentially fertile time from 16 days to approximately 11 to 13 days per cycle.
The algorithm Dot uses is called Dynamic Optical Timing (hence: DOT) whose efficacy is currently being studied at Georgetown University in the US. Conducted with more than 700 women, the study is reportedly finding that Dot is highly effective.
Dot distinguishes itself from other period tracking apps with its ‘health alerts’ feature that spots trends and patterns in a user’s individual cycle data that indicates a potential health or fertility issue. For example, if a user has short cycles, it could be an indication she may not be ovulating. If she has cycles longer than 35 days, or highly variable cycles, it could indicate PCOS (Polycystic Ovary Syndrome), approaching menopause, diabetes, obesity, or some sort of illness.
More than just planning for or preventing pregnancy, women can now simply stay in tune with their cycles. Dot means no more periods showing up unexpected (and no more undies with dark blooming stains) and no more freak-outs over missed pills.
Quite simply, Dot is birth control without side effects. And it’s free – all you need to access it is a smartphone.