BOULDER, Colo. — A Boulder couple is revolutionizing women’s fertility helping women, and couples around the world, get pregnant — or avoid getting pregnant — without the use of drugs.
Will Sacks and his now wife Kati Bicknell knew they weren’t ready to get pregnant when they started dating.
“About three months after we started dating we had the birth control conversation. She didn’t want to go back on the pill she didn’t want to use an IUD and we didn’t want to use condoms for the rest of our life together,” Sacks said.
The couple started doing research and read about the Fertility Awareness Method — a natural way of avoiding pregnancy based on tracking a woman’s daily fertility signs.
“You have to check your fertility signs. You have to put them on a chart you have to learn to read them,” Bicknell said.
The method itself is pretty simple and involves recording your waking morning temperature and cervical fluid viscosity every day. Keeping track of it all in a way that’s easy to understand is the hard part.
So, Sacks and his wife decided to create a better method using modern technology.
In a small, unassuming office on Boulder’s Pearl Street, the couple created Kindara, an app to teach women about the method.
The app takes the data you enter and charts it on a color-coded graph to show you when your body is fertile. By understanding your body’s predictable rhythms, you can prevent pregnancy or help increase your odds of getting pregnant.
The app is free and provides an all-natural pill-free method for becoming pregnant, Sacks said.
Alana Macy, a recent University of Colorado graduate, is like millions of other women in the US who have been taking birth control pills for years.
“You take this pill every day but you really have no idea about anything like what’s going on,” Macy said. “It’s just like this mystery pill that you take, that you know won’t get you pregnant.”
Macy said, she didn’t think she had another option.
“I really did not like it but I just didn’t think I had another option. Last September I decided, ‘I’ve had enough’ and I just went off of it,” Macy said.
Just months later, Macy says it seemed like fate when she got an internship at Kindara.
She had never heard of the fertility awareness method. So, she downloaded the app, and gave it a try.
Macy says the app has opened the door for her to learn about fertility and have a better understanding of her own body.
A study, published in Human Reproduction found the method was 99.4 percent effective for women using it to avoid pregnancy.
And, for those using the method to get pregnant, Sacks says it’s been just as successful – helping hundreds of women conceive.
“It’s amazing how many women who use Kindara, who have previously gone to doctors, been told that they couldn’t get pregnant or been told that they have certain fertility challenges and through tracking their data they understand something that they and their doctor never saw before and then they’re able to get pregnant,” Sacks said.
With 100,000 downloads and tens of thousands of women using the app, every day Kindara is changing lives.
The app has other resources for women like videos and blogs. You can even have your chart and questions sent to their staff fertility counselors, to get professional advice.
Sacks did caution however that Kindara is not a medical app and should not replace a trip to the doctor.