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Eur J Contracept Reprod Health Care. 2019 Apr;24(2):148-153. doi: 10.1080/13625187.2019.1581164. Epub 2019 Mar 18.

Perfect- and typical-use effectiveness of the Dot fertility app over 13 cycles: results from a prospective contraceptive effectiveness trial.

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a Institute for Reproductive Health , Georgetown University , Washington , DC , USA.
b Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology , University of Utah , Salt Lake City , UT , USA.
c Independent Consultant in Population and Reproductive Health , Bethesda , MD , USA.



Dynamic Optimal Timing (Dot) is a smartphone application (app) that estimates the menstrual cycle fertile window based on the user's menstrual period start dates. Dot uses machine learning to adapt to cycles over time and informs users of 'low' and 'high' fertility days. We investigated Dot's effectiveness, calculating perfect- and typical-use failure rates.


This prospective, 13 cycle observational study ( NCT02833922) followed 718 women who were using Dot to prevent pregnancy. Participants contributed 6616 cycles between February 2017 and October 2018, providing data on menstrual period start dates, daily sexual activity and prospective intent to prevent pregnancy. We determined pregnancy through participant-administered urine pregnancy tests and/or written or verbal confirmation. We calculated perfect- and typical-use failure rates using multi-censoring, single-decrement life-table analysis, and conducted sensitivity, attrition and survival analyses.


The perfect-use failure rate was calculated to be 1.0% (95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.9%, 2.9%) and the typical-use failure rate was 5.0% (95% CI: 3.4%, 6.6%) for women aged 18-39 (nā€‰=ā€‰718). Survival analyses identified no significant differences among age or racial/ethnic groups or women in different types of relationships. Attrition analyses revealed no significant sociodemographic differences, except in age, between women completing 13 cycles and those exiting the study earlier.


Dot's effectiveness is within the range of other user-initiated contraceptive methods.


Contraception; Dot; contraceptive effectiveness; digital health; fertility app; fertility awareness-based method; mhealth

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