Picking the right contraception for you can be a bit of minefield. From side effects to how long it lasts, it’s difficult to you know which particular method might suit you best.
But one woman has come up with a genius solution by creating a review app for the various forms of contraception, a sort of “TripAdvisor for contraception.”
“I started taking the pill when I was 16,” she writes on the site. “I always thought I was a very hormonal teenager, but it wasn’t until I stopped taking it a few years later, my personality completely changed.
“I was calmer and stopped crying all the time at stupid things like my parents wedding anniversary.”
Alice went on to say despite trying several different types of pill, she could never seem to find one that worked for her.
But it was her experiences of testing out various methods of contraception that inspired her to come up with the idea for the site.
“In my search for the right contraception I came across a number of problems that have become the foundation of The Lowdown.”
“For many women, the only way they can find out side effects they’ll get is by asking their Doctor – who can only relay his/her patient’s experiences,” Alice explains in the blurb for her site.
“Or by asking their group of friends. Both are useful, but small sample sizes. I am convinced that if we collect this data at scale, then it will tell us new things.”
The app aims to provide users with honest, trustworthy reviews by gathering the real life experiences of people who have used a particular contraceptive method.
But information is also provided about sixteen different types of contraception including different kinds of pill, the implant, coil, condoms and also fertility tracking apps like Natural Cycles.
“Our plan is to get to 5,000 reviews for each type, and then work out what the data and our users is telling us,” Alice explains.
But that’s just the beginning of the plans for the site and in the future Alice hopes to be able to create an algorithm that might help you to work out what contraception might be best for you to try.
The app has already uncovered some of the most common side affects of contraception which include headaches, tender breasts and cramps, with less common side affects including vaginal dryness and back pain.
The website continues: “A bad restaurant gets mostly consistently bad reviews on TripAdvisor. Why should contraception be any different? We have a theory that some types are generally better or worse than others, and our early results show this.”
But thought the site will no doubt be a hugely helpful resource for people trying to work out what method of contraception might work best, the creators are keen to stress that medical advice should be sought before switching.
“And finally, we’re very clear that you should never base your decision solely on someone else’s experience. Any decision should be discussed with a doctor or medical professional first,” Alice adds.
Such a brilliant idea.
The app launch comes as it was revealed last year that it is getting increasingly difficult for women to access the contraceptive of their choice, mainly because of budget cuts to sexual health services.
A study by FPA found a fifth of women have had to wait over two weeks for a contraception appointment – and more than a quarter of women surveyed said they felt they didn’t have enough time to go through all their options.