When Ida Tin co-founded Clue in 2013 and coined the term femtech, she set out to solve a problem. While technology had come a long way since the 1960s, there was still a distinct lack of innovation around birth control and much too little progress in understanding menstruating bodies. From the earliest days, Ida and her co-founder Hans Raffauf envisioned Clue to become something so many people wanted and deserved: a science-based, data-driven, modern tool for people to take charge of their reproductive health.
More than 530 million tracked cycles later, Clue is used by a community of 11 million in over 190 countries. It has positively shaped the conversations around health literacy, self-discovery, and self-advocacy. Whether the desire is to avoid pregnancy, get pregnant or just learn more about individual bodily patterns, the app’s different modes guide our community through some of the most exciting and important times of their lives.
Clue Birth Control is no exception. Released to a group of initial users in the US in October 2021, it was another major step in achieving our mission of empowering people to make informed decisions about their reproductive health. The algorithm behind Clue Birth Control was developed and tested in an independent clinical trial conducted by researchers at the Institute for Reproductive Health (IRH) at Georgetown University. Clue Birth Control received FDA clearance as a medical device making it the world’s first FDA-cleared all-digital fertility awareness-based method of contraception in the USA in February 2021.
With the first roll-out phase of Clue Birth Control now coming to an end, we look back at an incredibly insightful year of learnings and vital feedback. Not only is Clue Birth Control an effective and approved method of birth control, it’s also in incredibly high demand. Our ongoing research suggests that as many as a third of all people using a period tracker also use it to prevent pregnancy. While we would love to offer this highly-requested solution to our wider community immediately, sometimes, tough prioritization decisions must be made. We are currently working on re-introducing a newly designed version of the Clue app on iOS (launching early December). Since we always want to live up to the high standards we set for ourselves, we are being intentional with where we focus our attention. With that in mind, we have decided to pause availability of the current version of Clue Birth Control, take the learnings from our initial offering, and begin work on version 2.0 to bring you a more innovative product next year. While that might not be as quickly as you had hoped, we feel it’s going to be worth the wait.
Clue Birth Control went through a rigorous regulatory review to be cleared by the FDA as an effective medical device and that status remains unchanged. We are in close communication with the small group of early adopters who have shared their thoughtful feedback to help shape the future of birth control. We have partnered with Planned Parenthood who can talk to users about alternative methods of contraception while we pause. We will also keep you, our community, updated on when Clue Birth Control will be back. Thanks so much for your ongoing support as we work towards fulfilling our mission to provide trustworthy information, data-driven tools, and emotional support for everyone with a menstrual cycle.