The mission at Allbodies is to help people find more freedom, power and fun with their bodies. We do this by providing access to educational content, helpful products, and trusted practitioners.
We create content based on the questions and needs from our community. Our content is medically reviewed by a nurse practitioner or MD. We work with providers who are patient centered, trauma informed, cycle literate and (many are) LGBTQ inclusive. We partner with brands and products that inspire/ deepen connection to the body. They are innovative in design and/or function and tested and recommended by the Allbodies team.
Everything we do at Allbodies happens through a framework of integrative perspectives. This means we honor western research, eastern practices, clinician experience and shared community narratives. We recognize, as important as western research can be, it also has its limitations and biases. We don’t think there is one right answer, and we definitely don’t know what’s best for you. Instead, we aim to present a spectrum of info and options so you can make the most informed decisions for your body and circumstances.
We exist to offer easy access to information and resources for your most personal healthcare. Your feedback directly impacts how we make decisions and evolve.
On that note, we’d like to share our process about some feedback we received recently.
RECENT COMMUNITY FEEDBACK
Over the past year, a few people in our community expressed repeated concerns about the Daysy Fertility Tracker (a product in our shop) and our partnership with them. We did some serious investigation into the concerns: reading through medical journals, research studies, related press, facebook groups and social media posts; talking with our community, medical professionals, Daysy users and the Daysy leadership team. We came out the other side with a complex and nuanced body of knowledge to share:
CONCERNS + FINDINGS
Community Concern No. 1
The newest research study about Daysy was retracted… (which means no longer considered valid.) The retraction was made because of flaws in the research methods.
It is true that Daysy’s newest study that examined Daysy’s effectiveness when used in conjunction with their app was retracted in 2019. When retracted, the Reproductive Health Journal decided the study’s conclusions were unreliable because of the research methodologies used. Read more from the Editor-in-Chief of the journal here. Read a criticism of the study here, written by Chelsea Polis. Read Daysy’s comments on it here.
The original study that proves the Daysy device effectiveness is published and is still deemed valid.
Daysy was transparent about the study methodologies upon submission to the journal and the journal still accepted it, before they decided to retract. Daysy has a new study in the works.
Community Concern No. 2
The original study that proves the effectiveness of the Daysy Fertility device has flaws in it’s research methodology.
The Daysy Fertility device leans on this study which demonstrates Daysy’s effectiveness. It is currently still published and considered valid. Some notes on this study; It was not done on the Daysy device itself but on devices that preceded it, also made by Daysy’s parent company, that use the same algorithms. This study used some of the same research methodologies as the study that was retracted. Again, Daysy was transparent about their methodologies upon submission and it is published and considered valid.
We agree that all research should all be striving for the most accurate methodologies possible. We also found endless research shortcomings in many clinical studies involving birth control. So, we don’t single Daysy out for this. (see NOTES ON BIRTH CONTROL EFFICACY RATES + MARKETING section below).
Community Concern No. 3
Daysy used the results from their retracted study to market itself as contraception, which is unethical, dangerous, and against FDA policies.
Daysy tweeted in 2016, “Did you know the FDA blocks us from calling Daysy birth control or contraception, but she’s 99.3% effective”. They also compared themselves in effectiveness to the copper IUD.
We agree that marketing anything as birth control without additional information could be misleading and potentially dangerous. The Daysy CEO made a statement on the situation here.
Daysy made these social media posts before the FDA created the “digital birth control” categorization label, which now exists. After this FDA offer, Daysy decided to NOT pursue being categorized as “digital birth control” and positioned themselves as a Fertility Tracking device instead.
When we began our partnership with Daysy, they were explicit that we must NOT use any birth control language and only label their product as a fertility tracker.
There has not been an outcry of people unintentionally getting pregnant from using Daysy.
NOTES ON BIRTH CONTROL EFFICACY RATES
When digging into the Daysy concerns, we found many problems with the birth control landscape as a whole. Please read on, so that you can be a more informed contraceptive user…
1. The formula most often used to find the efficacy or effectiveness of birth control is called The Pearl Index. Most researchers agree that it is a very flawed formula and should be discontinued, but almost all birth control methods continue to use it today! Read about the Pearl Index HERE.
2. Many birth control companies market “perfect-use” efficacy numbers not “typical-use” numbers, without clarifying the difference. “Perfect-use” rates do not take human error into account (like forgetting to take your pill). “Typical-use” efficacy rates are inextricably lower. Sharing efficacy numbers that don’t leave room for common human errors can be misleading and potentially dangerous. Find “typical use” efficacy rates of most birth control methods by the CDC HERE. You can read more about this HERE.
3. In our community and across media, it’s clear that hormonal birth control methods have been marketed for decades without proper conversation around potential side effects. This can also be dangerous and misleading.
Read about the #MyPillStory campaign here. (a hashtag that encourages people to share their personal stories about taking hormonal contraceptives.)
Read a tragic story about the NuvaRing here.
Read about hormonal birth control and the risk of depression here.
4. A common narrative shared among practitioner and community members is that organizations and medical institutions tend to have bias against The Fertility Awareness Method. It is often not included in birth control information, nor brought up by providers as an option. Scientific research on FAM methods of birth control are still low quality. Find more about the data on FAM HERE.
THINGS WE LIKE ABOUT DAYSY
1. Their mission is to be a tool to help you find more knowledge, choice, freedom and control over your body and life.
2. There is no other device like it. Many trackers don’t rely on temperature at all, yet temperature can tell you SO much about the phases of your cycle, your health and hormonal balance. Daysy has helped countless people detect thyroid issues based on their temp results.
4. Daysy’s parent company, Valley Electronics has been developing and distributing fertility trackers for more than 30 years. The Daysy device uses a unique algorithm not only the user’s past cycle data, but also from millions of other cycles gathered for decades.
5. They have exceptional customer support, both to help users with their technology and they also have “health coaches” to help users understand their cycle.
6. They have a very engaged community of more than 500K happy users. Many people used it as a tool to get pregnant successfully after not being able to for a long while.
1. All health apps and technology should be used as a tool to aid in your body awareness, not to take all your agency. You are the expert of your body.
2. Daysy should not be used as your form of birth control.
3. Daysy is right for some people, but not for all people. Find our comparison of different cycle tracking apps HERE
4. There are certified Fertility Awareness Method practitioners to support using FAM of birth control and family planning.
5. Tracking your cervical fluid, basal temperature, menstruation, and other changes during your cycle is great information to better understand your body.
We take your concerns seriously. We are here to support YOU, not brands. It’s an exciting time for innovation and technology – there is finally a focus on creating solutions for people who menstruate and cycle! We work with brands who make products and tools to help YOU find embodiment.
We will continue working with Daysy as a Fertility Tracker. We think it is a unique and helpful tool and that the company is not mal-intentioned. We are pleased with their changes in positioning as a fertility tracking device and look forward to their next study.
We applaud the Reproductive Health medical researchers dedicated to improving methodologies to find accurate, unbiased data. We are grateful for the community members who hold us accountable and share feedback.
An Allbodies team member is going to begin using the Daysy device publically over the next month on Instagram, so we can all get a better understanding of how it works… stay tuned!
We are more than happy to answer any further Qs about Daysy, or anything else: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Written By: Ash Spivak and Lauren Bille, co-founders of Allbodies
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