Personal Statement from Daysy founder Natalie Rechberg

 

In 30+ years the company I lead has created and developed five fertility trackers, cumulatively used by half a million women worldwide. The longevity of our company is apparent evidence of the satisfaction of our customers and their trust in our fertility trackers. Many of these customers are long term users, with years, even decades, of using our fertility trackers. 

We’ve kept our company small and family-run to focus on developing our unique technology and the needs of our customers. 

We have not chosen to focus on large scale, extravagant marketing pitches or grandstanding (nor do we have the pressure of external investors that might demand that we do so), but instead we have grown a community of users from good, solid word-of-mouth. We have only chosen to reach out to others audiences when we’ve felt those audiences were likely prepared and ready to hear about our fertility trackers. 

The femtech for fertility field is in rapid acceleration, like we have not seen before in these past three decades. We think this development is amazing, bringing more options to women, but we also know such acceleration requires that certain adjustments must be made. 

In recent months, we have seen the creation of a new FDA category, “digital birth control,” that allows fertility tracking apps and technology to classify as a birth control method. Some companies have sought out and claimed this categorization. 

Since our start in 1986, there have been many changes in this field, but in the past few years we have seen more widespread acceptance of fertility awareness-based methods (FABMs). The number of women using these methods has near doubled. The number of medical experts discussing these methods openly has also increased.  

The field, and thus the language of this field of femtech for fertility, has, as a result, been in flux. As the field has widened and broadened, it has become important that new definitions be assigned and new descriptors be implemented to bring clarity. 

There are, of course, still many who believe, incorrectly, that all FABMs are simply “the rhythm method.” However, conversely, organizations that long chose to categorize all FABMs as “the rhythm method” now seek to differentiate between types of FABM specifically. 

We are at a watershed moment - it is exciting and it is challenging.

In this rapidly changing environment we have worked hard as a company to be flexible and responsive. We have moved away from discussing our devices in ways that draw comparisons to birth control. We have made these changes in acknowledgement of this new landscape. We have not decided, at this time, to seek the FDA categorization of “digital birth control” for Daysy. 

This choice is a reflection of our customers’ experience with our devices. We know our customers use Daysy to plan their families (whether that means they remain a couple, or add one, two or more children). They use Daysy to make self-determined and powerful decisions about their fertility and their health. They use Daysy to track their fifth vital sign (the menstrual cycle). We currently do not feel that the categorization “digital birth control” reflects this expansive experience. 

While FABMs are used by women to manage their fertility and to avoid pregnancy by abstaining from PIV sex or using a contraceptive method on their assigned fertile days, we acknowledge that the practice of a FABM is also so much more than that. 

Knowing how your body works, knowing if and when you ovulate, knowing the length of your luteal phase - there is more to be learned by the individual tracking their fertility and menstrual cycle. This is, in part, why Daysy is recommended by many experts in the field of women’s health. Practicing a FABM can be seen as a life skill and one many of our users find deeply empowering. 

In the past, we have chosen to reflect the lexicon of our customers in discussing how Daysy is used. They have shared that they have chosen to abstain or use a method of contraception on their assigned fertile days, to success.

Our customers also describe how they “got pregnant with Daysy” as planned, but we all know (including our customers themselves) that there’s more to the process than that! 

In using such language in public dialogue regarding Daysy, we have chosen to respect our customers’ experience. 

You will see that many other femtech for fertility companies, apps, and devices, continue to use the language of their customers in public dialogue, regardless of the categorization of their products. 

As a pioneering company, we are excited to play our part in the development of a lexicon around femtech for fertility and fertility awareness-based methods that best serves the women navigating this new landscape. 

We know our customers are intelligent and independently-minded women. They have made a choice in Daysy that they feel is right for them, that meets their needs, and works best for their lives. 

Many of our customers will have researched for up to a year before making their choice to purchase a Daysy. Our devices are investments and approached as such. We are pleased to share that many of our customers recommend Daysy to friends and that we see high continuation rates. 

We are one of the few companies in this field to still maintain around-the-clock customer support via multiple channels as access points for our customers. We understand how essential this is in our field. We take the trust of our customers very seriously. 

Many of our customers are drawn to the longevity of our company and the expertise inherent in our 30+ years experience in developing fertility trackers. 

Our fertility trackers are unique in their design and in what they offer to women. Our customers have chosen Daysy as the option that they feel best fits their personal and specific needs, values, and lifestyle - only after thorough research, including, often, consideration of the experiences of other women with the same devices. 

We believe that women deserve the full spectrum of options and respect for their personal choice and experience. We know our customers made their choice to use Daysy from a place of careful consideration, and we are honored by that choice.