Technology has provided us with joy in so many ways—instant communication, FaceTime, and of course, giphys. Beyond the funny memes and video chats with family members, technology has also played a very significant role in helping couples trying to conceive get the biggest joy: a baby.
It can seem like a daunting process when you start using Fertility Awareness Methods (FAM), like charting your basal body temperature, cycles, cervical mucus, and keeping a constant eye on the calendar. But fertility awareness is a very effective way to conceive, reaching rates of effectiveness as high as 90 percent, according to the American Pregnancy Association. Technology has jumped in to help even further, assisting women in better tracking and monitoring, and giving a much more precise window in which to try.
There are a lot of different ways to use technology for fertility awareness, and here are eight great options that offer varying levels of assistance.
Clearblue Connected Ovulation Test System
Knowing when you ovulate has never been easier thanks to this smart, Bluetooth-enabled ovulation test. Scientifically proven to detect a surge in your luteinizing hormone (LH) with 99% accuracy, this test will identify your most fertile days and sync all data to your smartphone at the same time. The complementary Clearblue Connected app stores your fertility information, and even sends you reminders about when to test. (starting at $45)
Something that might be very helpful before even starting the conception process, is having a custom report that provides insights on hormone levels and overall fertility health. Modern Fertility kit enables women to get a “Fertility Measurement Index” (via a blood sample taken at a Quest lab—future versions of the kit will enable women to test at-home with a finger prick). This Index can become a tracking tool that women can use to check in on ovarian reserve, ovulation, and general fertility health. ($159)
Wearables have evolved far past tracking steps and now can be your fertility friend. The Ava bracelet is worn while sleeping and has sensors that measure nine parameters such as resting pulse rate, skin temperature, sleep, and heat loss. When you wake up in the morning, you sync to your phone and the app gives you information about the state of your fertility. Ava claims to detect an average of 5.3 fertile days per cycle at 89 percent accuracy. ($249, syncs with iOS and Android)
Glow has been around for a few years and has established itself as a popular fertility-tracking app. Using data analysis based on your entries around ovulation, menstrual cycle, mood, symptoms, basal body temperature, and more, Glow provides an ovulation calendar that predicts your most fertile days (Free for iOS and Android; additional fees for subscription services)
Kindara is a fertility tracking app that helps you understand your cycles, and other important details when trying to conceive, like cervical changes and body temperature. For even more accurate results, Kindara offers a separate oral thermometer called Wink that automatically syncs to the app and provides you with insight on ideal times to try to conceive. (Free app for iOS and Android; Wink sold separately for $129)
Tempdrop is another to add to the list of fertility wearables. This is worn on your upper arm while you're sleeping and it collects thousands of data points during the night around movement and body temperature. The gadget syncs with different pregnancy apps, giving you more choice in where you want your information to be logged. ($150)
This app provides specific algorithms that provide a personalized view of your reproductive and overall health. In addition to tracking cycles and ovulation, Ovia Fertility also syncs with popular fitness wearables (FitBit, Jawbone, Nokia, etc.) and fully integrates with Apple Health to provide a more holistic view on your health. It also provides a community of users to interact with on your fertility journey. (Free for iOS and Android)
Trying to have a baby can be an emotional roller coaster, and stress is the least helpful thing to have during the process. Expectful is trying to ease the process with its fertility-guided meditations that can go a long way in helping you relax and hopefully conceive. (There are also meditations for those who are already pregnant or who are new moms.) ($9.99/month for iOS)
If you don’t want to deal with peeing on sticks or wearing anything, consider the EarlySense Percept, a new under-mattress fertility tracker that uses a highly-sensitive sensor to monitor physiological signals like breathing and heart rate via sound waves. The data is automatically sent to your phone and is stored in the complementary app, which then tracks your cycles and clues you to the most likely times to conceive ($199)