Smartphone Fertility Apps | Are they any good?



Timing is everything when it comes to conceiving. If you are not having sex regularly or your partner has irregular cycles, it can take longer to fall pregnant.

Modern fertility awareness based methods (FABMs) teach women to accurately identify the 7 to 10 days of potential fertility. Most smartphone apps use this expertise to design their programs.

Fertility apps work by either analyzing user input data or heart rate sensor data to calculate the best times to try for a baby. While tracking female fertility, the Glow app, is a good start.

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Apart from monitoring female fertility, it is only app which has a solution for male fertility monitoring as well which is more harder to track.

Some of the apps available out there

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So are these worth all the hype?

To find out we need to first understand the underlying tracking mechanism. The underlying technology is a statistical algorithm which computes the following parameters and their uncertainties:

  1. ovulation leutal  phase,
  2. follicular phase and cycle length,
  3. and the average temperatures of the different phases.

This enables a quite accurate detection of the ovulation day and enables detection of various important parameters:

  1. the length and variation of the follicular and luteal phases of the cycle 
  2. the rate of anovulatory cycles.
  3. In addition to menstruation, basal body temperature and LH test results, it is also possible for the user to enter information concerning sexual activity and personal notes.

This gives a personal freedom to women to use such clinical level information in a personalized manner to know more about fertility in general without over reliance on a physician. Also, patient-physician interaction in fertility treatments has the important element of just conveying the science behind the fertility health to the patients to help them understand their treatment options in a more informed way.

So these apps in a way play a similar role at home, giving important triggers to women about their “fertility window” to maximize their natural chances to conceive before they try specialized Assisted Reproductive Treatment options.

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