The introduction of femtech (devices, hormone tests, apps) brings costs to the practice of fertility awareness, and before swiping your card it is certainly worth considering if the costs are going to be worth it to you.

When using a traditional fertility awareness based method (FABM), there are little to no ongoing costs after the cost of instruction. With the exception of the Marquette Method, which uses the Clearblue monitor, there may only be charts or a digital thermometer needed. Compared to the costs of contraception, which often includes medical appointments, FABMs are inexpensive.

Still, there is no denying the popularity or, yes, even helpfulness, of femtech in today’s fertility awareness world. There is nothing inherently wrong with technological or medical advances that make the practice of fertility awareness either more effective or simply easier. In many ways, these advances are a blessing.

But with anything new, we should proceed with caution and a little healthy skepticism: Does the product you are considering live up to its claims? And if so, is it going to be worth the investment to you?

But with anything new, we should proceed with caution and a little healthy skepticism: Does the product you are considering live up to its claims? And if so, is it going to be worth the investment to you?

If your expensive device requires a set of steps that won’t fit into your daily routine, are you willing to adapt your routines to meet the needs of this new device? For example, if you think remembering to take your temperature every morning isn’t going to work, will you be able to remember to put a wearable thermometer on every night before bed?

Something else to consider: Some devices or apps require the user to record data at least 80 percent of the days each cycle to work effectively, but studies show experienced FABM users tend to record symptoms on only about 70-75% of cycle days (and sometimes even less). Do you see yourself continuing to record information on every cycle every day? If not, is the investment in the device or app worth it?

What daily observations does the device or app require? Some things you are asked to input might be uncomfortable for you. For example, some women can’t imagine checking for cervical mucus at every bathroom visit.

Lastly, have you read all the “fine print” and can you live with it? For example, some of the newer so-called FABM apps only have effectiveness data that is combined with barrier use during the fertile time. That really makes it a method of contraception and that doesn’t call for embracing your changing fertility day by day. Also, some of the stipulations for money-back guarantees on TTC devices are pretty rigorous, so make you understand what’s needed to get your money back before you buy.

Know that these devices and tests are not necessary to practice fertility awareness. The major methods (aside from Marquette) are all highly effective with good instruction, no extra gadgets necessary. But various devices and tests do make the practice of fertility awareness easier for some, especially those with less-than-ideal cycles.

If your fertility awareness could use an assist from femtech, we are glad to use our experience and knowledge to provide information that you can trust. Our page at livethelove.org/femtech offers reviews and analysis of some of the most popular forms of femtech, our effort to help users discern which of these tools would be helpful to them and which may be just a waste of time and money.