Can an app or device help me?

Before investing in learning an NFP method or purchasing a device or app it’s important to consider a few thing, such as, what is your goal, how well will a device fit your lifestyle, will you have support if needed? 

What is your goal?
 

Can you do what is needed every day?

Will you have someone to turn to?

Many of us are drawn to each new shiny gadget or tool to come along, and this is even more pronounced in today’s tech-heavy culture. This is true in the realm of fertility awareness as well. Just look at some of the numbers: An estimated 14-15 million women are using fertility tracking apps (most of them simple period trackers), and it is estimated that $1.3 billion will be invested in 2020 in new femtech startups.

But before purchasing a device or app to use with your fertility awareness based method (FABM), it’s important to consider your goal.

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.

One only needs to spend a little time in fertility awareness-related Facebook groups to see that women who use the various femtech products frequently have questions, ranging from how to properly use it to why it is giving them the results it is. All too often they are seeking answers via Facebook because their product doesn’t provide ongoing support.

Most of these technologies are designed for and tested in women with typical cycles but every woman will have atypical cycles at least some of the time. Picking a method that provides access to ongoing support is critical when this happens to you.

Wearable devices to use alone or within an NFP method

  • Who might this help?

    Who might this help?
  • Who doesn't this help?

    Who doesn't this help?
  • How does it work?

    How does it work?
TempDrop
starting at $159*
  • Who might this help?

    Those concerned about unreliable temps due to interrupted sleep patterns.
  • Who doesn't this help?

    Those who may tend to forget to put it on every night. Needs to be used as part of STM (not alone!) to avoid pregnancy.
  • How does it work?

    This device is worn overnight under the arm and collects continuous temps during sleep. Uses an algorithm to define the lowest BBT of the night.
Duo Fertility
$85 / month*
  • Who might this help?

    Women who have been TTC without success over a few months. However, this is an expensive way to define the most fertile days. More economical to learn an FABM and get information beyond temps.
  • Who doesn't this help?

    Those who may tend to forget to put it on every night. Those using only this to avoid pregnancy as it does not identify the entire fertile window.
  • How does it work?

    Armband sensor worn overnight captures temperatures, then syncs with companion app to determine estimated date of ovulation based on an undisclosed temperature algorithm.
iFertracker
$129*
  • Who might this help?

    Those concerned about unreliable temps due to interrupted sleep patterns but who can’t find the extra $30 to buy TempDrop Basic.
  • Who doesn't this help?

    Those who may tend to forget to put it on every night. Those using only this to avoid pregnancy as it does not identify the entire fertile window.
  • How does it work?

    This device is worn overnight under the arm and collects continuous temps during sleep. Uses an algorithm to define the lowest BBT of the night.
Ava Bracelet
starting at $259*
  • Who might this help?

    It is currently unknown if this will help those TTC. Not enough data to support.
  • Who doesn't this help?

    Those using only this to avoid pregnancy as it does not identify the entire fertile window.
  • How does it work?

    This is worn overnight on the wrist , and records 5 signs: skin temp, resting pulse, heart rate variability, perfusion (the rate at which blood is delivered to tissues), and breathing rate.

TTC = trying to conceive, TTA = trying to avoid (postpone), BBT = basal body temperature
FABM = fertility awareness based method,  STM = Sympto-Thermal-Method

*Prices current as of spring 2020.

At-home Hormone Tests

  • Who might this help?

    Who might this help?
  • Who doesn't this help?

    Who doesn't this help?
  • How does it work?

    How does it work?
Clearblue Fertility Monitor
Fertility monitor $122;30 monitor sticks $55-60*
  • Who might this help?

    Those TTC, but monitor expense not necessary. Women looking for a tech-based, highly effective FABM. Postpartum women with confusing mucus patterns.
  • Who doesn't this help?

    Those TTC, as there is no evidence that using LH detection helps women achieve pregnancy faster than with traditional FABM.
  • How does it work?

    Morning urine test that measures urinary metabolites of estrogen and LH
MIRA
Starter Kit (including analyzer, app, and 10 test wands) $199*
  • Who might this help?

    Possibly women with known fertility issues (i.e., PCOS)
  • Who doesn't this help?

    Those TTA, as it does not provide identification of entire fertile window.
  • How does it work?

    Morning urine sample “read” by analyzer and syncs with app; provides a quantitative measure of LH (e.g., how much, not just present or not)
PROOV
7 test strips
for $40
*
  • Who might this help?

    Women TTC despite correctly timing intercourse; women TTC with known PCOS; women who are TTA who want confirmation of Phase 3.
  • Who doesn't this help?

    For those TTA, does not provide identification of entire fertile window.
  • How does it work?

    Urine test that measures PdG, a metabolite of progesterone, which confirms ovulation.
Wondfo
One Step Ovulation Test Kit
50 test strips
for $14.95
*
  • Who might this help?

    Women TTC seeking low cost way to detect the days nearest actual ovulation
  • Who doesn't this help?

    For those TTA, does not provide identification of entire fertile window.
  • How does it work?

    Urine test that measures LH metabolites.

TTC = trying to conceive, TTA = trying to avoid, BBT = basal body temperature, FABM = fertility awareness based method

*Prices current as of spring 2020.

REMEMBER!

Effective use of any FABM to avoid pregnancy depends on motivation, couple communication, and proper learning of the method.