A free app designed for tracking a woman’s pregnancy and fertility beats a new gadget which tracks the same indicators and is based on the same science, which is selling in the UK for as much as £899 ($1,500). The science behind tracking a woman’s fertility is nothing new, and though the ability to track a woman’s fertility symptoms requires nothing more than a standard thermometer and the knowledge of what to track, a few companies are cashing in with technology-based products that make tracking easier.
The form of birth control and natural conception assistance known as the Fertility Awareness Method, also sometimes called Natural Family Planning, has been around for decades but was made popular just over 10 years ago with the book Taking Charge of Your Fertility by Toni Weschler. The book is like a crash course in the science of human fertility. It explains the cyclical changes a woman’s body goes through during her menstrual cycle, and teaches readers how to chart those changes on their own, effectively identifying which days of their cycle they will be fertile and can become pregnant and which days they will be infertile.
The Fertility Awareness Method has undoubtedly helped tens of thousands of couples concieve over the years and prevented countless unwanted pregnancies, but its effectiveness depends on a certain level of responsibility and attentiveness which many people simply do not have time for. Up until recently the tracking method required charting and recording the old-school way. Though the information is presented in a very reader-friendly format, without expert guidance it can be hard to be certain the data is collected and recorded correctly, which is vital for couples using this method to conceive as well as those using it as a form of birth control.
Then along comes the convenience of pregnancy and fertility data that tracks itself in the form of a free smart phone app or a $1.5 thousand gadget, and the simplicity of either option certainly beats the uncertainty of tracking “by the book.” The DuoFertility assisted natural conception monitor is a handheld gadget that monitors a woman’s fertility by recording her body temperature through a remote thermometer attached under her arm. The gadget is limited however, in that it is only designed to identify the ideal time when a woman can get pregnant and can not be set to track when she is specifically infertile. Additionally, while DuoFertility boasts fancy technological features like tracking body temperature more than 1 thousand times per day and sending the data to be analyzed at the University of Cambridge, any woman with a firm understanding of the Fertility Awareness Method would be able to track her own temperature with a simple oral thermometer and chart the data with a pen and paper at home.
In addition to the discomfort and inconvenience of wearing the thermometer attachment, users must plug the device into their computer via a USB cord to make full use of the data that is being collected, as opposed to the instant presentation of multiple charts on Kindara’s smart phone app. Unlike DuoFertility, the free Fertility Awareness app by Kindara can be optimized to track conservatively to avoid pregnancy and identify the safest infertile days when a woman can have unprotected sex, or set to track fertility to help couples conceive.
For couples who are having trouble conceiving DuoFertility offers a way to make the process of natural conception much faster and easier to analyze, with lots of support, high-tech data tracking, and a much smaller price tag than fertility treatments. However, the Kindara pregnancy and fertility tracking app is convenient and simple with easy to read charts and reminders, and its price certainly beats the $1,500 you could pay for a gadget and services from DuoFertility.
By Mimi Mudd