BEACON TRANSCRIPT – There is a popular trend among women these days. It’s all about fertility apps for tracking pregnancy stages. A study found that even though heavily advertised, these apps aren’t all that effective at avoiding or planning a pregnancy.
The study was conducted by Dr. Marguerite Duane from Georgetown University and her colleagues. Here’s what they found:
The majority of apps used by women of reproductive age are not effective. The team evaluated about 100 fertility apps used by Americans, which can be downloaded through Google Play, iTunes or Google. Dr. Duane believes that women need to use fertility awareness methods for monitoring their pregnancy or simply know if they are pregnant or not.
The Congress of Gynecologists and Obstetricians says that the most fertile time for a woman to get pregnant occurs during the menstrual cycle. These apps have quite a different potential at evaluating pregnancies. Most work by helping users to track their menstrual cycle, allowing them to point precisely their ovulation – the time when pregnancies are most likely to occur.
Other apps monitor women’s basal body temperature (BBT) when they are resting. An increase of BBT happens 2-3 days after ovulation takes place.In the end, just six apps were perfectly accurate, showing no false-negatives. Experts advise against relying on fertility apps to achieve or avoid pregnancy.
In fact, a lot more information is needed to accurately forecast ovulation. Basal body temperature and cervical mucus are other important factors.
Just a few of the apps studied took all the factors into consideration. About half of the reviewed apps were disqualified because of warnings saying they don’t use fertility awareness methods or are not meant to be used in avoiding pregnancy. Dr. Duane also stresses out that giving up on these apps should not be necessary, as they sometimes offer an easier way of tracking biomarkers of fertility, even though not all use evidence-based methods.
Her advice to women was that they should learn more about cervical and body changes which occur during ovulation, and choose apps that have as many markers as possible. An app may try to make your life easier, but understanding the way a woman’s body works has no substitute.
All in all, the study proved that most fertility apps were ineffective, with just six apps rising to expectations.
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