It seems there is a cellphone app for everything, even planning for pregnancy.
A Connecticut doctor said some women are now ditching the traditional methods, and using technology to help them plan or prevent pregnancy.
Whether a couple is hoping to get pregnant, or trying not to, apps are becoming a popular way to track fertility.
“Apps have all kinds of algorithms where they will let you know, on a monthly basis, when they think that you're most fertile or not,” said OBGYN Dr. Jessica Wei.
There are plenty to choose from, but not all apps work the same.
Laura and Daniel, a couple from West Hartford who did not want to provide their last names, use an app called ‘Cyclebeads.'
“It's natural. It doesn't interfere with your body at all. It works for us,” Laura said.
After having their two sons, they wanted to try a new method to prevent pregnancy that didn't involve taking medication.
“There's no side effects, like synthetic hormones tend to have,” Laura said.
The app is based on a formula called the Standard Days Method, and claims to be more than 95 percent effective in preventing pregnancy.
The user records the date her period starts, and the app sends updates to the user and their partner throughout the cycle.
“We never even looked to see if there were others out there. It's just been really simple,” Daniel said.
Another app called Kindara works based on the Fertility Awareness Method.
It takes a more sophisticated approach but requires much more detailed input from the user.
“The fertility awareness method is very specific...you must use basal body temperature and cervical mucus assessment and some people even assess the position of the cervix,” Wei said.
The user records the results in the app, and it keeps the user in the loop about whether they are fertile or not.
It requires more effort, but the app claims to be 99.6 percent effective in preventing pregnancy.
However, that is only if the user is consistently recording results.
“It is effective only if you're incredibly diligent about it and have a lot of body awareness, and so it's not for everybody,” Wei said.
The Glow app is not only effective for preventing or planning pregnancy, but also helpful for women undergoing fertility treatments.
Like the other apps, Glow tracks a woman's cycle but also logs information related to a woman's reproductive health, like mood changes, medications and symptoms.
This can give doctors a better insight.
“I think it's very helpful when people come and they've actually tracked things for themselves. It allows us to have some information about whether they are truly having regular cycles, and whether they have signs of ovulation, and when it's occurring,” Wei said.
One of the best features is giving users a daily update on the likelihood of pregnancy on that particular day.
There are a number of reasons why women are moving away from traditional fertility methods.
Before downloading one, doctors suggest talking to your gynecologist to find a method and app that fits your lifestyle best.
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