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Houston Fertility Journal

Fertility Tracking Bracelet: Wishful Thinking?

[fa icon="calendar"] Apr 4, 2017 11:00:39 AM / by Center of Reproductive Medicine   

Center of Reproductive Medicine

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For some couples struggling to conceive, they start trying anything they can think of in attempt of getting pregnant. This can include everything from using traditional methods such as only having sex while ovulating, to attempting old wive’s tales like drinking cough syrup in hopes of thinning the “cervical fluid – enabling the sperm to travel more easily up the fallopian tubes to fertilize the egg.” Now, there’s a product on the market that claims it may assist with conception. It’s called the Ava bracelet and it’s a fertility tracker -- but is this fertility tracking bracelet just wishful thinking?

How Does The AVA Bracelet Work?

According to Ava Science Inc., the company that created the bracelet, “The Ava bracelet is a completely unprecedented method of tracking the menstrual cycle.” Like the FitBit tracks your steps, calories and activity, the Ava bracelet is worn on your wrist to track when you might be able to conceive.

The bracelet tracks a woman’s fertility while she’s sleeping, collecting data on “nine different physiological parameters” including your sleep quality, resting pulse rate, movement, and more. Upon waking, this data is then fed into the Ava algorithm to detect the woman’s most fertile window.

Ava claims that other fertility trackers only rely on one parameter, but believe their parameters can provide “a complete picture of your fertility in real time” including when your window of fertility begins and ends.

The Ava bracelet appeared on CBS’s show The Doctors where the hosts asked OBGYN, Dr. Nita Landry if she thought this would give hope to people looking to conceive, or if the bracelet was just hype. Dr. Landry admitted she loves the concept, and feels it does give couples trying to get pregnant hope. However, she feels that the studies the company did to test the bracelet were a little too narrow for her to get completely on board with the bracelet.

She went on to say, “if I have a young lady and she has some cash to blow, and she’s 22 years old...I would say sure, grab the bracelet.” However, because the studies on the bracelet at the time of the show’s airing did not include infertile people or people with irregular cycles, Dr. Landry said she wouldn’t feel as comfortable telling a lady that was 35 or older, or a woman that she knew was suffering from infertility to purchase the bracelet.

The celebrity guest on The Doctors show was actress Heather Dubrow, and she made a comment that might speak to a better reason one might want to purchase the bracelet. She said, “What I like about this bracelet, as someone that was infertile for so many years… if you do need to go to the next level and see a fertility doctor, it would be nice to do it earlier rather than later.” Dubrow, whose first three children were conceived with IVF and had her fourth child naturally, feels that this bracelet gives people access to better science, and the ability to “figure out if you can actually do it on your own” without seeing a professional first.

Is The Ava Bracelet Right For You?

Maybe, but maybe not. The company itself admits that it currently can only offer a “science-backed fertile window detection that is suitable for a range of users with cycle lengths between 24 - 35 days.” They did say that future versions of Ava will support more irregular cycles though. According to their website, “Ava has been shown to detect an average of 5.3 fertile days per cycle at 89% accuracy” and the bracelet “is an FDA Class 1 medical device and CE certified.”

The Ava bracelet may in fact be a decent way to track fertility, but only time, and more clinical  studies, will tell if the bracelet provides couples with wishful thinking, or if it actually lives up to its hype.

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Topics: Fertility Tracking Apps, News

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