Think fertility tracking apps are just a gimmick? Think again. Tracking your menstrual cycles, timing intercourse, and recording data on your body's monthly changes are all vital ingredients in the recipe for a healthy pregnancy. The more information you have for your doctor, the better.
Fertility tracking can even rule out some potential causes of infertility. For instance, you might be able to confirm that you do not ovulate, or that your luteal phase is simply too short to sustain a healthy pregnancy. This can help you avoid unnecessary testing, and get you one step closer to the pregnancy you've dreamed of.
Fertility Monitoring Apps
So which fertility tracking app is right for you? Here are five of the best.
Available in both web-based and app formats, Fertility Friend pioneered the art of fertility tracking. Featuring an easy-to-use calendar that allows you to input a range of data, the site is also home to helpful message boards discussing every imaginable fertility issue. Fertility Friend's primary strength, though, is in its popularity.
With more than 650,000 users, the app has maintained data on pregnancies, miscarriages, and other useful information for years. You can compare your chart to other charts to assess for common issues, explore how frequently certain pregnancy symptoms have actually produced a pregnancy, and search for a wide range of charts.
The app is free, but a premium membership -- which includes more features and significantly more analysis of your data -- will cost you $45. Fertility Friend regularly offers discounts, particularly to current members.
Created by the founder of PayPal, Glow harnesses the power of big data to help you get and stay pregnant. While most fertility apps target women, Glow encourages both men and women to track their health data, and can pinpoint potential fertility stumbling blocks for its male users. This is a relief to many women, who often complain that the entire burden of fertility monitoring falls to them -- even though female-only problems account for just 30% of infertility cases.
Glow contains an ovulation calendar that uses your own previous data to predict your cycles, which means averages and other user's data won't figure into the equation. That's a good thing, since every cycle is different. The app is free, but you can also sign up for a paid version that contributes to other women struggling with fertility issues. If you're not pregnant in 10 months, you can use money from the fund into which you've paid to fund your own fertility treatments.
People trying to conceive a child have long complained that fertility issues have the power to quickly overtake their entire lives. From endless doctor visits and conversations about when to time sex to constant monitoring, it's easy to lose your identity in the quest for a baby. Kindara endeavors to help you get your life back. The app syncs with a basal body thermometer called Wink that automatically uploads your temperature into the app, removing one more fertility task from your ever-expanding to-do list.
You can also input data about cervical fluid and intercourse timing for more precise and personally tailored predictions. Kindara is free, but the Wink thermometer costs $129.
Though basal body temperature, cervical fluid, and ovulation tests can provide valuable clues to your fertility, they're not the only data points that matter. Your overall health is relevant, too. Ovia takes into account your lifestyle, including diet and exercise, allowing you to provide the app with a full picture of your overall health.
This data empowers the app to make suggestions about lifestyle changes that might help with fertility. Ovia claims to have the largest data set ever collected on women who are pregnant and trying to conceive, allowing them to harness the power of years of research to offer you customized recommendations about boosting fertility.
The app itself is free. A 99-cent version is also available that includes personalized articles, and the ability to export your fertility data to Excel for easy viewing by your medical providers.
If you find the endless stream of data fertility monitoring requires confusing, you're not alone. What does egg white cervical fluid actually look like? Are you sure you took the ovulation test correctly? OvaCue takes the guess work out of fertility monitoring by using saliva, urine, and cervical fluid monitors to track your fertility each month.
You'll get customized graphs, as well as predictions about when you might next be fertile. As the app gathers data on your cycles, it's also able to make custom recommendations, and to predict your next period or ovulation cycle. The app claims to be able to predict ovulation up to seven days in advance.
To fans of the Taking Charge of Your Fertility book, OvaCue offers a bonus. It has partnered with the book's author to supplement the program outlined in the book. The app itself is free, but the fertility monitor you'll need to use the app retails for $299. That might seem pricey, but if you factor in the cost over time of ovulation tests, basal body thermometers, and other gadgets, the price might begin to seem worth it after all.
It’s Your Body, Take Charge Now
Our bodies are filled with mysteries. But the more aware you are of your own situation, the less mysterious everything becomes. Tracking key elements of your cycle in an app or calendar will arm you with relevant information you need to take charge of your fertility.
Infertility is complicated! If you still have questions, check out our free guide, The Simplified Guide to the Complicated World of Infertility. We’re here to help!