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?
Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) is one of the most common reproductive health conditions, afflicting between 8-10% of women of childbearing age. Despite its name, PCOS is not caused by ovarian cysts, but instead by a hormonal imbalance. This imbalance of estrogen and progesterone can cause an overproduction in androgenic hormones -- so-called male hormones like testosterone. This changes the functioning of the ovaries and diminishes fertility.
When a mature egg gets released from the ovary and is pushed down the fallopian tube, and is available to be fertilized, this is called ovulation. What usually happens during ovulation is that one of the eggs in your ovaries will mature each month. A common misconception is that if you're ovulating, you are fertile, and therefore have the ability to achieve pregnancy.
A generation ago, mothers over 35 were swiftly labeled “older mothers” and “high-risk.” While nothing has changed about human biology over the last several decades, one thing has changed: women are waiting longer to have children, devoting more time to their careers, and facing fertility issues directly related to age at a higher rate than ever before.
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.