The fertility tracking industry within wearable tech is growing fast, and for good reason. As careers, travel and weekend lie-ins take priority to many in their 20s and early 30s, it seems that many of us are leaving it until later in life to experience the joys and juggling of parenthood, according to the latest figures published by Office for National Statistics.
And while the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists warns that falling pregnant after the age of 35 can be difficult, the new generation of smart fertility gadgets and clever apps are here to help.
Read this: Wearable tech to boost women's health
Wearable basal body thermometers, for example, help women track their ovulation cycle by reading their basal body temperature, aka their BBT, which is an indicator of fertility. This data can then be viewed on a smartphone app to give users a better understanding of when they are likely to conceive, speeding up their chances of getting pregnant. These wearables can also come in useful for those wanting to avoid pregnancy naturally, too.
There haven't been too many tech savvy ways to help couples conceive but now you can wear the Ava bracelet. Worn only at night, the Ava device looks at nine physiological parameters then gathers millions of data points, which is sends to your smartphone. In the morning, you can check the graphs and info collected to see if it's an optimal time to conceive. This year, Ava conducted a study with the University Hospital of Zurich, which said that the device can detect 5.3 fertile days with a 89% accuracy.
This oral basal body thermometer claims to take temperatures up to four times faster than standard thermometers. It has a vibrating, as opposed to ringing, alarm to let the user know when it's time to take their temperature, which may come as a welcome feature to a sleeping partner.
It is designed to work alongside the popular Kindara app for Android and iOS, and wirelessly sync information to give the user instant insight into their reproductive health. On the app, women can access personalised information to help them get pregnant, as well as chart sexual activity and health concerns and connect with other users for support.
In order to get the most accurate results from basal thermometers, the user must take their temperature every day at the same time. This can prove a challenge with oral and underarm methods, but this in-ear basal thermometer can be worn all night to continuously monitor basal temperature. This means the user can fall asleep with the silicon-encased earbud in and needn't have to worry about waking up at the optimum time every day. It will beam information it collects via Bluetooth to the Yono smartphone app once it's in its base station. Plus, it only needs to be charged once a week.
$129.99/$60 for lease, yonolabs.com
Described as a 'wearable sensor', this design can be worn with an armband or attached directly to the skin to 'learn your cycle' by collecting millions of data points and tracking movement. It has a three-axis accelerometer to monitor sleep quality and measures skin temperature as well as ambient temperature, which aims to give users a clear picture of their fertility. It doesn't have a dedicated app, but Tempdrop will work with a number of apps on Android and iOS, such as OvuView and Kindara, and let users share and switch their data to different apps as they please.
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After every temperature reading, this oral basal body thermometer displays a woman's fertility status on its built-in monitor - in red for fertile, and green for infertile, so it's a great design for people with hectic schedules. It claims to have an advanced temperature sensor that has 1/100 of a degree precision and its algorithm - backed by the Lady-Comp with a proven track record of over 28 years - claims to be 99.3% effective. Designed to work alongside the DaysyView app for iPhone, Daysy to will learn your individual cycle pattern over time by analysing and storing data.
Describing itself as 'confident, scientific and not pink' which is always a bonus, this period tracker app for Android and iOS uses personalised data surrounding the menstrual cycle, pain, mood, fluid, sexual activity and more to predict when the user will be at their most fertile. The app includes information about fertility too answering questions such as 'is my cycle normal?' and 'when can I get pregnant?'.
The personalised fertility chart and ovulation calendar with tips and in depth analysis are easy to navigate on this app, which can be also synced with Jawbone, Fitbit and Withings and apps such as MyFitnessPal and Ovia Pregnancy. Ovia Fertility lets users fill out an in-depth diary to get a better understanding of their reproductive health, which can even be printed out for the doctor. It will chart moods, symptoms, activities, sleep, blood pressure, how much food and glasses of vino consumed too.
This app gives you daily percentage chances of conceiving as well as health tips and advice. Once you register it gives you the option to 'choose a journey' - whether you're trying to conceive, avoiding pregnancy or need help managing your fertility medication. You can sync with MyFitnessPal, Misfit and Fitbit for information on nutrition and calories too. The best bit is that as well as being able to connect with your partner via the app, it offers daily logs and health tips for men too, letting them track their sleep duration, fitness and proximity to heat, which all factor in the road to conception, apparently.