When you’re trying to get pregnant, so much hinges on trying at exactly the right time. You can only successfully conceive in a relatively precise window around the time when you ovulate – dictated by how long sperm and egg remain fertile in the body. Sperm can survive for up five days, while an egg remains fertile for between twelve and twenty four hours after ovulation so as you can see you have a window of around six days per cycle to try to conceive.
That means there are plenty of gadgets, apps and systems available promising a shortcut to fertility and a successful conception. Today we’re taking a look at three of the best.
One of the most effective ways for a fertility tracker to work is by measuring your basal body temperature. This fluctuates throughout the month and can give you an indication of when you’re due to ovulate, as it drops the day before and then spikes for 72 hours afterwards.
The problem with this method is that your basal body temperature is only available when you’re asleep – so getting up to take your temperature actually disrupts the results!
OvuSense monitors your temperature through the night and uses an app to output the results in the form of a prediction of when you’re due to ovulate – which gets more accurate as the algorithm gets to know the specifics of your cycle.
Ovulation Prediction Kits use hormone measurement rather than temperature to tell you when the best time to get pregnant is. They’re available in many supermarkets and pharmacies, and they work like a pregnancy test – testing your urine for hormone levels. That makes them very convenient, but there are downsides.
They’re an off the shelf product, which means if you have any hormone irregularities, and don’t fit the profile they’re built to, it can make it difficult for them to give you useful results.
This brand starts to solve that problem – it records your hormone levels over several days, and checks the results for deviations from that norm, rather than a set level that’s only useful for a proportion of people.
If you don’t want to use a complicated or indeed invasive device to check your fertility directly, then apps are a convenient way forward. Fertility Friend gets our vote for its choice of free or paid options, and the wealth of information and guidance on offer, with the paid variant giving you access to even more analysis and help to find the best time to conceive.