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A Critical Appraisal of Fertility and Menstrual Tracking Apps

Updated: Oct 23, 2023


woman looking at ap
Mark Bayley A Critical Appraisal of Fertility and Menstrual Tracking Apps Chinese Medicine Fertility

I frequently see clients who have been relying on / using a fertility app in their efforts to conceive. the short answer:


"Although we need more research in this area, the evidence so far suggests if you’re trying to have a baby, you shouldn’t rely too heavily on an app – particularly if you’re finding it hard to conceive".


Objective

Review and appraisal of App Store applications (apps) designed for menstrual cycle tracking, ovulation prediction, and other topics related to fertility or the management of infertility.


Results

A total of 140 apps were included in the final analysis, of which:

  • 90 (64.3%) were free.

  • The average AQS was 32.5%.

  • There was no significant difference in AQS between free and paid apps (31.5% vs. 34.2%; P = 0.491).

  • A total of 62 (44.3%) apps made dynamic cycle predictions on the basis of cumulatively input data.

  • Thirty-one apps (22.1%) contained serious inaccuracies in content, tools, or both.

  • Only 25 apps (17.9%) contained information or functions specifically related to infertility or its management.

The personalisation and convenience of apps makes them empowering and attractive. However they require some caution in their use.


While fertility apps use individualised information to estimate the most fertile period, they are not completely reliable. Even if an app indicates when a woman is most fertile, it doesn’t mean a pregnancy will follow if a couple has sex during this window.


An algorithm cannot capture all factors that affect fertility


Although we need more research in this area, the evidence so far suggests if you’re trying to have a baby, you shouldn’t rely too heavily on an app – particularly if you’re finding it hard to conceive.


My input here, "if at all." Menstrual tracking , sure thing. Ovulation tracking not so much due to a multitude of factors including ( though not exclusively):


Diet, exercise, body weight, and ethnicity can all play a role in a woman’s menstrual cycle and a couple’s chance of conceiving.

While many apps allow users to input this information, changes such as;

an increase or decrease in body weight, or times of high stress, ( to name a couple) which may lead to irregular menstrual cycles, are not incorporated into the algorithms that predict when a woman will be most fertile.


This may contribute to a delay in conception and lead to distress, particularly if a couple has already been trying to conceive for many months.


Moving forward:


Make yourself an appointment with a well informed practitioner so you in turn can make a well informed decision for your circumstances.


The information in this blog has been reproduced from :





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