Midwest Reproductive Center

Fertility Apps

Trying to get pregnant? Fertility apps may not be the answer says our Kansas City fertility specialist

Fertility apps have flooded the market in the last few years—there are currently almost 100 available. They seem like a good idea because we love our phones, so why not use technology to help predict the days when we are most fertile?

Many fertility apps rely on tracking basal body temperature (BBT), a method that fertility specialists do not recommend.

New studies look at fertility apps

Physicians and researchers have begun to conduct studies to determine whether fertility apps actually work. For the most part, results are not promising. A recent study published in The Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine¹ included 95 fertility apps, and of the 30 studied that claimed to help a woman track her cycles, only six actually did so accurately.

The study found that the most accurate fertility apps were those that were based on fertility-awareness based methods. The study concluded that relying on an app without sufficient training in fertility-awareness based methods may not be effective for predicting the fertility window.

Dr. Gehlbach’s advice for optimizing your chances for getting pregnant

Dr. Gehlbach, our Kansas City fertility specialist, recommends that women use a combination of fertility-awareness based methods, rather than fertility apps, for optimizing fertility.

  • Use the calendar to calculate your cycle. Track your menstrual cycle every month on a calendar because many women do not have a typical 28-day menstrual cycle.
  • Observe changes in cervical mucus. Cervical mucus develops the consistency of egg whites during ovulation and turns cloudy or sticky after ovulation.
  • Use an ovulation predictor kit. Over-the-counter kits such as Clearblue Easy and First Response detect a surge in the all-important luteinizing hormone (LH) about 24 to 36 hours before ovulation occurs.
  • Timed intercourse. You can use a combination of the three methods listed above to help determine when you ovulate and then time intercourse to occur during your fertile window.

Our Kansas City fertility specialist does not recommend using fertility apps and basal body temperature to track ovulation because it is not as effective as combining the methods discussed above.

If you would like to learn more about tracking fertility and getting pregnant, contact us.

¹ http://jabfm.org/content/29/4/508.full.pdf+html

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