TRACKING FERTILITY: How technology could help couples struggling to get pregnant

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Wearables on the market today could help you if you're struggling with fertility.

If you're struggling with infertility, you may want to turn to technology for help.

Infertility affects one in eight American couples. Now, more women are using wearables to help them conceive.

Alexis Cole tried for a year and a half to get pregnant, but says she found quick success after wearing an Ava device for a couple months.

"It tracks different parts of your body: your heart rate, your respiration, your sleep patterns," Cole said.

The Ava is one of several wearables designed for women looking to get pregnant. Others include the Tempdrop, DuoFertility, the Yono and OvuSense.

Doctors say each works a little differently to combat infertility.

"One of the major factors for women is their age. A woman's ability to get pregnant goes down as she gets older. So if she waits longer to get pregnant, for example, into her mid or late 30s, then her fertility may be affected," said fertility expert Dr. Kristin A. Bendikson.

The devices claim to improve odds of conception by helping women track the fertile days in their monthly cycle. Most measure body temperature to make it happen.

"It's a known fact that a woman's temperature actually rises after ovulation. And so, if the device can accurately assess the temperature of the woman, that additional information can be used to help identify when the fertile window is going to come," explained Dr. Bendikson.

However, Bendikson says there's no hard data showing wearables shorten the time it takes to become pregnant.

"The manufacturers of these different products have internal data that claim that the success is really high. However, there haven't been any large studies that are done by outside entities with diverse populations of women that show how successful these apps really are," said Dr. Bendikson.

For some people, old school techniques may still be all you need. "These devices can be really expensive and they may not be necessary," she said.

Cole happily points out it was worth it to her.

"I never thought I'd get to this point where I was actually pregnant," Cole said.

Fertility experts caution that if you do use one of the gadgets, you have to be consistent, so it can give you the right feedback.
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technologyfertilityparentingchildrenpregnancy
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