Trying for a baby is one of the most exciting, yet stressful, times of your life. Some couples fall pregnant straight away while others take a lot longer to conceive.
It might sound crazy, but downloading the right apps on your smartphone could increase your chances of becoming parents.
How? Well, certain apps help you understand your own biology, which can make all the difference when trying to conceive. Apps can make tracking your, or your partner’s, cycle and fertility days so much easier.
But, falling pregnant often isn’t as easy as we think or want it to be. It can sometimes be a struggle, which can make what should be an exciting time in your life a stressful one.
In a survey by Fertility Network UK and Channel 5 Fertility, 94% of the people questioned – who said they were struggling to have a baby – expressed that they don’t think their friends, family or colleagues really understand what they are going through in their journey to conceive.
The research showed that 54% of people feel annoyed by other people’s comments when they know they’re trying to conceive, which can include things like:
- “Just relax and it will happen!”
- “It will happen when you stop trying”
- “Don’t think negatively – don’t stress”
- “You’re only young”
- “Just adopt instead”
Why are apps so helpful when trying for a baby?
Of course, it’s not essential that you use an app when trying for a baby. According to research conducted in 2019 by the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG), only a fifth (20%) of women have used a fertility app – however, almost a third (31%) said they would consider using one in the future.
Instead of using an app, you could use an online ovulation calculator – like this one – which estimates when you, or your partner, ovulate to provide your full fertile window (the days leading up to ovulation, as well as the day itself) i.e. the best time to try and conceive.
An ovulation calculator also shows you all your upcoming fertile days, and when your baby might be due if you do conceive.
Fertility monitors, like this one from Clearblue, are more personalised, reading urine tests to track your personal hormone levels with a view to identifying high and peak fertility days. They claim to help you find more fertility days than a standard ovulation test.
The Clearblue Advanced Fertility Monitor even enables you to do pregnancy tests to see if you have conceived.
What’s great about apps is their user experience. You have all the information you need encompassed within the app, so you don’t need to go looking for it.
Not only that, enabling notifications on an app means the onus is not on you to remember your fertile days – it will send you an alert to your home screen so that you know when you, or your partner, is ovulating.
What are the best fertility apps?
Type ‘fertility app’ into App Store or Google Play store and you’ll be hit with a whole list of options to choose from. But which ones are truly worth your time?
We’ve rounded up the four best fertility apps, highlighting what separates them from the rest:
Flo Period & Ovulation Tracker
We’ll start with the most popular fertility apps. With more than 80,000 reviews on the App Store and over a million on Google Play – the large majority of which are positive – Flo has proved a huge hit with users.
Flo is a women’s period calculator that claims to make accurate and reliable predictions of menstruation, ovulation and fertile days using machine learning (AI).
Free to download, Flo also allows you to monitor your basal body temperature (BBT) – your temperature first thing in the morning.
Many women see a spike in their temperature shortly after ovulation, so this can be a sign that you’ve ovulated. Flo offers some advice here on how to measure BBT to detect ovulation.
Glow is not all too dissimilar from Flo in that it’s a free menstrual and ovulation calculator as well as a BBT chart that records your period dates, mood, symptoms, sex and medications.
What makes it different, however, is the support it provides for women undergoing fertility treatments such as IVF or IUI.
There’s a handy daily health log where you can note down your stress level, weight, exercise and more to help you keep track of your overall health and emotions.
Glow is not just for women either – you can add your male partner to make it more of a joint effort.
If you like the idea of using an app that was developed by Havard scientists, Ovia is the one for you.
The free app claims to be the most accurate and data-driven fertility predictor app, by processing details such as your cycle type, length, how long you’ve been trying to conceive, and even cervical fluid.
To ensure you’re maximising your chances of conceiving, Ovia gives you a fertility score between one and 10 for each and will also tell you what your ovaries are doing, or preparing to do, at each stage in your cycle.
Natural Cycles was founded by a couple, Elina and Raoul, who were in search of an effective method of natural contraception.
Before you start scratching your head wondering what it’s doing in this list, it has evolved to become a powerful piece of fertility tech and is now used by thousands of women all over the world as a tool for planning pregnancy.
You can switch the settings from “Prevent” mode to “Plan”, as soon as you’re ready to start trying.
By and large, the apps don’t differ hugely – it comes down to personal preference in terms of usability, interface and information.
Our advice would be to download each of the four apps suggested here and to see which one you like best.
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Before you start loading your phone with apps that will help you to conceive, don’t forget to get iPhone insurance for your device.
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