Folks typically place fitness trackers to count steps or calories burned. But can a wearable boost your chances of getting pregnant?
That’s the goal behind the $199 Ava tracking bracelet that launched recently, which can detect when a woman is most fertile.
Meant to be worn for at least four hours at night while a woman sleeps, the bracelet’s sensors collect three million data points around pulse rate, breathing rate, sleep quality, heart rate variability, temperature and other physiological parameters, and can signal a rise in estradiol and progesterone. Ava works with a companion app.
Ava Science, the Swiss company behind the bracelet, claims the FDA-approved medical device accurately detects an average of at least five fertile days a per cycle — in advance — thus helping couples plan on ideal times to try and make a baby. In a recently concluded year-long clinical study at the University Hospital of Zurich, Ava detected an average of 5.3 fertile days per cycle with 89% accuracy.
This promotional video explains the science. And this promotional video is more of an amusing take on what Ava is trying to accomplish.
Ava’s CEO and co-founder Lea von Bidder told me there’s another benefit to wearing the bracelet only at night: the woman doesn’t have to shout out to the world that she is attempting to get pregnant. (The battery must be recharged on a daily basis.)
While Ava may help a couple better time when they should have sex, improved odds don’t mean a woman will get pregnant, of course. For most women, there are only about six days per month where there is any possibility of conceiving, and only three days per month where it is likely.
“Even under the most favorable conditions – a young, healthy couple having frequent unprotected intercourse – there is only about a 25% chance of getting pregnant in a given month,” von Bidder says.
Women who hope to conceive frequently turn to other methods. There’s Fertility pills, ovulation pee sticks, basal temperature thermometers, and fertility tracking apps which attempt to project the person’s most likely fertile window based on the date of her last period. But not every woman is “regular,” and part of the Ava’s marketing pitch, beyond accuracy, is that the bracelet is less invasive or messy.
The company plans further clinical studies to refine its algorithms for use in recognizing and monitoring pregnancies, and possibly to use as a non-hormonal contraceptive device.