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Consider Five Things before Using that Fertility App

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With hundreds of fertility tracking apps available, choosing one can be an overwhelming task. Whether you’re looking for a tool to help you track your menstrual cycle or plan a pregnancy, there is bound to be an app that fits your needs. Before you do, here are five things you should consider before using a fertility app:

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What are your goals?

Many of these tools are designed to do different things, so the app you choose should align with why you would like to use one. Why are you considering using an app? Are you interested in tracking your period dates for your next doctor’s visit? Are you thinking about using an app to help you conceive or prevent pregnancy? Do a quick assessment of what your intentions are rather than simply picking the highest rated app out there.

Get personal

Your cycle is unique to you and the app should reflect that. Personalization has to go beyond letting you choose the background color of the app, and should give you tailored advice based on your personal information, rather than using a one-sized-fits-all approach.

For example, The Dot app created by Cycle Technologies provides users with a tool that is designed for cycles ranging between 20 and 40 days and takes into account the fact that your cycle lengths can vary from month to month. By identifying your goal (predict cycles, plan pregnancy, or prevent pregnancy) and entering your period start date, Dot uses statistical analysis that identifies your personalized risk of conception on a daily basis.

Valuable Data May be at Risk

Review the terms of service and privacy policy. Many apps are using your information in ways with which you may not be comfortable. Make sure you read the fine print, know who is behind the app, and what they are doing with your data.

Check if the app is backed by Science

Information can be presented in such a way that a user may think the app is more accurate than it is. It’s important that these apps undergo the same rigorous testing that other contraceptive methods go through and users should ensure the method they’re using has been well studied. Check who is behind the app, that it’s coming from a credible source, and what type of research has gone into evaluating its accuracy.

Simplicity and confidence is key

When something is hard to use or complicated, it’s much easier to make a mistake or to use it inconsistently. Additionally, studies show that when something is easy to use, a person is much more likely to use it consistently and correctly over time. Many fertility apps are complicated because they are relying on complex fertility awareness methods that require extensive charting and daily monitoring. A user may have to track symptoms like her basal body temperature, secretions, and even her cervix position. Rather than fixating on how complex an app may seem, find a tool that’s simple and easy to use.

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