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How Digital Technology Can Reduce Fertility Anxiety

How Digital Technology Can Reduce Fertility Anxiety
How Digital Technology Can Reduce Fertility Anxiety

According to the NHS, approximately 1 in 7 couples can experience difficulty to conceive. Almost 85% of couples conceive naturally within a year. However, the statistics can be problematic if you take them at face value. 

Conceiving is no walk in the park. Even couples who conceive naturally and unaided tend to have regular unprotected sex for up to a year before they can get pregnant. Why does it take so long to have a baby naturally? Contrary to common belief, how long the conception process takes may not be related to infertility issues. More often than not, couples fail to understand how fertility can fluctuate, and therefore do not know how to improve it or make the most of their high fertility window. 

While this doesn’t mean that knowledge and understanding of your fertility will instantly result in pregnancy, you can achieve a lot by gaining a better overview of the matter. Digital technology could become a significant ally on your path to parenthood. 

Understand your ovulation symptoms

Fertility in women relates to your ovulation cycle. The body provides clues that help you track your ovulation cycle and figure out when your fertility window comes. There may be many factors that can affect your body, especially during lockdown. Therefore, it can be helpful to use a calendar on your smartphone or a journaling app to track some of your symptoms. Ovulation creates visible and measurable symptoms, such as elevating your basal body temperature after the ovulation process, for instance. But if you have no thermometer – you can also track secondary side effects. Some side effects are often associated with menstruation. However, experiencing bloating or breast tenderness could also be related to ovulation. Keeping track of your symptoms over a few months can help you gain a better overview of your ovulation cycle and its effects on the body. 

The simple, no-nonsense fertility app

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Fertility apps are popular because they let you track symptoms in the context of women’s intimate health. You can log in your symptoms and gain a better understanding of your fertility at any given time of the cycle. Are fertility apps entirely accurate? No, they do not guarantee 100% accuracy. However, what they do is gather information. Ideally, you want to use a fertility app alongside your journaling tool. Other information such as stress or diet can affect your cycle, which may not be reflected by a fertility app. Journaling helps you understand your lifestyle. Fertility apps such as Clue or Kindara help you understand your cycle. Ideally, you want both insights to make better decisions about your body. 

I need medical support

There is no shame in reaching out to a specialist for help. That’s precisely why you want to keep your journaling and fertility app data. They will give you an overview of your cycle, so you can identify irregularities and behaviours you can’t explain. For instance, you may notice that your period isn’t regular despite no drastic lifestyle change. This could mean that the ovulation process isn’t regulated. Therefore, you could use medication to help trigger regular egg release. During lockdown especially, you want to make sure you have constant access to supportive medications, such as using pharmacy services to repeat and fulfil your prescription online. You can also use your collected data to discuss potential issues with a doctor. High-stress could play a huge role in your fertility cycle. If you spot anxiety symptoms during your cycle, you can ease fertility complications through medications that can decrease anxiety levels. 

They say it’s down to stress

Stress is a big factor in health. It affects our mental health and our physical health. But it also impacts reproductive health dramatically. For a lot of people who are going through chronic stress, it can be hard to know that you are stressed out. Stress becomes a constant part of your day., and it’s almost impossible to remember how life was without it. According to scientific research, meditation brings many benefits when you’re trying to get pregnant. Indeed, it can visibly reduce stress, which tends to affect ovulation and create a hormonal imbalance. Ah surprising as it might sound, medication can help reduce levels of the stress hormone, cortisol, which can, in the long term, restore balance to reproductive hormones estrogen and testosterone.

You can rely on meditation apps to get into the habit. Headspace is a favourite that guides amateurs through the motion and essential steps of meditation. There’s no rule as to how long you should meditate and how. For newcomers, it can be helpful to try different apps and online programmes before settling down for something that works for you. Meditation is the process of taking your mind off worries and distracting your attention, so you can break free from your stress cycle. 

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Your Fitbit is a fertility lifestyle tracker

Is there such a thing as a fertility tracker that would work as a fitness tracker by monitoring your body vitals? There are some wearable technologies already available on the market, such as Ava, a fertility tracker that checks physiological signals to identify your fertility window. The smart tracker has gathered a lot of positive reviews and helped many couples get pregnant. 

Can a fitness tracker fulfil the same functions? It might be unexpected, but for some women the answer is yes. Fitness trackers can monitor your heart rate, hydration level, food intake, and caloric expenditure. Fitness enthusiasts can spot minor differences in the days before or after ovulation, such as increased or decreased appetite, increased heart rate, etc. These could be valuable clues! 

Not a solitary journey

Conceiving is an emotional roller-coaster, especially if you’ve been trying for a long time. There could be days when you are feeling down and guilty about the situation. When both partners have been tested for fertility and still can’t manage to get pregnant, women experience feelings of low-esteem and depression. You don’t have to keep those feelings bottled up. Online therapists and councillors are available for digital appointments. They can provide the mental boost you need. 

When you are trying to conceive, knowledge of your fertility window and ovulation cycle can make a huge difference. A lot of couples can miss the short window and experience difficulties to conceive despite no fertility issues. Additionally, understanding your ovulation cycle can also empower women who may have conditions that affect their fertility. Digital technology offers a unique insight into your body, putting you in charge of your pregnancy plan. 

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Avatar for Joe Long
Written By

Freelance women and men's health writer at Fertility Road.

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