Making the decision to try and get pregnant is huge. You and your partner are making the decision to change your lives forever. For many, trying to get pregnant is an extremely exciting time. You get to have lots of sex, which is super awesome, and the knowledge that you’re bringing a new life in to the world is exhilarating.
But for some, trying to get pregnant is overwhelmingly stressful. This is particularly true for couples who are having trouble conceiving, struggling with infertility, or for women who have experienced miscarriages. We don’t talk about it publicly enough, but a lot of people have trouble getting pregnant or staying pregnant. About 10% of women struggle with infertility, but infertility is not just a women’s problem. Up to 15% of men are infertile. Between 15 and 20% of all pregnancies end in miscarriage and if you’ve had a miscarriage already your chance of having another goes up to 25%. Difficulty getting pregnant is a really common problem.
Like many of the problems we face in the digital age, many companies have developed technology to help couples who are struggling get pregnant. There are apps you can use to track your period, ovulation, and how often you’re having sex. There are wearables that help you predict when you’re most likely to conceive. And if you need to consult an infertility specialist, there’s advanced technologies available to increase your chances of conceiving a healthy baby.
Check out the tech you can use at home, and the tech available in your doctor’s office that can help you have a happy, healthy baby.
Free Fertility Tracking Apps:
When couples are trying to get pregnant and run in to problems, the first thing they usually try is apps that allow them to track their fertility. Some of these apps focus on tracking a woman’s cycle and fertility signs, but some of them offer tracking for both men and women.
The Glow app, available on iPhone and Adroid, allows both partners to track their fertility. There’s a calendar app that allows both partner to enter health indicators and symptoms that help predict fertility.
The more data you add, the more accurate the predictions about fertility get. Your data will also get translated in to actionable insights on what you can do to increase your chance of fertility. Best of all, you can sync your app with your partner’s app so you can see all your data in one place.
Ovia uses highly advanced algorithms to turn your health data in to super accurate predictions about the best times to conceive. As you add your period data each month, the app learns your cycle and adjusts its tracking information specifically to your cycle. It also allows you to track sleep, physical exercise, the number of times you have sex, and your basal body temperature. These additional data points are all combined to make more accurate fertility predictions.
Fertility Friend is one of the original fertility tracking apps and has one of the most advanced calendar applications for tracking fertility. It allows you to enter multiple data points about your cycle, your menstrual symptoms, and your sex life in order to predict the best days to get pregnant and even the best days to take a pregnancy test so you know as early as possible. The app also integrates with their website which is full of detailed resources about getting pregnant.
Tech you can use at home:
If you’ve been struggling to get pregnant for a while, it might be time to invest in some high tech to help you determine when you have the best chances of conceiving. There are at home options for both men and women.
For the ladies: Ava
Ava may look like your typical fitness tracker, but it’s not for tracking your latest run or calorie burn, though it does collect over 3 million data points. Ava is worn on your wrist while you sleep. It tracks all sorts of signals from your body like your heart rate, breathing, sleep quality, and temperature. It can also a detect a rise in the hormones that help you get pregnant and indicate that you are pregnant. The companion app then compiles and displays all this data, then predicts the best five day window for you to get pregnant.
Anyone who’s tried to get pregnant knows that timing is everything, so getting a sneak peek in to when you’re most likely to get pregnant is essential. Ava is available is available for $199 on the company’s website. The price may not be cheap, but for couples who have been struggling to conceive for years, accurate information about when to conceive is invaluable.
For the dudes: Trak
For couples who are wondering if their trouble getting pregnant is due to male infertility, the only way to really be sure is to get a sperm count test done. Low sperm count is leading cause of male infertility. It can get really annoying to schedule multiple appointments with the doctor for sperm count tests, and you may miss an optimal opportunity when sperm count is high, since sperm counts change all the time. Enter Trak, an at home sperm test kit that can be reused regularly.
You use a dropper to collect a small sperm sample, then put the sample in to a little centrifuge. The centrifuge spins the sample at really high speeds to isolate and count the sperm. Then the test displays easy to read results that tell you whether your count is low, normal, or optimal for conception. There’s also a companion app for tracking sperm count over time and tips for improving your sperm count.
The Trak system is available on their website for $199. Like the Ava, the price is steep, but not if you compare it to how much you’ll spend by going to the doctor for every test.
Tech your doctors can use to help you conceive a healthy baby:
Many couples who have persistent trouble with conceiving need to seek help from fertility specialists. Some couples find they cannot conceive on their own and need to undergo In Vitro Fertilization (IVF). In IVF, an egg from the mother is fertilized by the father’s sperm in a laboratory and the embryo is then implanted in to the mother’s uterus. This is a tricky process. Luckily, doctors have access to some pretty cool tech that will help increase the chances of successful IVF.
Embryoscope is technology that allows doctors to continually monitor the development of the embryo before implantation. They get real time data about how the embryo is growing and whether there are any complications. Embryoscope also provides secure storage for the embryos, providing the ideal conditions for proper development.
All of this high tech equipment leads to higher chances of a viable embryo developing for implantation. It also allows doctors to identify non-viable embryos earlier so the process can be restarted.
Comprehensive Chromosome Screening (CCS)
One of the most complicated parts of IVF is identifying and nurturing a viable embryo. In the past, it was hard to identify chromosomal defects or weaknesses before the implantation, and these defects would cause trouble with implantation or miscarriage later in pregnancy. A woman could undergo multiple embryo implantations before staying pregnant. Now embryos can undergo CCS, a process where the embryo is examined on the molecular level to look for chromosomal defects or missing chromosomes. Embryos that have defects can be identified and discarded instead of being implanted, which increases the chances of a successful pregnancy.
If you’re having trouble getting pregnant it may seem like things will never get better and you’ll never be able to have the baby you want so badly.
Often, this is not the case. Technology has made it so most couples can get pregnant eventually. Start checking out these technologies that can help, and good luck. Our fingers are crossed for you!