How Accurate Are Fertility Apps?

How Accurate Are Fertility Apps?

For many young women, digital menstrual-cycle monitors are a 21st century solution to the rhythm method (notoriously unreliable) and another fun way to use a smart phone!

Fertility apps do enable women to monitor their menstrual cycles, but the digital programs have been getting a bad rap lately. The Department of Family Medicine at Georgetown University did an exhaustive study of fertility apps and teased out the top 40 from around 100 that are currently available. From that pool they found only Ovulation Mentor, Sympto.org, iCycleBeads, LillyPro and Lady Cycle had either a perfect score on accuracy or no false negatives. (We could not locate info on one other reliable app they cited.)

But if you are going to rely on these, the study authors point out, learning everything you can about the app is essential. And, we suggest, to either achieve or avoid pregnancy, you’ll do best by pairing the app with another method. To check for optimal fertility, taking your temperature is smart—it rises when ovulation occurs. And to avoid pregnancy, there’s always abstinence or contraception.

Medically reviewed in December 2018.

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