Sensor bracelet helps combat fertility issues


SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC4 News) – Trying to conceive can be a challenge for many people and couples. In fact, about one in six couples struggle with fertility issues. But what if there was a way to track exactly the two days a woman is most likely able to conceive? ABC4 Utah looked into a device that claims to take all the stress and guess work out of having a baby.

It’s called the Ava Fertility Tracker. It is a bracelet is worn at night, and tracks a woman’s cycle, revealing her peak week and her two high peak days for conception.

32-year-old Lizzie McGee is a St. George mom who says she gave birth to the first “Ava Baby” using this device. McGee and her husband were about to start artificial insemination after four years of heartache, when McGee got pregnant with her firstborn, Brooks.
“After all of everything it was a miracle that we were able to have my first,” says McGee, “I was nervous how long it would take for me to get pregnant with my second, and we were trying four months before I saw the Ava.” 

Lizzie saw the Ava ad on Facebook.  It took six months to receive the sensor bracelet because the product was in its infancy. For the 10 months prior to receiving the bracelet, she and her husband were blindly trying to conceive. But with the Ava, McGee was pregnant with her second child, Jace, just three months later. 
So how does it work, and was it really the Ava that helped Lizzie and her husband conceive?

Through an app on your phone, Ava measures nine physiological parameters which provides information on the rise in reproductive hormones.  The calendar in the app  is color coded for the five day fertility window, and two peak days before ovulation. That means there is no need for ovulation strips and taking your basal temperature every morning.

Dr. Erica Johnstone is an Associate Professor at the University of Utah Center for Reproductive Medicine. Dr. Johnstone says the device isn’t for everyone, and not absolutely necessary for healthy couples. However, she does say it could help eliminate the guesswork. 

“It’s in some ways the next generation from things that have been used in the past… this provides a little more information than those things do, and potentially one of the benefits where a phone app really can’t say definitely whether a woman is ovulating or not, this may be helpful in helping a woman understand not only when she’s ovulating, but if she’s ovulating,” explains Dr. Johnstone. 

For McGee, the Ava bracelet took two months to figure out her body, and by the third, the Ava was right on target.

“I saw the ovulation date move back, move back, move back, and then it stuck on a day, and it said ‘this is going to be your day’…I called my mom and my sister, and I said ‘This month I’m getting pregnant.’ The Ava completely figured me out, I could tell with my body following what it was saying, that I was going to get pregnant,” says McGee. 

Dr. Johnstone says if you’re wanting to get pregnant, start with your doctor or OBGYN.

“Times when we get worried is if you’ve been trying to conceive for a year or  more, then it’s time to see a doctor, time to do some evaluation. If a woman is 35 or older, we want to start that process sooner,” says Johnstone. 

After going through infertility issues herself, McGee says she is thankful for the Ava bracelet. 

“To be able to just put on a bracelet before I go to bed, and then I am able to get to know my body, and to get this beautiful baby here, it’s everything,” says McGee. 

The Ava bracelet was invented in Switzerland. It is an FDA approved device and is in its second clinical trial.  It costs around $250. Click here for more information about the Ava bracelet. 

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