There are a lot of ups and downs when trying to conceive. If you immediately get that positive pregnancy test result, congratulations! However, many couples benefit from extra help in the baby-making department.
the Ava Fertility Tracker is a device that identifies the fertile days in your cycle, taking some of the guesswork out of the process. Here is more information about this tool, how it works, how effective it is, and other things you might want to consider before trying it yourself.
The Ava Fertility Tracker is a sensor device – a bracelet – that you wear while you sleep each night. It measures certain physiological characteristics, including:
- skin temperature
- heart rate variability
- Respiratory rate
- perfusion, or the rate at which blood moves through body tissues
As these characteristics change throughout the menstrual cycle, they help indicate when ovulation has occurred. For example, body temperature tends to rise after ovulation.
As the data is collected month after month, it is managed via an application (available for Apple and android). The idea is that over time, the app’s algorithm can predict when ovulation might occur, giving you an accurate fertility window that’s unique to your own menstrual cycle.
The tracker and its app are intended to help couples trying to conceive identify their 5 days fertile period when sexual intercourse can most likely lead to pregnancy. This tracker is intended only to help couples get pregnant. The company says it shouldn’t be used as a contraceptive device, which means it’s not approved to prevent pregnancy.
The bracelet has been tested for cycles lasting between 24 and 35 days. So if your cycle is shorter or longer than that, it might not be the best choice for you.
It’s also not suitable for you if you wear a pacemaker, as the heart rate data may not be as accurate. Ava may also not be a good match for people who have hives or other allergic reactions with sweating, known as cholinergic urticaria.
Using Ava is relatively simple. You simply put the bracelet on before going to bed. You sleep with. Then you sync the bracelet with the Ava app in the morning when you wake up. All data is collected overnight and is then processed by the algorithm to create your own fertility analysis.
Step by step instructions:
- Once you have your wristband, download the app and then pair the two to work together. The wristband should be charged for at least 4 hours before first use.
- You’ll wear the band on your non-dominant hand and tighten it to the same notch (with one finger gap) each time you wear it for optimal accuracy.
- You can start using the bracelet any day of your cycle. Just make sure to wear it for at least 4 hours.
- When you wake up, you sync with your app to view your data.
- As you continue to wear the device cycle after cycle, the data may refine and narrow your fertility window as best as possible.
Ava also lets you download and print the last 12 months of data from within the app. This can be helpful if you choose to enlist the help of a fertility specialist throughout your journey.
And once pregnant, the app also includes key information to track your baby’s development through the 9 months.
First, you will need to order your wristband. You can do this directly on the Ava website.
The cost of the Basic plan, which includes the tracking bracelet, app, online Ava community membership, and free shipping, is $279. There are also Plus and Premium plans ($309, $359) that include an e-book and a full refund if you’re not pregnant within 6-12 months.
The company advertises Ava to employers as an alternative to more expensive fertility treatments. So, you might want to check with your employer to see if they cover part or all of the wristband.
The bracelet is guaranteed for 1 year. You must be the original purchaser of the device for the warranty to be honored. It covers all hardware and accessories that bear the Ava trade name or logo. The company will refund you for the device, send you a new device, or repair your device.
The Ava site cites some interesting statistics:
- More than 75 percent of couples don’t know when to schedule sex to get pregnant.
- The correct timing of intercourse, presumably using the bracelet, can double chances of pregnancy.
- The tracker is more effective than strips that measure an increase in luteinizing hormone (LH), called LH ovulation tests.
- Some 30 percent of “sub-fertile” women who tried their tracker became pregnant with use in just 1 year.
Sounds too good to be true? A small study 2021 on Ava showed that the device is indeed accurate when used to identify fertile and infertile days of the menstrual cycle.
Researchers studied 205 ovulatory cycles from a sample of 61 eumenorrhoeic women over the course of 6 months and compared Ava data with LH strip results. Regarding fertile days, the algorithms were correct 73.8 to 75.4 percent of the time. Regarding infertile days, the algorithms were correct 90.8 to 93.7 percent of the time.
Another one small study 2021 points out that wrist temperature may be more effective than the standard basal body temperature (BBT) method for tracking temperature changes after ovulation. Why? The researchers explain that a single BBT reading cannot be compared to continuous temperature monitoring captured at the wrist overnight. As a result, this tracking method can lead to better success in getting pregnant.
The Ava bracelet is just a part of a digital health company named Ava Science, Inc., based in San Francisco, California. Ava Fertility Tracker launched in 2016. More recently, it received clearance from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
the Better Business Bureau gives Ava Science a grade of A- Trustpilot gives the company a rating of 4.0 out of 5. What do people think? Well, the reviews are mixed. The app has several thousand reviews in all. He gets a 4.3 out of 5 stars in the Apple Store and a 3.7 out of 5 stars on Google Play.
Reviewers share that the device is easier to use than messy ovulation predictor kits and more convenient than remembering to take BBT at the same time each day. Others say it may have saved them thousands of dollars on fertility treatments. When it comes to customer service, positive reviews point out that the company responds quickly to issues and will replace the bracelet strap if it breaks, no questions asked.
However, many people believe that these older methods may be more accurate in their experiments. Some reviewers chose to make both ovulation predictor kits and the bracelet to compare, and found that their ovulation predictions were wrong on the app. One woman even had her ovulation predicted for a certain day in the app, but a fertility appointment ultrasound showed she wouldn’t ovulate for a few days.
In summary, Ava works great for some people, but it may not be a solution that works for everyone.
There are a number of other fertility tracking apps, birth control apps, and fertility awareness methods that you may come across in your research.
Flo, for example, is a fertility tracker app that lets users enter information about their cycles. It can track days of spotting, bleeding, cervical mucus, temperature, and other data. But he doesn’t have a medical device that records data in real time.
OvuSense is a fertility tracker that only records temperature to be used for charting. If you have typical cycles, you can wear the sensor under your arm or under your wrist while sleeping. If you have PCOS, you can carry it inside the vagina.
How accurate is the Ava Fertility Tracker?
A small study from 2021 showed Ava could be over 75 percent precise to determine the most fertile days of the cycle. It may be over 93 percent accurate in determining which days in your cycle you are not fertile. A company press release suggests Ava might be up to the task 89 percent effective in refining the fertile window by 5 days each month.
How much does the wristband cost?
The basic Ava bracelet package costs $279 and includes free shipping. Your employer may or may not cover or reimburse this cost through fertility coverage, but it’s worth asking. Your Health Savings Account (HSA) or Flexible Spending Account (FSA) may be another option to explore.
Which is better, Flo or Ava?
Flo and Ava both aim to give users a more specific window in which to have sex to get pregnant. Flo relies on self-reported information to predict ovulation. Ava relies on the bracelet’s physiological markers. Which one is best really depends on your budget, your cycles (and whether Ava would work for an irregular cycle), and which one you can be consistent with using day in and day out.
How fast can I get pregnant using Ava?
The National Health Service says that by having sex every 2-3 days throughout the month, approximately 84 out of 100 couples will get pregnant within a year without using any devices. Ava can help identify the best days to have sex, which speeds up this process. However, successful conception is more complicated than the meeting of the sperm with the egg.
That said, when couples precisely synchronize their sexual relations with their fertile window and their ovulation, 38% can conceive within the first month, 68% within 3 months, 81% within 6 months and 92% after 1 year, according to a
Will all couples succeed with Ava?
It is important to point out that Ava has certain limitations. It is intended to help couples determine the best times in the cycle to have sex in order to conceive. If a couple has other fertility issues, including male fertility issues, the tracker may not be much help.
About 50,000 couples (and more) have gotten pregnant using the Ava bracelet. Although there are many more factors involved than the bracelet itself, it may be worth a try if you’re looking to find out when your most fertile days are.
If you’ve been trying to conceive for more than a year and you’re under 35, or if you’ve been trying to conceive for 6 months and you’re over 35, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends making an appointment with your doctor to discuss other fertility issues that may be at play.