The birthrate among women under 30 has been falling steadily since 2010 while the rate among women in their late 30s, 40s and 50s has been rising, according to National Center for Health statistics.
“In my mind, if you had [unprotected] sex, you got pregnant and that was it,” said Kate Campbell, a 32-year-old Nashville resident, who was measuring her body temperature and taking ovulation tests twice a day for months to try to conceive — without success. “I wasn’t getting any positives. I was really shocked. How do people get pregnant by accident?”
After purchasing an Ava bracelet in April 2017, she discovered she had been missing her fertility window by about a week because her cycles were longer than normal and regular period-tracking apps didn’t pick that up. By August, she was pregnant, and her son, Canaan James, was born on April 27, 2018.
The internet is filled with women on forums, Facebook and videos seeking fertility advice. They say the problem is highly misunderstood and deeply underestimated.
“For someone, especially a family member, to say, ‘Well, are you doing it right?’ or ‘Do you know what you’re doing?’ — I know they’re joking — but it’s not funny to me. It’s just rude,” said a woman who identifies herself as Jolene Grizzle in a YouTube video, as she described her struggle with fertility, which included using Ava. (It didn’t work for her.)
The Ava bracelet collects data on nine parameters, including skin temperature, resting pulse rate, breathing, sleep movement, and stress levels, while the woman sleeps. Once the bracelet is synced to the person’s phone in the morning, Ava’s proprietary algorithm achieves an 89 percent accuracy rate at detecting 5.3 fertile days each cycle, according to the company.
By measuring temperature and other variables, Ava is able to track changes in both progesterone and estrodial levels, Ms. Von Bidder said.