Click the link above on an opinion piece about apps that track your cycle and social media ads.
Personally, when I was TTC I used FF and OPKs. I learned about FF from HB. Would I have blamed you all if I didn’t get pregnant? no. On the flip side, I still use FF and my own knowledge of CM for instance to prevent pregnancy.
Do you think cycle apps are on par with other contraceptives? Should social media influencers and celebs hawk these products?
persimmon / 1281 posts
Caveat: I currently chart to avoid and charted to help become pregnant when I was TTC my son.
I feel like social media influencers have a target market of, what, 16-27ish year olds? Maybe a bit younger but...at 35, married and a part time WOHM, I can barely be bothered to temp every day. And there are definitely days where my temps are skewed due to interrupted sleep or drinking. So with a target market of late teens to early twenties, I don’t think this is a responsible marketing tactic. Do I think fertility apps can be as effective as other contraceptives? Yes. But they have to be used correctly and you have to be pretty damn regular. Do I think celebrities should be able to market them? Eh, I think it would be more responsible not to.
To be able to chart effectively, I feel like I basically had to take a reproductive biology class (via internet research) on all the things we should have been taught in school but weren’t. As a general rule, I don’t think women are knowledgeable enough about how their bodies work to use charting effectively (I know I wasn’t!), by no fault of their own. I do think it can be an effective form of birth control but there’s no way I would have been able to keep up with charting in my early 20’s.
If this company is going to continue to market via social media, I hope they stress how dedicated you really have to be & how much work it is.
That being said, I much prefer charting over hormonal birth control and if the person using it is responsible enough to commit to it and know the risks, I think it’s a fantastic choice.
kiwi / 500 posts
Millions of women, many of them in their young 20s, have been TTA using charting for decades and decades. They're called Catholics. (The stereotype of the large Catholic family generally comes from before temping was a thing.)
I don't think sticking a thermometer in your mouth for a minute is any more difficult than remembering to take a pill everyday.
Also, if cycle apps were used in conjunction with a fertility monitor, it'd be extremely effective. I've used a Persona (basically an Ovacue but marketed to avoid rather than conceive) for the past 13 years with no surprises. Taking 7 urine tests a month is really no trouble at all. The lack of side effects associated with hormonal birth control alone has been worth it.
Imagine if we discussed hormonal birth control with the intense scrutiny that fertility awareness gets. We just take for granted that hormonal birth control can potentially cause everything from seizures to high blood pressure to bone loss to infertility. The risks are low, but they are there. I recently read a statement from the inventor of the pill saying he predicted we'd phase out hormonal bc entirely because we can so accurately predict ovulation now. In my honest opinion, I think his prediction will never come to pass simply because there's too much money to be made by the pharmaceutical companies.
wonderful pea / 17279 posts
@Hypatia: Can you explain the stereotype in terms of TTA? I thought the stereotype came from not using birth control and thus not able to prevent-know when to- prevent pregnancy.
pomelo / 5257 posts
When we started TTC our second, I read this piece by Emily Oster comparing temping, tracking CM, and ovulation strips. In her research, she found that temping isn’t all that reliable—the test strips are more. So I never really bothered with temping. The test strips told me I consistently ovulate a few days late, so that was super helpful. I imagine this is also important info when trying to avoid, too. If temping is not the most reliable way to tell you’re fertile, I wouldn’t want to count on apps like these to prevent pregnancy 🤷♀️ http://www.slate.com/blogs/expecting_better/2013/09/04/ovulation_tracking_to_get_pregnant_should_you_chart_your_temperature_check.html
persimmon / 1111 posts
I firmly believe that NFP works, but the huge challenge is your body has a huge physiological urge to get pregnant. It's going to make you want to have sex while ovulating. Which is why it's horrible birth control. I've used it to avoid...and my 5 month old was conceived that first month. It wasn't that I didn't know I was ovulating, it was that my body didn't care. The high failure rate isn't because the science is wrong, it's because people are human.
I am a huge advocate for IUDs because the failure rate is so much lower. You can't mess them up in the same way.
My husband and I discussed charting to avoid again and we opted not to. It works okay for us, but between waking up at irregular times and being incredibly fertile, it just isn't a great option for us.
nectarine / 2180 posts
With PCOS and super irregular cycles just an app alone cannot predict even when my period will arrive and even temping I had to be super on time with to get right. I was only ever so confident in OPKs, probably bc I used wondfos and they are a pain to read but I did really need that to support temping. I would find it hard to chart to avoid and don't think it's something that can be used universally even if people have a super great understanding of how the female reproductive system and hormones work, which most Americans at least don't.
wonderful kiwi / 23653 posts
It would've never really worked unless I was A) good about temping/charting info and B) good with analyzing the data b/c my cycles were so crazy and "symptoms" were not obvious (like cm ,etc).
But now after my 2nd, my period is SO on time, and I am so aware of all symptoms like increased cm, feeling like I'm close to or at ovulation, etc. So I currently pretty much know when I'm safe, and we back up when I'm unsure.
pear / 1992 posts
I agree with a whole lot of what @Portboston said in her reply. My personal experience with fertility awareness methods comes from charting to avoid for 4 years prior to having LO. This was between the ages of 22-26 after years of awful HBC experiences. My fiance, then husband, talked about it extensively. We were both responsible. I read Taking Charge of Your Fertility cover to cover a few times and took it very seriously and was very conservative about abstaining/barrier methods when needed. But after 4 years we both got complacent, I relied on my history more than my temps/CM and there is DD1
Without committment and research I would have not been successful for as long as we were prior to conceiving. And I had a stable 8-5 job, single partner, didn't party or travel all that much, etc. etc. The same could be said for some in the social media influencer target group but defintely not all.
I think about it now and if these apps had been available to me at that time, it would have been very tempting to rely on them and their claims alone without putting in the work/research for myself. And I really feel like that would have led to conceiving earlier than we did.
All that said after DD1 was born, I knew my sleep and schedule would not be reliable enough for charting to avoid so I had an IUD placed. I'll likely do the same after this pregnancy prior to DH getting a vasectomy.