Tuesday, 12 January 2010

There's An App For That*

I got an iPhone just before Christmas. I know, lucky me.

And, as I anticipated, it suddenly made me cooler, more popular, and a more attractive prospect (...for muggers anyway).

As a technology novice, I didn't really know where to start with the apps (well, not once I'd sorted out Scrabble and Twitter). I've never even had an iPod so just working out podcasts was a struggle that needed a good few weeks to recover from.

But in an idle moment the other day I decided to check out what fertility-related apps were around.

I wanted was one where I could record my periods, ovulation dates and medical interventions so that at any given time in doctor’s appointments I would have any relevant information quite literally at my fingertips. (At the moment all this info is scribbled on various scraps of paper). But being as tight as Kylie Minogue's arse I was only really looking for free or cheap options:

iOvulationLite

If you are worried that random people might pounce on your phone idly having a scroll through your apps (and you want to be discreet about your baby-making ambitions) this is not for you. The name emblazoned under the app icon doesn't leave much to the imagination.

Although you can set a password so no one can actually get in and see what days you have been 'intimate' (yes you can record which days your partner gets his end away).

The annoying thing about this app (for my purposes) is that when downloaded you can only add in your last period date. So you can't back-date the info.

The other thing that will put your iPhone in danger (I almost threw mine across the room) is that, once this app has established when your period is and you've added in your cycle length (you know, just imagining it is constant) and the number of days in your luteal phase (between ovulating and starting your period, should you not get pregnant) is not only calculates your most fertile days, but ... get this ... really ... it tells you which days you should shag if you want to conceive a girl and which for a boy.

*stunned*

Its only caveat is: “The Gender Predictor feature is suggested to be used for prediction purposes only it doesn't give any complete assurance or guarantee of conceiving a child of a particular gender”

Hmm, maybe they should say, to be more succinct: “the Gender Predictor is total bollocks for the more gullible amongst you.

So we move on ...

FMC

This is more subtle. It just looks like a calendar, and whilst we know the initials stand for Fertility Menstrual Calendar, your average iPhone snoop will no doubt assume it is a Fast Moving Consumer Calendar or some such.

Again you can password protect the app.

Again you add the first day of your last period.

But, again, you can’t add previous period dates. You can’t change your luteal phase from month to month, or cycle length.

So again only really good for the more clockwork amongst us.

MC
Getting even more discreet we have the initials MC (stands for My Cycles) and a icon pretty picture of a flower (cause we ladies love flowers) to denote what this app is about.

The features aren’t much different from the above. It looks slightly better.

It also has a communities tab which then directs you to “recommended communities’ which might be of interest (just seems to direct you to Q &a As from various sectors – Fertility, pregnancy over 35 etc.) But if you are reading this you probably have your own blog community to lean on (of which I hope I am part).

I managed to go back and mark my ovulation days. However, in month view there is no indication which days have notes, so you have to open each day's notes section to see when you ovulated in the past.

On the plus side you mark days of intercourse rather than the more coy ‘intimate’ days (blurgh).

Ov Calendar

I can’t tell if this is subtle or not any more. I can’t imagine seeing the words Ov Calendar and not immediately knowing it refers to Ovulation, but maybe that just says more about my preoccupations.

My favourite thing about this is the first thing you see is a button entitled Legends. Hullo yes, that’ll be me. Oh no, it is the key, still I can dream.

Again, no backdating option, and pretty ugly.

This was starting to piss me off so I decided to throw money at the situation.

A whole £1.19 (that’ll be 1.09 USD) for:

P Tracker

You can certainly see where your money goes. Immediately this looks more professional and slick than the previous options. And you can add past period dates, as you add them it starts to calculate your average cycle length, updating itself with each period you enter.

Again a purty flower is the symbol and there is a passcode option for your privacy.

But, and this is annoying, although you can change the average number of days your luteal phase is, you can't change it month on month.

So you can change the period date but you can’t move the ovulation days, rubbish if your luteal phase, like mine, refuses to remain constant (or is triggered by drugs for an IUI or two).

I even went as far as to email the creators to double check I wasn't missing something– it seemed so basic. To be fair they responded quickly and decisively:

This function is not yet available.

However, if you like charts you’ll love this. You can use it to create charts relating to your average period length, cycle length, weight, temperature, symptoms, mood throughout the month. (But I worry if you started recording the latter you really are getting too introspective).

But what I really like about it is there is an option to email yourself the data. Or if your Doc really wants to know what days you were intimate (yes, they’ve reverted to the euphemisms), email them directly.

If only, if only, I could tweak the data to reflect my bodies erratic ovulation I’d give it 5 stars.

So tell me, do any of you use any fertility apps that you’d recommend?

And if this mammoth post wasn’t enough, check out me being all upbeat and positive over on Fertility Authority



*Unfortunately I have none of the legendary blogger-clout so all opinions are my own untainted by advertising and all purchases (even the bloody iPhone) were made with my own cash. So I am as unbiased as a bitter infertile can be in these situations.



15 comments:

  1. I can't believe there are that many apps out there. Thanks for the info! I have been relying on a crazy excel spreadsheet to track my cycles. Keep us posted on which one you like best!

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  2. I WANT AN iPHONE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    sorry...I got stuck with envy on the first line.

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  3. It's been a while but I used a PC free download called "Life Cycle" ... I think. Porbably exceptionally clunky / old / rubbish compared to these modern fandangled thingys.
    I was doing BBT at the time and found it pretty useful.

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  4. This is awesome... and once I decide to break down and get the iphone, I am totally getting at least one of these apps. Because I am tired of counting days on my fingers.

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  5. I can't bring myself to buy an iphone, I'm a crackberry addict through and through, I just know if I had an iphone I'd waste way too much money on apps. I can't believe there are so many fertility apps (and none that seem to do what we'd want!).

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  6. I use P tracker. It is not too bad but a bit basic and frustraing about not being able to change your ovulation days etc.

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  7. Well call me old-fashioned and geeky but I am a fan of Excel.

    With its formulas you can project future period / ovulation dates, work out average cycles lengths, and use colours for Ov dates and special cuddles etc. And also add a column for expected due dates. And then delete it. And then add it again.

    And you can print it out whenever you go to the Dr, so they can quickly see your history and pat you on the head for being such a good patient.

    But that said, I might try out some of the ones mentioned here..

    Gigi

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  8. Wow! I had no idea there were this many apps out there. I use on on my computer already, but if I had an iPhone... :)

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  9. A plus B, I didn't even scratch the surface.

    Megan, you really do, they are as good as they are made out to be. (Just to rub it in)

    Corymbia, I still haven't got round to the BBt thing, but now I can do it on my phone I may start.

    I know, Irrational, and taking shoes and socks off to count toes in a doctors office is somewhat frowned upon.

    Serendipity, If you are addicted to the crackberry an iphone would be near fatal.

    Quite Nic, let me know if you find a better one.

    Gigi, you're old fashioned and geeky. (Well you did ask for it). Also, you don't have an iPhone so this is just academic for you. (Get an iPhone, you know they rock....)

    But you can't take your computer to the Doctors myprettyones, can you?

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  10. I use http://www.fertilityfriend.com/ , have done for years (has it been years? Oh CRAP). I have no idea whatsoever if it has an iPhone-able interface. Oh, wait, I think it DOES have a mobile version. Coo.

    (I so very much want an iPhone. Pouty envy face).

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  11. I've had the iPhone for almost a year and find myself downloading and only using apps that are about games and mindless fun. I installed one that was for weight loss (input your food, current weight, your loss) and I think it's got 2 entries in it. Blah.

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  12. I take May's Pouty Envy face and replicate it!

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  13. Wow! If i ever get an iPhone I'll have to remember this post!

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  14. I use the FertilityFriend mobile version-just started using it and like it so far. I don't know all the bells and whistles on it yet :)

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  15. Crikey, I am so impressed with your patience and your organisation. I just write P in the top corner of my diary for first day of each period (just in case I do get pregnant!)

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I've resisted word verification for ages but I'm getting so many spam comments at the moment that I think it is time. Sorry!