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Your Fitbit tracker might be able to do more than just help you reach 10,000 steps a day. It could also help you get pregnant. Clue, a woman-led digital health startup based in Berlin Germany conducted a small scale pilot study, that suggests women may be able to use data on their resting heart rate, to help them conceive.
The company was founded in 2012 by Danish entrepreneur, Ida Tin. Its main product is a free-to-download period tracking and fertility app, designed to help women around the world track their periods and better understand their bodies. To date, over two million women across more than 180 countries have downloaded and used Clue.
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Researchers associated with the study used Fitbit Charge HR devices to track six women’s resting heart rates (25-40 years old), ovulations, menstrual cycle lengths, and period durations for up to 12 menstrual cycles. There were also negative controls – female participants on hormonal birth control and a male participant.
The data derived from the study showed a clear rise in the resting heart rate following ovulation. Resting heart rate was significantly higher in both ovulatory and luteal phase (the second part of the cycle) when compared to menstruation and the follicular phase (the first part of the cycle).
The results were presented earlier this week at the yearly ESHRE meeting (European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology). While this is not a completely new finding, what is new is that this has never been done before with the help of a fitness tracker readily available to consumers.
“Wearable sensor technology is very powerful, as it can make us aware of the minute, but significant changes in our bodies. Lisa [Lisa Kennelly, Director of Marketing at Clue] and I were able to predict she is pregnant when she was only 4 weeks along, only by looking at the heart rate measurements. Of course, she missed her period too. This is a wonderful beginning of technology enabling us to have a better overview of our health.” said Dr. Vedrana Högqvist Tabor, Director of Scientific Research at Clue.
So if you are a Fitbit fan and are trying to get pregnant, pay attention to your resting heart rate. With the aid of the Clue app, your wearable may be able to help you determine the most ideal times for conceiving a child.