It beats using a thermometer, but the use of electronic sensors to determine the onset and peak of a woman’s ovulation, for the purpose of increasing the chance of pregnancy, shows how the road to ‘personal sensorship’ holds nothing in private.
MOTHERS-TO-BE endure the most undignified experiences. The same is true of those struggling to become pregnant. But Shamus Husheer and his colleagues at Cambridge Temperature Concepts, a company spun out of Cambridge University, hope to change that. They have created a device that, they believe, will help women who are experiencing fertility problems to conceive.
The patch that collects the relevant data is worn on the body beneath the arm, just above or below the bra line. It need only be worn at night, but can be worn the whole time for convenience. It contains a coin-shaped sensor encapsulating two thermometers, a movement detector and a battery. The patch takes the woman’s temperature every few seconds, and uses the difference between the two thermometer readings to determine whether she is naturally warm or is being heated or cooled by her surroundings. The movement detector is there to identify when she is sound asleep.
During the day, the wearer uploads the data collected overnight to a display unit, which is the size of a computer mouse and communicates wirelessly with the patch. This tells her whether she has ovulated, based on any rise in her basal body temperature that the patch has noticed. However, DuoFertility can do more than just record the moment of ovulation. If a user enters extra information into the device, such as the date of her last menstruation and the results of any hormone tests she may be taking, it will try to give enough notice of her next ovulation for her to plan a suitably romantic evening.
[Source: The Economist]