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Most fertility app not reliable

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Washington: When it comes to planning a pregnancy, you may want to avoid depending on an app as a recent study has found that most of them are not “smart” enough.

The review of nearly 100 fertility awareness apps showed that most don’t employ evidence-based methodology.

The study, led by Marguerite Duane of Fertility Appreciation Collaborative to Teach the Science (FACTS) and Elizabeth T. Jensen of University of North Carolina, also suggests that many apps include a disclaimer discouraging use for avoiding pregnancy.

“Smartphone apps are increasing in popularity because more and more women are interested in using natural or fertility awareness based methods of family planning because they want to feel empowered with greater knowledge of their bodies,” said Duane.

The authors further wrote, “The effectiveness of fertility awareness based methods (FABMs) depends on women observing and recording fertility biomarkers and following evidence-based guidelines. Apps offer a convenient way to track fertility biomarkers, but only some employ evidence-based FABMs.”

Success using FABMs depends on many factors, including the ability to accurately make and classify daily observations. But the authors say relying solely on an FABM app may not be sufficient to avoid pregnancy.

For the review, more than 95 apps were identified on iTunes, Google, or Google play. Of those, 55 were excluded from evaluation because they either had a disclaimer prohibiting use for avoiding pregnancy or did not claim to employ an evidence-based FABM.

“Only six apps had either a perfect score on accuracy or no false negatives (days of fertility classified as infertile),” the researchers wrote.

The study is published in the Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine. (ANI)

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