Monday, January 21, 2013

MyFertilityMD - A Review


(Note:  I am not being compensated in any way for this review*.  Also, I'll be talking about fertility-related things so if words like cervix and mucous freak you out, I advise you to go ahead and turn this one off.  ;)
*though I certainly wouldn't say no if they offered.


You guys, I am SO happy to share this newest advancement in fertility awareness!  MyFertilityMD is a new app that was released a few months ago by the folks at www.myfertilitycycle.com .  MyFertilityMD is a tool for charting a woman's cycles so that it can be determined whether or not her body is fertile on a given date.  Then, depending on the couple's present mindset, they can try to achieve or avoid a pregnancy using that knowledge.  I cannot recommend it highly enough for those looking for an up to date, simple, and most importantly to me, healthy and moral method of family planning.

It seems that MyFertilityMD is mostly based on the Creighton model of Natural Family Planning, a method that is 99% effective and scientifically sound.  The app, however, also combines the best research of all the methods, making it the most comprehensive tool out there that I've seen.  It is a method that uses the signs of a woman's body to determine her fertility.  It is knowledge, pure and simple.  Using modern methods of natural family planning ELIMINATES the "need" for dangerous pills, abortifacients, risky surgeries, synthetic barriers, or powerful artificial hormones being pumped through a woman's body.  Unlike these other methods it is also environmentally sound.  It is a method of living that respects the way a woman's body was designed and does not seek to "fix" her with chemicals or surgery.  


The app, get this, eliminates the need for paper charts and tiny stickers!  (Of course, this means no more two year olds stealthily affixing little white baby stickers to the furniture, the walls, and their various body parts so there is that loss.)  The charting is all done on your smart phone and BY the app.  No stickers or paper charts and no hiding the markers from your two year old.  The ones you've been using to compensate for the fact that you're too lazy to buy new stickers.  The same markers that will be found by said two year old and used to "decorate" your brand new white duvet while your husband sleeps seventeen inches away.  Not that that has ever happened here.  I was just...imagining that that might happen.  At someone else's house.  

But, ahem, back to the app.  All you do is put in your fertility signs, which takes about twenty seconds or so a day and the app charts it out for you.  Bam.  You're done.

Some of the things I (and maybe you will) love about the new MyFertilityMD app:
  • You have 24/7 access to a real doctor for any questions or concerns that may pop up.  Did you read that?  Try calling your normal doctor at 8 p.m. with a question about your mucous pattern.  "Dr. Smith?  This is Mary.  I was just in the bathroom checking my mucous and...what?  Mary.  I saw you a few months ago?  The crunchy granola one with the weird ideas about birth control?  Yeah, that one.  Anyway, my mucous stretched but I couldn't tell whether it was cloudy or clear. and...Dr. Smith?  Yes, my mucous...Um, yes...from there....Hello?"
  • I was actually able to test this feature out last night.  I've been a bit confused on some of my fertility signs this postpartum time and I emailed the doctor through the app.  Within an hour on a SUNDAY NIGHT, I had an email back addressing my specific question.  Amazing.
  • Your charts are stored in your phone.  Or in my case, my husband's phone.  Which is actually kind of helpful when he's wondering during the day where we are fertility-wise.  Because he cares about my health.  And other things.
  • If you do happen to already work with a doctor, nurse, midwife or NFP teacher who understands and respects fertility awareness, you can email them your chart RIGHT FROM YOUR PHONE.  
  • To chart each day, the app asks you questions about your fertility signs that day.  For some reason having it laid out like that makes it simpler for me to remember the signs to look for.  Answer the questions.  It's that simple.
  • For people who use additional signs to confirm ovulation there is an option to add those to your observations, too.  Temperature, ferning (I don't know what that means), Clearblue monitor readings, and cervix positioning can all be charted.
  • They call it "organic" family planning.  Seriously, WHY have we not been using that language yet?  I LOVE that.
  • Right now it is selling for $4.99.  That's it.  Forever.  That's way less than one month of birth control pills, a box of condoms (I think...), an appointment to insert an IUD, etc.  They are NOT making money off of this. 
  • Your phone will alert you to remind you to chart at the end of the day.  I need that.
  • There are photos available if you have a question about the specifics of your observations.
  • Charting your cycle with various methods of organic family planning is an incredible diagnostic tool to treat infertility, hormonal imbalances, PCOS, endometriosis, PMS, and other health issues.  The fact that you can email your charts or very easily bring them into an appointment with your doctor, midwife or instructor means that women can be treated - and healed - that much more effectively. 
  • Let's be real.  The app looks way cooler and more modern than the old paper charts.  And since it looks cool and it's on my husband's gadget phone, he's more into it as well.
  • Lastly, I feel like it respects women and men to be able to understand their fertility.  The app lays things out simply without being condescending.  It's not rocket science but it is effective and empowering.  I really feel like being told to take a pill or get "fixed" (i.e. broken) while easier in some ways is condescending.
Some of the things that could use improvement:
  • Honestly, there are not many things wrong with this app, in my opinion.  There is a forum for discussion that at this point only has a few threads and no answers.  I'm hoping that will be remedied as questions are answered and more and more users access the forums.  
  • I wish there was more discussion on the special circumstances for charting, like when you are breastfeeding and your cycle hasn't returned and your signs are a bit wacked out.  Like where I am now.  I think perhaps they are trying to highlight the simplicity of using organic family planning but I think it would behoove them to perhaps have a special section in their informational tab regarding special circumstances.
  • I would like the ability to make little personal notes on a specific day in the chart.  In the past, I've found it really helpful to record things like mittleschmerz (love that word...it refers to the sharp pains some women can feel when they are ovulating) or cramping or traveling or illness on my chart.  I think having that option would make the chart an even greater diagnostic tool.  
  • It would be nice if there was another option for those who don't have a smartphone.  Even being able to use a website in the same way.  Perhaps there is somewhere out there?
  • While this app makes charting a breeze, it doesn't change the essence of organic family planning.  That means that it can sometimes be hard.  If you're using it to avoid a pregnancy, both you and your partner need discipline, communication, a good measure of self control, and true sacrificial love.  No getting around that one.
Have I sold you?  
If you're not already a user of organic family planning and are sick and tired of popping strong hormone pills or wearied by the physical, emotional, and spiritual side effects of artificial contraception, I STRONGLY encourage you to begin looking into fertility awareness and organic family planning.  You deserve it.  Your partner deserves it.  And it works.  If you are already a user of some form of natural family planning, give the app a try.  I think you'll like it.

Please feel free to leave any questions or share your own experiences with organic family planning!




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11 comments:

  1. OH my gosh!!! This is so exciting! :) I will be charting very soon (I am single, no projected wedding date in the future, as of yet) and will be dong the Creighton Method. So, I am really excited about this app. Thank you for sharing and taking the time to write this awesome review!!

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    1. You're welcome! Good for you for charting now! I wish I had known all of this way back as a young'un with crazy cycles. It would have been cool information to have, you know? I remember learning NFP in the beginning and for the first time ever I could accurately predict when I would begin my cycle...would've been helpful before that!

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  2. Awesome! Totally getting the app. I'm just soooo undisciplined about paper charting! Obviously. Ahem.

    Great review, Mary, thanks for writing it!

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    1. Ha! You have a little while before you'll need it :) I'm the same way...I used to keep it in the nightstand but by the time I'd get in bed (afraid to turn on the light or make ANY noise lest I wake up a little one) I normally was too fried to remember anyway. I'm liking this way a lot more.

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  3. Very cool! I'm pregnant but will check this out after the new little one arrives. I use a Marquette-ish method developed by the Archdiocese of Boston - a combination of CM, temp, and fertility monitor readings. From what I understand, the CM observations I have been taught are much less detailed than with Creighton - still think it could work?

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    1. I'm not an expert on the differences of the various methods but I most definitely think it would work. The observations are very simple with the app - bleeding, lubrication, and presence of mucous (if mucous is present then you just have to estimate the length and color). Easy peasy. If you wanted you could add in your observations from temping and the monitor but those are just for your own confirmation and confidence rather than crucial to the charting. I think you'll like it. Congrats on the new little one!

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  4. fyi, just checking out the website and you can login and chart right from there!

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    1. The Website is not functional, and is under construction. The release date is not set in stone, but we are crossing our fingers for Feb 2013. Thank you for your interest, and please like MyFertilityMD on FB to keep updated on the release dates.

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  5. Oh that is awesome that you can use the website!!!
    BTW ferning is when a sample of saliva applied to a glass, looks like ferns under magnification. You can actualy (or at least you used to be able to) buy a simple saliva tester at Walmart and they really do work:)

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    1. Website is still under construction at this time....but should be available very soon. Please do not try to chart, or use those features at this time. We will keep FB page updated when www.myfertilitycyle.com is ready for charting.

      Thank you for your interest.

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