IN A NUTSHELL
Ava is a gadget designed for women to track their menstrual cycles. Worn at night on the wrist like a watch, it tracks a number of metrics, including pulse rate, skin temperature, movement and sleep pattern.
Its main function seems to be to help women find out when they are most fertile and likely to conceive, but it’s also being advertised as an overall wellbeing monitor.
If you’re into tracking what’s going on with your body, then it could be a good one for you.
My main bug bear with this gadget is how difficult it is to put on/fasten. You have to do it up fairly tightly, so the sensors are pressed right up against your skin. Easier said than done, though, as it has a stretchy strap and two plastic tag things that you have to push through holes in the other side of the strap. I’m not explaining it very well, but trust me, it’s fiddly.
Also, the app isn’t available on Android yet (at least not in the UK*), so I’m not able to actually use it on my phone. I downloaded the iOS app onto my iPad, but it’s obvious it’s not optimised for a tablet as it looks all over the place.
I suppose it’s as comfortable as a wearable is going to get – they’ve designed it so it is as compact as possible, with the tech bits and bobs encased in a kind of plastic oval that’s about 3.5cm across and 1cm deep. I just don’t like sleeping with stuff on my arms – I’d find even the thinnest chain bracelet irritating, so it’s not for me. There have actually been a couple of times I’ve woken up in the morning to find I’m no longer wearing the Ava, obviously having removed it in the night in a mid-slumber rage.
On top of this it makes a buzzing noise. It’s a very faint little ‘zzzzzz’, but still loud enough that my husband noticed it one night. Needless to say, he wasn’t terribly impressed.
I have a free period tracker app on my phone, which, having entered nothing more than the dates of my previous periods, predicts the exact same fertile window and ovulation day as Ava does. It’s worth noting that I do sometimes forget to wear it, so perhaps the predictions would be more accurate if I was more strict with my usage.
Do a quick search online and It seems the Ava bracelet has received a fair bit of positive feedback from users but, personally, I just don’t think it’s worth the price tag. If I were trying for a baby, I’d say using ovulation strips, which test your hormone levels, would be more reliable.
- UPDATE 04/03/17: The Ava app is now available on Android.