Women’s perspectives on smartphone apps for fertility tracking and predicting conception: a mixed methods study

Dawn-Li Blair, Heather Morgan* (Corresponding Author), David J McLernon

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
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Women use fertility tracking apps (FTAs) for conception purposes, but user perspectives on FTA use for conception are largely unknown. In collaboration with SPD Clearblue, this study explored: how women trying to conceive use FTAs; women’s knowledge of their conception chances; and women’s feelings towards a potential natural conception prediction app (NCPA).

A mixed methods design was used (online survey and phone interviews). Participants were women 18–40 years old actively trying to conceive.

The survey received 154 responses and 24 interviews were conducted. Thematic analysis of interviews found that women consider several factors before trying to conceive (ex. age, financial and job security, stability of relationship, etc.) and may adopt lifestyle and behaviour changes when trying (ex. increasing exercise, smoking cessation, diet changes, etc.). Survey results indicated that nearly all respondents were aware of FTAs (n = 146, 94.8%), however, several other fertility and conception information sources were also used (ex. health care providers, online sources, family and friends, etc.). Nearly all respondents reported they would use an NCPA (n = 153, 99.4%). During interviews women had positive feelings towards such an app due to it offering new and individualised information, but worried the app could provide upsetting information.

This research elaborates on women’s uses of and interest in FTAs. Stakeholders should use this research to reflect on current conception experiences and possibilities for improvement through development of an NCPA. Future research should seek opinions from a more diverse sample of women to inform the development of an inclusive NCPA.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)119-127
Number of pages9
JournalEuropean Journal of Contraception & Reproductive Health Care
Issue number2
Early online date12 Feb 2021
Publication statusPublished - 2021

Bibliographical note

We would like to thank all our survey respondents and interview participants, without whom this research would not have been possible. Additionally, we would like to thank the Clearblue team at SPD Development Company Ltd., for their assistance and support with volunteer recruitment and assistance with implementation of the research.
This work was conducted as an MPH research project at the University of Aberdeen. SPD Development Company Ltd. (Clearblue) provided pregnancy and ovulation tests as rewards for participants who completed interviews.


  • Digital Health Apps Fertility Mixed Methods Conception Prediction
  • Pharmacology (medical)
  • Obstetrics and Gynaecology
  • Reproductive Medicine


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