Revolutionary fertility monitor helps couples conceive without IVF
14 October 2009
DuoFertility is a groundbreaking new fertility monitor developed by
Cambridge University spin-out Cambridge Temperature Concepts Ltd, which
helps women to maximise their chances of conceiving naturally without
resorting to fertility treatment.
One in six women in the UK have difficulties conceiving — and is
predicted to rise to one in three by 2020. Many women turn to costly,
invasive fertility treatments such as IVF, which typically has a success
rate of 20%.
The DuoFertility reader and sensor
DuoFertility has a revolutionary way of measuring body basal
temperature (BBT) to detect ovulation. BBT is the lowest temperature
attained by the body during rest and increases by approximately 0.3°C
during ovulation; if accurately detected, this can help to identify the
most fertile days of a woman’s cycle, allowing her to plan intercourse
to maximise her chances of conceiving.
However, BBT is not generally considered to be a reliable indicator
of ovulation due to the requirement for users to take manual temperature
DuoFertility has solved this problem by automatically measuring a
woman’s temperature 20,000 times every 24 hours, allowing it to predict
fertile days up to 6 days in advance. It also allows users to enter
general fertility clues, input to advanced algorithms that predict the
optimum time to try to conceive up to 6 days in advance.
In addition, a number of other general fertility clues and health
symptoms, such as ovulation pain, cervical mucus quality and illness,
can be manually input into the monitor to aid the analysis and improve
DuoFertility has developed advanced, proprietary algorithms that
analyse all the input to predict the optimum time to try and conceive up
to 6 days in advance. DuoFertility is currently the only fertility
monitor on the market to incorporate these factors into its analysis,
making it the solution of choice for couples that want to put all the
chances of achieving pregnancy on their side.
Dr D Naumann, GP in Paderborn, Germany explained, “One of the
traditional methods for ovulation monitoring is the measurement of BBT.
However, because of the way it was measured in the past, it was not
considered reliable by some experts. It required the woman to wake up
early at the same time everyday to make a measurement with a thermometer
and so it often caused them stress, worry and loss of sleep which was
not favourable to achieving pregnancy. Ideally one needs a continuous
measurement of temperature throughout the night to determine BBT.”
Dr Oriane Chausiaux, DuoFertility’s Chief Scientific Officer, added
that, “The very actions of waking up to take the reading could change
the body temperature. Additionally, as traditional oral BBT measurement
provided a single data point per day, it was often difficult for the
user to identify the temperature change until 2 or 3 days after
ovulation — by which point the fertility window of opportunity was over.
"It took considerable discipline to take the temperature correctly
every day without fail — miss a day and you could miss the first data
point for ovulation altogether. All these factors, combined with the
need for the couple to graph the data manually and interpret the data
themselves left too much room for error and consequently, in the UK, BBT
was not the preferred ovulation monitoring method.”
However, the fundamental science behind BBT as an indicator of
ovulation is well established. The ruptured follicle? left behind after
the release of the egg? forms the corpus luteum?, which secretes
progesterone? that causes a rise in BBT of as little as 0.3°C.
The challenge is to find a way to accurately detect this change, or
biphasic? pattern, on an automatic basis, isolating it from the normal
body temperature changes that can go up or down by a couple of degrees
during a day – solving this challenge is exactly what DuoFertility does.
DuoFertility consists of two parts — the sensor and the display unit.
The coin-sized sensor is discreetly attached under the arm using an
adhesive patch, where it can be worn continuously and removed and
replaced as required.
Patented technology enables it to measure a woman’s temperature to
within hundredths of a degree, enabling changes in BBT to be accurately
determined. This non-intrusive, fully automatic system collects more
than 20,000 temperature measurements during each 24 hour period and
processes this data for analysis.
The sensor is wirelessly linked to the small, hand-held display unit
which is roughly the size of a computer mouse. This further analyses the
data from the sensor displays fertile days up to six days in advance.
This prediction enables couples to plan ahead for when to try for a
“Having a few days notice to plan for a romantic evening, according
to our users’ feedback, removes a huge amount of stress and can make a
significant improvement to the chances of becoming pregnant,” said Dr
Shamus Husheer, the inventor of DuoFertility and CEO of the company
behind it, Cambridge Temperature Concepts Ltd.
“All data can be displayed on a computer for examination in greater
detail by the user or her doctor. DuoFertility also goes a step further
- under strict confidentiality, each entry is sent to DuoFertility’s
server to contribute as input to the DuoFertility algorithms. The
algorithms learn and improve the accuracy of the prediction as more data
is collected and also draw on patterns and data from other women in the
company’s database for further optimisation,” added Dr Husheer.
“Our sophisticated software also flags up when someone has unusual
results so that our fertility experts can analyse the data and contact
the user with advice. We establish very close relationships with our
users to assist them with the challenge of becoming pregnant and users
really appreciate having our expert help and advice.”
Bookmark this page