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Modern fertility awareness methods: Wrist wearables capture the changes of temperature associated with the menstrual cycle


Shilaih, Mohaned; Goodale, Brianna M; Falco, Lisa; Kübler, Florian; De Clerck, Valerie; Leeners, Brigitte (2017). Modern fertility awareness methods: Wrist wearables capture the changes of temperature associated with the menstrual cycle. Bioscience Reports:Epub ahead of print.

Abstract

Core and peripheral body temperatures are affected by changes in reproductive hormones during the menstrual cycle. Women worldwide use the basal body temperature (BBT) method to aid and prevent conception. However, prior research suggests taking one's daily temperature can prove inconvenient and subject to environmental factors. We investigate whether a more automatic, non-invasive temperature measurement system can detect changes in temperature across the menstrual cycle. We examined how wrist-skin temperature (WST), measured with wearable sensors, correlates with urinary tests of ovulation and may serve as a new method of fertility tracking. One hundred and thirty-six eumenorrheic, non-pregnant women participated in an observational study. Participants wore WST biosensors during sleep and reported their daily activities. An at-home luteinizing hormone test was used to confirm ovulation. WST was recorded across 437 cycles (mean cycles/participant=3.21, S.D.=2.25). We tested the relationship between the fertile window and WST temperature shifts, using the BBT three-over-six rule. A sustained three-day temperature shift was observed in 357/437 cycles (82%), with the lowest cycle temperature occurring in the fertile window 41% of the time. Most temporal shifts (307/357, 86%) occurred on ovulation day or later. The average early-luteal phase temperature was 0.33°C higher than in the fertile window. Menstrual cycle changes in WST were impervious to lifestyle factors, like having sex, alcohol or eating prior to bed, that, in prior work, have been shown to obfuscate BBT readings. Although currently costlier than BBT, this study suggests that WST could be a promising, convenient parameter for future multi-parameter fertility-awareness methods.

Abstract

Core and peripheral body temperatures are affected by changes in reproductive hormones during the menstrual cycle. Women worldwide use the basal body temperature (BBT) method to aid and prevent conception. However, prior research suggests taking one's daily temperature can prove inconvenient and subject to environmental factors. We investigate whether a more automatic, non-invasive temperature measurement system can detect changes in temperature across the menstrual cycle. We examined how wrist-skin temperature (WST), measured with wearable sensors, correlates with urinary tests of ovulation and may serve as a new method of fertility tracking. One hundred and thirty-six eumenorrheic, non-pregnant women participated in an observational study. Participants wore WST biosensors during sleep and reported their daily activities. An at-home luteinizing hormone test was used to confirm ovulation. WST was recorded across 437 cycles (mean cycles/participant=3.21, S.D.=2.25). We tested the relationship between the fertile window and WST temperature shifts, using the BBT three-over-six rule. A sustained three-day temperature shift was observed in 357/437 cycles (82%), with the lowest cycle temperature occurring in the fertile window 41% of the time. Most temporal shifts (307/357, 86%) occurred on ovulation day or later. The average early-luteal phase temperature was 0.33°C higher than in the fertile window. Menstrual cycle changes in WST were impervious to lifestyle factors, like having sex, alcohol or eating prior to bed, that, in prior work, have been shown to obfuscate BBT readings. Although currently costlier than BBT, this study suggests that WST could be a promising, convenient parameter for future multi-parameter fertility-awareness methods.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > University Hospital Zurich > Clinic for Reproductive Endocrinology
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Language:English
Date:14 November 2017
Deposited On:02 Feb 2018 12:35
Last Modified:19 Feb 2018 10:51
Publisher:Portland Press
ISSN:0144-8463
OA Status:Hybrid
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1042/BSR20171279
PubMed ID:29175999

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