Written by Brittany Andrews
Since I’m more of a crunchy mama lite, Genevieve asked me to review one of the most popular devices in the mom world right now—the Ava bracelet.
I recently had my second child, and now that he’s nursing less and less, I decided it was time to get a handle on my monthly cycle. While I’m definitely not looking to get pregnant, it’s super important to me to be in tune with what’s happening in my body on a day-to-day basis. Where I’m at in my cycle has a real effect on everything from my energy levels, to my sleep, to headaches, to my appetite.
…But since I don’t always have the time to keep tabs on it all, I turned to the Ava bracelet for help.
What does the Ava bracelet do?
The Ava bracelet is a fertility tracking bracelet.
Think of the Ava bracelet like a FitBit—except instead of track your steps, it uses sensor technology to track your monthly cycle. It measures the following things to take the guesswork out of tracking your cycle and eliminate the need for taking basal body temperature daily or tracking symptoms, like cervical mucus.
Buy the Ava bracelet
You can buy Ava for as little as $50/month
Your skin temperature decreases by about 0.2°C after menstruation. It then rises about 0.4°C after ovulation and remains elevated until your next period.
Resting pulse rate
Your resting pulse rate drops by about 1.5 beats during the follicular phase (right before ovulation), but then increases through the fertile window and peaks in the luteal phase (right after ovulation).
Heart rate variability ratio
Your heart rate variability is an indicator of physiological stress—when the ratio is higher it indicates the body is under greater duress. As such, this ratio typically rises right before ovulation when your body is working harder, but then falls right after ovulation.
The breathing rate is generally lower at the start of your fertile window and higher after ovulation.
This is the passage of blood through the circulatory system. Generally, perfusion is lowest at the beginning of your fertile window and at its highest after ovulation and during menstruation.
Ava Bracelet Screenshots – Calendar and Summary
Who should use the Ava bracelet?
The Ava fertility bracelet is most commonly used to help people track their cycle in order to conceive, but it’s a great tool for any woman to use to better understand her body and monthly cycle.
The Ava fertility bracelet works with cycles slightly shorter or longer than the 28-day average (as long as they are consistent), but has not been tested for women with irregular cycles that vary widely in length or women with PCOS.
Can the Ava bracelet be used to prevent pregnancy?
According to the manufacturers, Ava is not designed for or tested as a method of natural birth control. Here is the company’s official statement on Ava as a method of pregnancy prevention:
“Since Ava is not a method of contraception, it cannot be used as a fertility awareness method (FAM). If you do not want to get pregnant, Ava is not right for you at this time. Since our focus is helping women get pregnant, our algorithm identifies the most fertile days of the cycle. For a contraceptive product, we’d want to also identify days where it’s unlikely but still possible to get pregnant.”
That said, if you are open to the possibility of pregnancy, Ava is a useful tool for tracking your cycle and becoming more in tune with your body.
This is exactly where I’m at. Though I certainly don’t intend to get pregnant right now, I like that Ava can be one of many useful factors to help me predict ovulation and follow natural family planning methods.
How do you wear the Ava fertility bracelet?
Woman wearing an Ava bracelet to bed
The Ava fertility bracelet is a thin and very light rubber bracelet that you wear on your wrist. You simply place it on your wrist, then attach it to your arm by securing the clasp.
The Ava fertility bracelet should fit snugly, but comfortably on your wrist, so that it doesn’t move around while you sleep. It doesn’t need to be too tight though—it shouldn’t hurt or cut off your circulation.
Do you have to wear the Ava bracelet all the time?
Nope—you only wear the Ava bracelet while you sleep. But you do need to get at least four hours of continuous rest for the Ava fertility bracelet to collect data.
Wearing the Ava bracelet during the day won’t improve the data—it only collects data when your body is fully at rest. In fact, the manufacturers say you shouldn’t wear Ava during the day, as this can unnecessarily drain the battery.
My honest Ava bracelet review
Wearing the Ava Bracelet: An Honest Review
Since I’m not actively trying to conceive, I’ve been using the Ava bracelet simply to track my cycle and learn more about how my body responds to the various phases of my monthly cycle.
It’s very easy to use both the bracelet and the app. Actually—the hardest part about using the bracelet is remembering to wear it every night! I got in the habit of keeping it on my nightstand, which really helped.
Does the Ava predict ovulation?
I love that Ava bracelet tells me when I’m ovulating. Though I have to rely on other methods of contraception, I feel good about the fact that both data from the bracelet and fertility awareness methods line up to give me the most accurate information about my body.
It sounds a little nerdy, but it’s a lot of fun to wake up each morning and check out the data—and I love seeing the trends develop over time.
What about other free apps?
Though there are free apps that can help me analyze a lot of the same information (think: Glow, Period Tracker Lite, or Flo), these apps require more manual input to be remotely close to as accurate. Without any extra information, they give basic predictions, but you have to be diligent about tracking other symptoms like cervical mucus and basal body temperature and then add them to the app in order to get the most accurate picture possible.
Personally, I have a really hard time staying current with these apps—it’s just another thing on my to-do list. For a busy mom like me, something like Ava is way more convenient.
How reliable is the Ava bracelet?
Though Ava has been pretty spot on about predicting when I’ll get my period, I can’t personally say whether or not this bracelet helps you conceive.
That said, it’s clinically tested and has an 89% success rate at detecting 5.3 fertile days (out of 6) each cycle. And the company offers a one-year pregnancy guarantee—if you don’t get pregnant within one year of trying with Ava, they’ll refund you.
Since I do want a third child eventually, I’m looking forward to testing this part of the technology more thoroughly in the future.
What about EMFs? Is the Ava bracelet safe??
According to the company, the bracelet is certified as safe to use in close proximity to the body. But one thing to note is that its Bluetooth signal is always on to make syncing seamless. Because of this, I recommend putting your phone on airplane mode while you sleep. (Something I always recommend anyway!) Once you’re ready to sync your data to the iPhone or Android app in the morning, just switch your phone back on as normal.
Of course, you can always test the device to see how much EMF its emitting even with these precautions in place.
What I’d change…
Though there are a lot of pros to the Ava bracelet, there are a few things I would change about it:
- The glowing green light: The bracelet has this little green light on the bottom that glows while you wear it. Though this light means the bracelet is working, it’s a little intrusive if you’re sensitive to excess light.
- The battery life: You really have to be diligent about charging the Ava bracelet. I found that if you went one day without charging it, it would die over the course of the second night. Because of this, I recommend keeping the charger on your nightstand and making it a habit to sync your data and then plug it in right when you wake up each morning. It’ll take a few days to develop the habit, but it’s a much more convenient way to make sure you’re never stuck with a dead battery.
How much does the Ava bracelet cost?
The bracelet is $299.
Though it’s rather pricey, it’s a price I’m willing to pay for the convenience of it all. And for anyone trying to conceive and having trouble, the bracelet is worth its weight in gold. It offers a lot of information that can really make a difference if you’re having trouble pinning down your most fertile days.
Plus, Ava is FSA/HSA eligible. The company also offers a financing option, if you can’t afford one lump payment. And 20 percent of the sale of every Ava bracelet goes towards women’s health research and development—a nice bonus!
Buy the Ava bracelet
You can buy Ava for as little as $50/month
If you have PCOS or very irregular cycles, this bracelet isn’t for you. But, if you want an easy way to track your fertility and your cycles, it’s a great option.