I promised detailed reviews of each app after the challenge was over, so let's start with Ovia!
ISSUES WITH OVIA
It allowed me to track basal body temperature, cervical fluid, and about a bajillion other things (weight, medicine, mood, exercise, food intake, OPK's, even blood pressure, for goodness sake!), but somehow didn't think tracking your cervical position was important enough to make the list. How it makes sense to exclude one of the three fertility signs in a fertility app is beyond me. (Update: readers tell me it is now an option in the current version.) It's also not possible to customize which items you want to track, so every time I logged data I had to scroll past all of the other categories I didn't care about to enter the few I did want to enter.
I also had a hard time finding the actual date it thought I ovulated. You'd think that would be front and center in a fertility app, but it wasn't listed anywhere on my fertility chart or calendar that I could see. I searched around in the app until I finally found it under the "Cycle Insights" tab. It had my ovulation listed on CD16, but it actually occurred on CD15. Not a huuuuge deal to be off by one day, but even a one day difference can change things if you're trying to time things right.
OVIA'S CHART VIEW
Ovia also has a chart feature, but seems like a complete afterthought and honestly not very helpful. The only information on the chart is your BBT, Ovia's "Fertility Score" graph which calculates your fertile times, and when you had intercourse. Your cervical fluid is listed underneath the chart. There is no coverline, no ovulation date, and no demarkation of your luteal phase beginning and ending. Honestly, if I wasn't familiar with charting, I would have had a hard time making heads or tails of anything on the chart. Even though I knew about reading a fertility chart, it didn't help with interpreting Ovia's chart. And what's the good of having a chart if it doesn't give you better information?
Speaking of the "Fertility Score": the concept is, in my opinion, a clever idea but overall poorly implemented. Every day, Ovia will give you a score out of 10 based on how fertile it calculates you are. Fertility is not something that can be given a definitive percentage or score; and the idea of your chance at pregnancy rising gradually in the days before ovulation is also misleading. For a normal cycle, the fertility is more like a day or two of almost there and then--BAM!--a peak of fertility before ovulation before falling sharply the day after ovulation. All of this "gradual increase in fertility" business means that you could think you're fertile when you're not. For someone that knows their cycles and has plenty of experience charting, the Fertility Score will strike you as something very patronizing.
Another challenge along with that was feeling like sometimes my cervical fluid didn't fit into one of the three options. I had many "sticky" days that definitely were nothing like school glue (whatever the heck that's supposed to mean) but weren't watery either. Even though I know what the different types of cervical fluid are (dry, sticky, creamy, and egg white/fertile), I had a hard time figuring out which icon was supposed to cover which type. School glue is at once oddly specific and too general. Are they talking about white school glue? Wet or partially dry school glue? What if it's sticky but not opaque? Runnier than glue but sticky? Let's just say, they definitely shot themselves in the foot with the cervical fluid categories. We're adults, we're smart, we can learn what cervical fluid looks like if someone will teach us. We don't need any of your "school glue" fluid over here.
TO USE OR NOT TO USE?
To someone who knows more about their body than the app ever will, this can be incredibly annoying and even frustrating.
On the other hand, if you prefer an app that will guide you through the month and give you best estimates about your fertility window because you're not sure how to know if you're fertile or not, then this might be the app for you. (If you want to learn how to tell if you're fertile, click here.)
SCORES (OUT OF 10):
NOT FOR WOMEN WHO:
GOOD FOR WOMEN WHO: