Track apps

Urine tests to track fertility ‘may improve chances of pregnancy’

Couples who use urine tests to track fertility are more likely to get pregnant, new research shows.

An updated review from Cochrane experts has found that identifying the fertile window using urine monitors specifically – and then timing intercourse for those days – could increase the chances of getting pregnant.

However, the researchers said there was a lack of evidence for other ways to track fertility, such as taking temperatures and monitoring cervical discharge, cramps and period dates.

These methods are commonly used by fertility apps, which have been downloaded by millions of women around the world.

The new study, which has not yet been peer-reviewed in a medical journal, is presented by Dr Tatjana Gibbons, of the University of Oxford, at the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology conference In Milan.

Fertility apps have been downloaded by millions of women around the world (Alamy/PA)

She said: “This update suggests a benefit of timed intercourse using urinary ovulation detection.”

However, she said more evidence was needed before the practice could be promoted, especially for couples who have been trying to conceive for a long time.

For the analysis, the researchers looked at things like digital apps linked to urine monitors, urine stick tests to measure fertility hormones, and other methods like taking temperatures.

Six studies involving a total of 2374 women were included. All women were trying to conceive naturally.

Studies suggest that couples who time their sex for their fertile days have a 20-28% chance of getting pregnant, compared to 18% for those who have sex how and when they want.

Overall, the experts concluded that more evidence was needed, although they suggested a clear benefit for women who had been trying for a baby for less than 12 months.

A separate study from IVI World Fertility Clinics, presented at the same conference, suggested that older fathers may be more likely to conceive boys than those under 30.