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Overwhelmed by Your Health Data? Here’s How You Can Take Control

With the latest Apple Watch measuring heart rate and Fitbits measuring every step we take, the presence of health data tracking technology today seems practically ubiquitous. This technology is allowing people to understand their own bodies more than ever before with the help of just a few taps but, for some people, this information overload can have a more confusing than helpful effect.

According to the CDC, 7.3 million women in the U.S. experience fertility issues, and those who use self-tracking technology face multiple challenges. Just as our bodies are so unique, so are people’s responses to this technology. Many find it helpful to gain insights into where their body is at in their cycle, how their temperature impacts the timing of their ovulation, and how different supplements affect them. Others, however, can feel overwhelmed by the amount of information they are presented with and don’t know where to start. Without clear guidance, these feelings can lead to frustration and even hopelessness.

 

In a recent Huffington Post article, two researchers detailed their findings on how women’s use of fertility tracking technology generally falls into five categories:

  • Positive - users are eager to see data and anticipate results
  • Burdened - usually caused by a large amount of data being tracked that causes stress, but users are generally still positive about the process
  • Obsessive - tracking data occupies a large portion of the user’s attention leading to higher levels of frustration
  • Trapped - may occur when users have been trying to conceive for a considerable amount of time but don’t feel like they can discontinue tracking
  • Abandoning - when tracking becomes emotionally burdensome and negative results lead to frustration, so users stop tracking temporarily or permanently

If you see yourself in one or more of these categories, instead of giving up hope, there are steps you can take to rectify the situation.  

For those who fall into the burdened category and are stressed out by the amount of data being tracked, you may want to consider speaking with a fertility specialist to get answers on your most pressing fertility tracking questions. OvuSense customers are entitled to a free one-hour consultation, and others can book a free 15-minute consultation.   

When you first start tracking it can be a very exciting time, and checking what your data shows is an intriguing and important part of that process. However, over-tracking or becoming consumed by the data can lead to stress and frustration. According to the researchers, some women benefit by setting guidelines on when to check their results to establish boundaries that can help protect emotional and mental health.

The researchers also found that after users have been tracking for some time, they may explore other avenues in their fertility journey, such as  IVF or adoption, and may find that they cannot stop tracking. Speaking with a partner, close friend, or mental health professional about your decision may help you feel more confident with your choice.

Discussing with other women who are tracking their fertility cycles may help you feel less isolated throughout this process and may help ease some of your concerns. Researchers found many women benefited from online support groups, which help surpass geographic barriers. On Facebook, OvuSense offers groups for women using the device or those who have been diagnosed with PCOS to share support.

Reference

Centers for Disease Control and Protection (2019) Infertility https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/infertility.htm

Huffington Post (2019) Fertility Tracking Can Be An Emotional Whirlwind For Women Trying To Get Pregnant https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/women-fertility-tracking_us_5c12a0cae4b0204682b7464d

 

Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.