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Hey everyone, I've been using Ava for almost a complete cycle now and people have been asking me my thoughts so I decided to put it all together in one long, boring post.
TL;DR version: Works great as an expensive BBT thermometer when you transfer the data to Fertility Friend. Inherent software not great. Only recommended if you have some serious obstacles to use using a normal thermometer. Otherwise not worth the money.
Why I decided to try Ava: I work erratic shifts so temping regularly at the same time wasn’t working for me. Additionally,
*TW* I am still
breastfeeding which meant that I was often getting up 1-2 times per night and
rarely getting a 3 hour block prior to waking up in the morning. Plus, often
when I woke up, I had to immediately go get my toddler who was not patient
about waiting for mommy to temp. *end TW*
The Ava Bracelet was $199 retail and I ended up paying $179 after I found a $20 code online. It shipped pretty quickly; I ordered July 14th and it arrived July 19th.
First impressions out of the box: It really is very slickly packaged and designed. The included directions were pretty scant but there is a more detailed instruction manual available on the website that was helpful.
There are two main parts, a small module that actually contains the electronics portion and the strap itself. One major design flaw, you cannot charge the electronic module with the strap in place (see pictures in spoiler). You must remove it every day to connect it to the charger (and you must connect it to the charger to sync data).
As you can see, after a month of daily use, my strap is already showing some cracking and damage. (see pic in spoiler)
To me this is a pretty simple fix which could have really improved my user experience if you were able to charge/sync without removing the strap.
The strap itself is a soft material and pretty stretchy. In all honesty, I’m a little clumsy and it took me a few days to get used to putting it on. The strap comes with a small band which I didn’t use for the first week. But eventually I woke up one day and the bracelet had fallen off in my sleep and I figured out that’s what the band was there for. Since then, I have not had issues with it falling off (using the band over the clip that connects the strap). I do notice in the mornings that my skin will be slightly itchy and red if I put the strap on too tight at night, but this goes away over the course of the day.
One thing I will say if you do get Ava, the first day you go to charge it, it will seem to be charged rather quickly. I had a green light in a matter of minutes. Don’t believe it! Charge it for several hours. I used it the first night I had it after only charging it a few minutes and no data was collected. When I emailed support, it seemed like this was a known issue. After charging for several hours, I had no problem with data collection the second night.
Syncing and interpreting data:
My main issue was with getting the data to sync. Every morning, you must connect the module to your computer. You’ll get a flashing blue light. Then you need to open the ava app and, in theory, the data will sync. I find myself most mornings having to unpair and repair my ava to get the app to sense that there is data to sync.
The main screen of the app will look like this once data is synced:
Click on the heart icon below and you’ll see your data over time:
The blue columns are supposed to be my fertile window, but you’ll notice the software does it off of my typical cycle length assuming a 14 day LP. You’ll see it did see a clear temperature rise, but did not change the blue columns to reflect when my fertile days actually occurred. I have no idea if it will do this after several cycles, I’ll check back in.
Another big flaw is that there is no place to insert other fertility signs, ie: CM and OPKs. The sleep tracking isn’t as accurate as my fitbit. Resting pulse rate seemed to correspond with the values I was getting on my fitbit.
There is also a calendar view tab, but I did not find it particularly helpful because, as I said, they did not change my fertile window to reflect the data actually recorded.
So all that being said, what did I like about Ava: Well, when I transferred the temperature data to Fertility Friend, I was able to see a clear shift and pinpoint ovulation:
The recent thread brought up some points that measuring the temperature at the wrist is likely more at the mercy of environmental factors. I agree that’s probably true. In my experience in one month of using it, so not very generalizable, despite sleeping in varying conditions (day vs night sleeping; home vs call room) I was still able to see a temp rise. But again, this is my experience over one month and may not be true for everyone.
I hope you guys find this helpful.
Edited to remove personal info, because, stranger danger.