Earlier this week, Business Insider ran a story about the success of a fairly new iOS app for tracking fertility to achieve or avoid pregnancy, called Kindara. Several Catholic bloggers I read picked it up, and after reading their reviews, I decided to download it and give it a try.
Before we were married we took the Couple to Couple League's course on the Sympto-Thermal Method of NFP (or Fertility Awareness, which I think is a much more accurate term, but some Catholics seem to equate NFP with Good Catholic Things and FA with secularism... science is science, but hey, call it whatever makes you happy!). Already having that background in the STM, I was so happy to open Kindara and see that it had places to input all of the different data we track on our paper charts; we've looked at free fertility-charting apps in the past, and universally been disappointed in their limited scope.
Kindara allows you to input your basal temperature and indicate type and quantity of mucus (choosing from four options), three cervical characteristics, menstruation, and marital relations, as well as create custom inputs. Their algorithm color-codes calendar days based on degree of fertility, and generates a chart which looks pretty much the same as our STM paper chart; line graph of temperatures, other characteristics below each day's temperature and coded based on degree of fertility.
One of the best features for sleep-deprived parents is that it reminds you to chart every day. Shockingly innovative, I know, but how many times have we pulled out the chart in the evening and realized that we didn't write anything down the previous day? Too many. They also offer charting feedback from "fertility experts"--not sure what training they have; we haven't had occasion to look into it--which may or may not be a paid feature, I'm not sure.
The Kindara app is only available for iOS right now, but Matt emailed them after I showed it to him and learned that they are working on a version for Android as well. And it's free! Did I say that already?
There is a web portal, but at this point at least, it is view-only; Matt can log in and see the information I've entered and the chart it generated from that information, but he can't add or edit anything there. Hopefully that will change as they grow, but for now you need iOS to make use of Kindara.
We aren't going to stop using paper charts; I'm not willing to risk something happening to the cloud server (no, no idea what I'm talking about; I'd ask my IT husband, but the kiddo's sleeping) and having our charting history disappear. It's already becoming habit to input the data on my phone, though, and then transfer it to the chart every evening or every couple days or whenever it's convenient. Having the paper chart was nice, too, when I first downloaded Kindara; I was able to go back through their calendar and input all of the data for this cycle so far. It will be interesting to compare the algorithm's calculation of peak day and the end of phase II fertility with our calculations based on the chart.
Kindara is a very nicely-done app, aesthetically pleasing with its muted color scheme on a hardwood background, sans serif typeface, and clean charting. It offers everything I'd want in a fertility-tracking app, and I certainly haven't seen anything half as comprehensive or useful available for free! If you are looking for a new way to chart, or want to have a second opinion to check your own interpretations against, give it a try.
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