Tuesday 19 October 2010
The DuoFertility system, pioneered by former students at Cambridge University, measures the tiny changes in body temperature that indicate when ovulation occurs. The scientists claim the £495 device is more accurate than current prediction methods and produces results comparable with much more expensive IVF fertility treatments.
The findings were delivered a the World Association of Reproductive Medicine Congress by Dr Oriane Chausiaux, chief scientific officer for DuoFertility, developed by Cambridge Temperature Concepts.
She told the conference how the DuoFertility programme of research resulted in a pregnancy success rate of 19.5 per cent after six months, which is as effective as IVF.
The device works by placing a patch, which is about the size of a £1 coin and is worn night and day, under the arm which records the minute changes in the woman's temperature.
It measures body temperature 20,000 times a day to identify a woman's fertile days with 99 per cent accuracy.
The device, dubbed the SatNav of the fertility world, is claimed to be statistically as good as IVF but at a fraction of the cost, with the added bonus of your money back if there is no pregnancy in a year.
Dr Shamus Husheer, the inventor of DuoFertility, said: “We are delighted that Oriane has been given the opportunity to present our significant findings at this event.
“What we now know, as a result of our work, is that for certain causes of infertility, DuoFertility is as effective as IVF.
“Clearly there are some infertility issues where the use of the device is unable to aid pregnancy, such as a complete lack of sperm.
“However, for a range of common causes such as moderate male factors, cycle irregularity and secondary or unexplained infertility, our monitoring device is achieving great results.”
Raj Mathur, Consultant in Reproductive Medicine and Surgery at Addenbrookes Hospital, Cambridge says: "It has been recognised for a long time that women experience a small rise in body temperature that occurs around the time they release an egg from the ovary.
“However, present techniques for recording this do not appear to be of clinical value.
"The Reproductive Medicine Department at Addenbrooke’s hospital is examining whether body temperature measurements taken by the Duo Fertility sensor are able to identify cycles where ovulation occurs.”
Duo Fertility, which is sold online and not available on the NHS or High Street, is the only monitor on the market that allows users to enter in other personal fertility parameters, such as period length, the quality of cervical mucus or the position of you cervix.
Studies have shown that including this information increased the accuracy of detecting fertile days by 99.7 per cent.
Andrew Sharkey PhD, Associate lecturer, Department of Pathology, University of Cambridge said: “There is a big social and clinical need for a method to predict ovulation and hence potential fertility.
“The concept seems sound- ie measuring temperature rise as a surrogate for the hormonal changes induced at around the time of ovulation.
"The limited data I have seen suggests that it is robust, simple to use and non-invasive and relatively cheap. All of this is good.”
A recent fertility survey showed that one in 10 women has had fertility treatment and that some were so desperate for a child they were prepared to pay up to £50,000 for IVF.