What does a thermometer have to do with female empowerment?
Well, when that thermometer is attached to a highly sophisticated fertility tracker that helps women take control of their own menstrual cycle, it has everything to do with female empowerment.
The menstrual cycle is an understudied process in the female reproductive system. One that entrepreneur Natalie Rechberg saw the importance in and sought to wed her desire to spread fertility education with a better understanding of the female body… using science.
“Our mission is to provide women with the knowledge and tools they need to learn more about their menstrual cycle, fertility, and bodies,” says Rechberg. “To help them make what are perhaps the most important decisions of their lives in an independent, self-determined way.”
The result was Daysy, the intelligent fertility tracker. Daysy’s researchers have collected fertility data from more than 5 million menstrual cycles, creating their own algorithm which, when matched with women’s basal body temperatures and menstrual information, can calculate fertility within a 24-hour window.
Short for Daily Synchronization, Daysy is relatively easy to use (it just takes a temperature read each morning to calculate the data for its automated cycle tracking) and encourages women to check in with their body and cycles on a daily basis.
The little computer helps you know when you’re fertile and not fertile through the fertility awareness method (FAM) with its lights flashing green, yellow, and red to indicate the infertile, cautionary, and fertile phases of your cycle.
While Daysy is touted to be accurate from day one, the yellow cautionary phases slowly decrease as the computer learns more about each woman’s personal cycle.
The biggest challenge for those at Valley Electronics LLC, where Daysy was conceived, has been the lack of education in the general public. Many women reach their 20’s and 30’s with little knowledge of their menstrual cycle due to a lack in sex and health education. Often, women are not familiar with their fertile windows or fertility signs. Because of this, Daysy is designed to be as simple and accessible as possible — however, outreach has proved a challenge as fertility tracking is still a very new concept. While the general public has been talking more and more about menstruation, we’re still not discussing the intricacies of the full menstrual cycle and what we can learn from it.
Daysy developers have continued to address these challenges, creating an app to go with Daysy (called DaysyView) where users can see their fertility data and access snapshots regarding their menstrual cycle, temperature curves, and predicted fertility.
As more women are moving on from hormonal methods of birth control, the simplicity of Daysy has made this family planning method a front runner for those looking to connect with their natural cycle.
Based out of Los Angeles, Iona Brannon is a writer and photojournalist who deeply enjoys hearing the stories of others and drawing out the beauty of the mundane. Her hobbies include sitting in LA traffic and occasionally yelling at other drivers. You can see her work and connect with her at ionabrannon.com.