Sometimes when I read about products related to pregnancy or fertility (after picking my jaw up from the floor) I seriously fear for the future.
Cambridge Temperature Concepts, a British manufacturer, is now offering women a MONEY-BACK GUARANTEE if their new product, Duo Fertility, (£495) does not result in a pregnancy after 12 months.
That's right. If you don't get knocked up, you get your money back.
So what is Duo Fertility? Well! Just when you thought conception couldn't get any more un-sexy or more complication, this 'intelligent' fertility monitor measures your basal body temperature with such accuracy it can predict your ovulation up to six days in advance. According to the manufacturer:
"The sensor automatically measures and records your skin temperature, taking approximately 20,000 temperature measurements while you sleep (compared to just one measurement per day by most competing products). This allows easy detection of the upward shift in basal body temperature which is associated with ovulation."
Um, sounds comfortable. But here's the kicker:
"Data is transferred from the sensor to the DuoFertility reader wirelessly. You will then be able to see a simple display of your fertility status over the next six days on your reader, giving you plenty of time to plan a romantic evening in! You can consult the reader at your convenience - there is no need to have it with you all the time, and you don't have to use it at any particular time of the day or week."
Now, I know for couples dealing with infertility, planning and monitoring fertility is a part of daily life that most people don't even think about. BUT it REALLY ANNOYS ME that the manufacturer is GUARANTEEING a pregnancy. On the surface this totally implausible offer has the potential to lead many women, already suffering debilitating anxiety over their inability to become pregnant, to believe that if they simply monitor their fertility with this device they will magically become pregnant. If you actually read the fine print in the terms and conditions of the offer it says:
"There may be medical reasons (such as lack of ovulation) which will prevent our Products from assisting you becoming pregnant, but with which the product may assist in diagnosis."
What annoys me even more is that the company sells the product with the added bonus of free, ongoing consultation with fertility specialists. In reality, the company totally absolves themselves of responsibility:
"The consultancy services are for information purposes only, and are not a substitute for professional medical advice. Please contact your doctor before using any Product(s), particularly if you are already under medical care. Always check with your doctor if you have any concerns about your condition or treatment. We are not responsible or liable, directly or indirectly for any form of damages whatsoever resulting from the use, misuse or reliance on information contained in or implied by the information provided to you during such consultancy."
What about the psychological trauma that results from using a device with the hope that you will get pregnant and then potentially ending up with no baby after 12 months of use?