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An affordable, user-friendly fertility-monitoring tool remains an unmet need. We examine in this study the correlation between pulse rate (PR) and the menstrual phases using wrist-worn PR sensors. 91 healthy, non-pregnant women, between 22-42 years old, were recruited for a prospective-observational clinical trial. Participants measured PR during sleep using wrist-worn bracelets with photoplethysmographic sensors. Ovulation day was estimated with "Clearblue Digital-Ovulation-urine test". Potential behavioral and nutritional confounders were collected daily. 274 ovulatory cycles were recorded from 91 eligible women, with a mean cycle length of 27.3 days (±2.7). We observed a significant increase in PR during the fertile window compared to the menstrual phase (2.1 beat-per-minute, p < 0.01). Moreover, PR during the mid-luteal phase was also significantly elevated compared to the fertile window (1.8 beat-per-minute, p < 0.01), and the menstrual phase (3.8 beat-per-minute, p < 0.01). PR increase in the ovulatory and mid-luteal phase was robust to adjustment for the collected confounders. There is a significant increase of the fertile-window PR (collected during sleep) compared to the menstrual phase. The aforementioned association was robust to the inter- A nd intra-person variability of menstrual-cycle length, behavioral, and nutritional profiles. Hence, PR monitoring using wearable sensors could be used as one parameter within a multi-parameter fertility awareness-based method.
Shilaih, M., Clerck, V. D., Falco, L., Kübler, F., & Leeners, B. (2017). Pulse Rate Measurement during Sleep Using Wearable Sensors, and its Correlation with the Menstrual Cycle Phases, A Prospective Observational Study. Scientific Reports, 7(1). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-017-01433-9