Updated: Jul 24
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If you're someone who, like me, devotes a lot of time to learning about and using the Fertility Awareness Method of birth control, you may have heard about Tempdrop. Tempdrop is a device that is worn on the upper arm to track your temperature as you sleep compared with the traditional method of taking your temperature as soon as you wake up. I first purchased a Tempdrop around a year ago, just because I love to play with new technology, especially items within the 'Femtech' category. Since I've had it, I've worn it for numerous cycles, taken a break then come back to it. This review will take you through some of my experiences, tips and thoughts on the device compared with my usual method of vaginal temping (temperature taking).
Using the device
Tempdrop is very easy to use. You simply slide it onto your inner upper arm, fasten the hook through the fabric strap and press until it flashes green to turn it on. After this, you just go to sleep as normal and take it off in the morning. The device will turn itself off once removed. To sync it to the Tempdrop app, you launch the app on your phone, press the button on screen then press and hold the button on Tempdrop itself until it flashes quickly and continuously. You will then see the night's temperature displayed on the app. The app can also connect up to Ovuview for those using Android which is very useful since Ovuview contains numerous features used for FAM charting like cervical fluid logging and the logging of other things like alcohol usage, illness or medications.
The only things I found difficult with Tempdrop were the syncing and the fact that my frame broke and needed to be replaced. With regards to syncing, it is sometimes quite difficult to start the process on the device. When pressing and holding, it sometimes just turns to 'on' mode rather than syncing so it can take quite a few tries to actually sync it. However, I am not sure whether this issue was exacerbated by the low quality batteries I was using. Since switching to a better brand, syncing seems easier to achieve.
The issue of the broken frames was very well known about accross online FAM communities so, when mine snapped, I wasn't at all surprised. To get a new one, I simply contacted support and had to wait for the new improved version to arrive in the mail. In the meantime, I wore a sweatband on my arm with Tempdrop tucked inside while other ladies cut the toe end off a sock to slide up their arm to tuck the device inside. Since getting my new frame however, I have not had any issues since.
Tempdrop Vs Vaginal Temping
Throughout my times wearing Tempdrop, I have always continued with my regular vaginal temping routine. This is because, firstly, I like to stay in the habit and also because Tempdrop were still adjusting the algorithm for sometime after release so I did not want to be using inaccurate results when TTA (trying to avoid pregnancy). To show you the difference between temperatures generated via Tempdrop or those taken vaginally using another thermometer, I made the below graph.
I've chosen not to mark this chart up with a coverline, temp count or give any indication of cervical fluid analysis here, simply because I don't want to confuse anyone since there are many different methods of fertility charting/analysis, depending on which one you've learned. The key point here however, is that both methods clearly show a preovulatory and postovulatory temperature range. One thing I did notice though was that the shift is far more dramatic with Tempdrop but appears sensitive to certain environmental factors (note the drops at 19.11.18 and 30.11.18 where I woke up with my arm extended out from under the bed covers). You'll also notice that I used a Lady Comp device to record my temperatures vaginally - this is something I have always done as I enjoy the way the device stores data. Using the device vaginally is not how it is intended to be used but is ok, as long as you factory reset the device before beginning to use it in this way and don't alternate between that and oral temperatures (i.e if you're using it vaginally, you need to keep using it this way unless you factory reset it again for the traffic light functions of it to be accurate).
I really enjoy Tempdrop as a device and can definitely see that it has a number of pros for various groups of people. For example, it would be an excellent choice for nursing mums who experience disturbed sleep during night feeds or shift workers with an irregular schedule. For me personally, I enjoyed having an extra set of data to work from, especially if I had had a poor nights sleep and wasn't sure whether my vaginal temperature should be marked 'questionable'.
The main con about Tempdrop, for me, is that there have not been any formal studies on its usage compared with oral or vaginal temping. This led me to have concerns about accuracy (specifically for those who are TTA 0 or completely needing to avoid pregnancy for very serious reasons, for example medical issues). Temperatures given by Tempdrop can also change retrospectively so it is important for those who are TTA to wait for an extra couple of days after ovulation is confirmed via temperatures, just in case any of those temperature readings change and no longer fit the rules of your specific method. Personally, I feel that this is less of an issue to some however since, some who are TTA 0 choose to wait slightly longer after confirmed ovulation anyway 'just to make sure' so would have easily passed the time where a temperature might change. This also may not be an issue to those who, otherwise, would not be able to temp at all due to erratic schedules or other factors. This small window of waiting may be a small price to pay for those groups of people.
If you have any questions about Tempdrop that I haven't covered here, please feel free to either comment or drop me a message. If you are interested in getting a Tempdrop, you can get $10 off the Confidence or Freedom options by using this link: http://tempdrop.refr.cc/sarahcallaway *
Want to read more of my thoughts on other Femtech products such as Lady-Comp and Cyclotest? Check out my other blog, Stories of a Millennial.