Tag Archives: fertility
Whitney Erin Boesel: “In my case, AMH may not be as important as fertility clinics and egg-banking startups want people to believe.”
Women are understudied in most disciplines. Reproductive health is the general exception, but even then research on male reproductive problems often outnumbers that concerning women. One result among many is that our understanding female fertility isn’t as complete as it could be. For example, anti-mullerian hormone (AMH) levels have been used to estimate a woman’s ‘reserve pool’ of eggs. Though AMH may become the “Gold Standard” of fertility, it still isn’t clear what levels are ideal for each woman. If you’re looking to get pregnant, there is a certain range (high but not too high) that is considered favorable for conception. At QS17 Amsterdam, Whitney is going to share her experience tracking her AMH, attempting to increase it, and finally having a successful pregnancy despite low-ish levels of the hormone. She’ll also hold a breakout session on tracking hormones, menstruation and fertility.
Aside being a new mum, Whitney is a writer, scholar, and active member of the QS community who, among her other work, has written about the incorporation of technology into medicine, Biomedicalization 2.0, and the nature of QS movement, “What Is The Quantified Self Now?”
“I love reading random papers about the human body.”
Ahnjili Zhuparris came across a study on the menstrual cycle’s influence on cognition and emotion and was curious to see how hormonal changes may affect her day-to-day behavior. She figured her internet use may be a convenient and easy data set to assemble and examine for this effect. Using a few chrome plugins, Ahnjili was able to see not only where she spent her time online, but how she interacted with sites like Facebook and Youtube.
Her analysis yielded some interesting patterns. She found the most distinctive behaviors occurred during the fertile window, a span of about six days in the menstrual cycle when the body is most ready for conception. Looking at her shopping data from a clothing website:
”I found that there was no change in the amount of money I spent or the amount of time I shopped online… but while I was most fertile, I bought more red items. In fact, it was the only time I bought red items.”
In this talk, Ahnjili shows the differences in how she browsed Facebook, swiped in Tinder, and listened to music on YouTube.
Here are a few of the tools and papers that Ahnjili cites in her talk:
- Period Diary (iOS)
- timeStats (Chrome)
- Facebook Stats (defunct, it seems)
- Youtube Stats (Chrome)
- Menstrual cycle influence on cognitive function and emotion processing-from a reproductive perspective.
- Natural Born Cyborgs by Andy Clark
- A randomized trial of the effect of estrogen and testosterone on economic behavior.
- Romantic Red: Red Enhances Men’s Attraction to Women
- On the frequency of intercourse around ovulation: evidence for biological influences.