LIFE> Health
New fertility gadget offers couples guaranteed pregnancy in just a year
Updated: 2009-08-10 14:49

A fertility company launched a revolutionary new deal for couples trying to conceive today - pregnancy in 12 months or your money back. The new £495 device promises to show women with 99 per cent accuracy when they are at their most fertile.

As part of the package, the couple are also promised unlimited support and advice from the company's fertility experts. Cambridge Temperature Concepts Ltd (CTC) hope the bizarre promotion will tempt hopeful couples into buying their DuoFertility ovulation detector. CTC, a company set up by Cambridge University PhD students in 2008, are so confident of success they will refund anyone who does not fall pregnant within a year. However, there could be disappointment ahead for some desperate couples, as a recent trial involving 50 UK couples with severe conception problems resulted in just seven pregnancies.

Despite the low odds, Susanne Knoepfler, a member of the CTC marketing team, said the team were very pleased with the results.

She said: 'We are very proud of this as all the couples had been trying for some time and been through IVF and other treatments. Some of the people on the trial had been trying for 10 years.' ''We wanted to make sure we understood the ordeal our target market had been going through.' DuoFertility is a tiny thermometer, the size of a £1 coin, in the form of a patch that can be worn under the arm. It promises to alert a woman to the moment her temperature rises half a degree as a result of ovulation. DuoFertility takes 20,000 readings at night during sleep, the ideal time to measure the body's base temperature, making it far more accurate than other existing methods. A small wireless hand-held reader processes data from the patch to tell the wearer whether she has ovulated in the last two days and whether she is likely to in the next six.

Women are most fertile on the day of the temperature spike and on the few days preceding it, so conception changes are significantly improved by knowing when that is. The information can then be loaded onto a computer to analyse the monthly fertility cycle.

Dr Oriane Chausiaux, CTC's chief scientific officer, said round-the-clock readings were a innovative way of detecting ovulation. She said: 'Other ways of detecting ovulation require women to test a daily urine sample to identify hormonal changes, or to wake up very early every morning and measure and manually record their body temperature. 'That gives only one data point for each day.' CTC is the brainchild of Shamus Husheer, a New Zealander who moved to the UK to study for a PhD in nuclear and structural chemistry at Cambridge University.

He came up with the idea for DuoFertility while reading about battery technology and small devices generating power from the body - which led him on to baby-making.

The unusual special offer expires on September 20, but Dr Oriane Chausiaux says they were 'extremely confident very few couples would ask for a refund on DuoFertility. She said: 'Whenever we get news of a pregnancy it makes our week. We have lots of pictures of baby bumps in our office that people have sent in.' 'We are very sure our product will help a lot of people get pregnant.'