Pulse Rate Measurement During Sleep Using Wearable Sensors, and Its Correlation With the Menstrual Cycle Phases, A Prospective Observational Study

Sci Rep. 2017 May 2;7(1):1294. doi: 10.1038/s41598-017-01433-9.


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- and 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.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Female
  • Fertility / physiology
  • Heart Rate / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Luteal Phase
  • Menstrual Cycle / physiology*
  • Monitoring, Physiologic*
  • Ovulation / physiology
  • Progesterone / metabolism
  • Sleep / physiology
  • Wearable Electronic Devices*
  • Young Adult


  • Progesterone