Shine On

Downloadable app for a woman’s ticking biological clock

Would a phone app that tracks your biological clock help or hurt you? (Thinkstock)For women who think they may want to have children but keep putting it off until the time is right, a former Toronto resident has developed an app just for you. Wonder Clock, developed by artist Mira Kaddoura, is a ticking biological clock (sold through iTunes for $1.99) whose purpose is to remind you that your child-bearing years are numbered.

"I created this clock to face my own fears. To beckon the elephant in the room so to speak. To release my own power, my own choices. To open a dialogue with other women about fertility, em-powerment, and loving ourselves. We are women, and we are ticking. But we are so much more," she writes on the app's website.

It's an art installation, Kaddoura tells the Toronto Star. She's not out to shock women, simply to engage women in meaningful conversation about fertility.

Also see: Births in Canada down for the first time in a decade

Jan Silverman, a fertility counsellor at Women's College Hospital in Toronto, thinks that while the app may be a bit extreme, she's all for any device that reminds women their eggs do have an expiration date.

"I take the biological clock very seriously," she says. "One of the most common things I hear in my office is 'I didn't know.' There's a huge misconception that we stay fertile longer than we actually do. So it's common for women to come to my office and say, 'but I exercise daily, I keep in really good shape, I watch what I eat. I look good, don't I?' And I still have to remind them that even though they look good, the eggs have been sitting … for a very long time."

Silverman acknowledges that we have to be realistic about the stages of a women's life and what's going on in it. A woman who is aware of her ticking clock, but hasn't met someone and isn't prepared to use a donor may feel that much more anxious, she says.

"It's quite a push-pull sort of thing," she says. "I would rather err on the side of being informed."

Also see: Moderate drinking in pregnancy may not affect child's IQ: study

Looking to celebrity culture only adds to a woman's confusion about her own fertility — or lack of fertility — says Silverman. Celebrities well into their forties who conceive give hope to a lot of women.

"Us in the field look at each other and go, 'uh-huh and she used a donor egg,'" she says. "Of course we don't know that factually, but we know about a women's body. Again, this sort of thing allows women to think, 'well, I'm also taking good care of myself.'"

So whether you feel a biological clock app will help serve as a reminder, or simply put undue pressure on you, one thing is sure, the help that celebrities have in conceiving just doesn't compare to the average woman.

Watch the video below about how technological advances have made it much safer for women with epilepsy to give birth.

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