Controlling the Uncontrollable: The Impact of Reproductive Health Apps on Experiences of Pregnancy, Healthcare Professionals’ Work and Data Governance

The digitalisation of everyday life does not stop at the most intimate areas of healthcare, such as sexual health, fertility, and reproduction. Today, many people use apps to track menstrual cycles, detect (in)fertile phases, or virtually follow foetal development. In other words, digital technologies allow for a novel external management of the reproductive system. In this project the project team study health care professionals, pregnant individuals, and the apps themselves in order to map out this new and unexplored area of reproductive health.

Various technologies have a long history tightly interwoven with women’s struggles to gain power over their bodies and reproductive abilities. However, digitalisation has brought many aspects of reproductive health back from the doctor’s office into the individual’s, – the user’s – hands. So far, little is known about this digital management of reproductive health and its effects on individual experiences, or on the ways it changes social and cultural understandings of reproduction, fertility, sexuality and the body.

Project period

2021-2024

Funding

Swedish Research Council

Project members

Project members at the Department of Informatics and Media:
Lina Eklund, project leader and contact
Helga Sadowski, researcher

Last modified: 2021-07-19