Swedish Research Council project grant: Controlling the uncontrollable – the impact of reproductive health apps


Lina Eklund and Helga Sadowski have been granted a Swedish Research Council (Vetenskapsrådet) project grant to study health care professionals, pregnant individuals, and the apps themselves in order to map out this new and unexplored area of reproductive health.

The digitalization 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.

Various technologies have a long history tightly interwoven with women’s struggles to gain power over their bodies and reproductive abilities. However, digitalization 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.

The project starts 2021 and run for four years.

Lina Eklund, associate senior lecturer at the Deprtment of Informatics and Media, Uppsala University.

Helga Sadowski, senior lecturer at the Department of Informatics and Media, Uppsala University.

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