We are thrilled to welcome Dr. Eleni Jaswa, MD, a fertility doctor at the University of California San Francisco, to the Oura Medical Advisory Board

Dr. Jaswa is double-board-certified in obstetrics and gynecology as well as reproductive endocrinology and infertility. In her role in academic medicine, Dr. Jaswa cares for patients, teaches the next generation of women’s health leaders, and conducts research on various topics.

Dr. Jaswa’s diverse interests include polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), mental health and wellness, fertility biomarkers, unexplained infertility, recurrent pregnancy loss, preimplantation genetic testing, and fertility preservation methods. She is interested in applying new dynamic research methods to old stubborn problems in order to promote discovery and improve patient care.  

In working with Oura, Dr. Jaswa is looking forward to leveraging technology to empower women in their reproductive health goals. Dr. Jaswa lives in Silicon Valley, CA, with her husband and two daughters. 

What brought you to Oura?

I initially heard about Oura from my Silicon Valley tech friends, and I have been wearing my ring since October 2019! When the pandemic hit, I watched with interest as the ring was deployed for medical research by UCSF scientists in collaboration with the company, which shifted my framework of the product.

What I previously considered narrowly as a consumer wearable sleep tracker expanded to so much more — including an opportunity to provide novel insights into clinically relevant biorhythms for many indications.

As a physician-scientist with expertise in women’s health and reproductive medicine, I partnered with the research team at Oura in 2020 to develop and launch collaborative projects exploring the menstrual cycle. 

Over the years our relationship has grown into this advisory position. My fundamental curiosity and excitement around technology and medicine make this position really fun for me.

RELATED: Busting the 14-Day Ovulation Myth 

What’s the most surprising insight you’ve learned since using Oura?  

The accountability around sleep provided by Oura has had a big impact on my behaviors. I am a competitive person. I don’t love seeing my Sleep Score in the 70s to 80s, so I am motivated to optimize and now easily recognize patterns around how to achieve higher-quality sleep. 

Using Oura, it has become obvious that sleep quality directly correlates to my energy levels, my performance, and my mood the next day (important things for a full-time doctor-mom also pursuing a second master’s degree). 

Initially I was quite surprised that my amount of sleep was not just the interval between when I turned off the lights at night and when I woke up in the morning — I was actually sleeping much less than I had perceived. This has helped me develop more of a ritual around bedtime and ultimately get the sleep my body and mind thrive on.

READ MORE: How to Fall Asleep Fast & Improve Sleep Latency

What do you wish more women knew about their health in general? 

One thing that comes up again and again (especially in the Bay Area) is the significant, unavoidable impact of age on female fertility. Part of this relates to how we educate our children, with a consuming focus on avoiding unintended pregnancy, which I agree is undoubtedly the priority in these age groups. 

However, we never follow up about the next stage of life, when starting a family is actually a goal. This can become an obstacle in later life, which, to me, is a huge disservice to our communities.

What’s the link between sleep and fertility?  

Unfortunately, the reality is this is a major hole in research.

It seems obvious to me that, like most other aspects of health, sleep is important for women trying to conceive and during pregnancy (there’s got to be a reason that the first trimester is SO exhausting, right?). 

While we lack direct data proving a causal relationship between sleep quality and fertility, I think it remains prudent to privilege sleep for its various established multi-system benefits – on mood, energy, metabolism, the immune system and more. These are all important for fertility. 

The accountability around good sleep offered by Oura might help women stay consistent, and the temperature tracking and period prediction features might also enable individuals to better understand their cycle and fertile window.

READ MORE: Oura’s Cycle Insights Feature

Rapid-first Round…

Must-do morning ritual? 

Sunshine, yoga (just 10 minutes if possible), and coffee.

Bedtime routine for good sleep? 

While I do honor wind-down time in bed, I’ll admit I misbehave with regards to screens, often watching a lighthearted show to help release the day’s stressors from my mind.

One bad habit Oura’s helped you break? 

Late-night feasts are less appealing to me given the obvious impact on my resting heart rate overnight.

Mid-afternoon energy booster? 

Fresh air and sunshine when possible (thank you California).

Surprising side interest or hobby?  

Theoretical physics and playing the drums