Period-tracking apps are still a mystery to many girls. What's the point?
Well, many believe that the menstruation cycle is like a barometer for your whole body. "I have always said that cycle health is a reflection of your overall health, so by tracking that you can get a sense of how everything is working," says co-founder and CEO of period-tracking app Clue, Ida Tin. "Scientific research is showing more and more that many aspects of your health are linked to your cycle."
As a result, developers are realizing what factors are *actually* relevant to ladies who use these apps, and creating more effective ones as a result.
This summer we discovered Ruby, which recently changed its name to Eve by Glow. The app will forecast when you're about to start PMSing if you regularly record symptoms like mood swings, breast pain, headaches or cravings for peanut butter M&M's.
Along with the shiny new name, they've added 29 new input settings so you can now track the effects of exercise, and made the experience more inclusive for girls of all sexual orientations. Parent company Glow is using data science to help women change the way they keep track of their bodies.
"We designed Eve to be the essential health and sex app that is 100 percent focused on you," says Jen Tye, VP of partnerships and marketing at Glow. "What really sets Eve apart are features like the log, trend tracking, the community and our birth control information and partnership with Bedsider." FYI: Bedsider is a birth control support network run by the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy.
Eve encourages users to ask awkward AF questions - stuff you would never want to bring up to your mom, or maybe even your squad - through the Community tab.
"Eve offers young women a way to embrace their bodies and better understand their health, while having an outlet like the Eve Community to ask those burning questions and receive sex positive answers and info," says Jen. "And Bedsider.org is not only sharing loads of information on every type of birth control; users who ask questions in the community sometimes get to see trusted responses directly from Bedsider. We think these discussions lead to awareness and help break the social stigma that's tied to sex, periods and relationships."
There's also Clue, another app using data science to smartly track your period in an easy-to-use interface. Clue also recently introduced an upgrade that tracks your partying habits (are you hungover, did you smoke cigarettes last night), weight, exercise, sleep patterns, vacations, skin/hair quality (like a bad hair day) and emotional swings.
The app has been wildly successful, seeing a jump from one million users to two million in just 10 weeks.
"What makes Clue unique is that we only use scientifically proven data to explain and further investigate female reproductive health issues," says co-founder and CEO Ida. "We thank that is what sets us apart now, and will continue to do so even as the market continues to evolve. We collaborate with researchers with a proven scientific track record within this field. We do not promise miracles or have bold claims about magical solutions. We want to present things realistically. We are also constantly learning and improving our predictions and algorithm."
As these apps change the way girls keep track of their periods, they'll be able to determine how certain factors affect mood, cravings and other factors through the scientific method. The best part about these apps is that they're free, so there's no reason not to start paying attention to your period. There's nothing more empowering than being in tune with your body!