Tracking your period can be, to put it simply, stressful. When you’re late, there’s fear of pregnancy, and when you’re trying to get pregnant, it can be hard to figure out when you’re ovulating. And although there’s a sea of apps out there that can help you track your period, Fitbit is rolling out a new Versa smartwatch ($199) in May that includes “female health tracking,” along with the traditional exercise tracking.
Since 2015, buyers have been asking Fitbit to either sync up with a period tracker app like Clue, or develop their own app to sync up with other devices. Verge reports that a menstrual tracker has been on Fitbit’s “top five” recommendations for quite some time. It makes sense: A woman’s period is a major component of her health, so why not add it to a watch that tracks wellness? According to Fitbit’s press release, the new watch or app “is designed to help you learn more about your menstrual cycle—and your body—so you can better understand how it affects other aspects of your health and fitness.”
Among the laundry list of features like tracking, two-day-ahead push notifications, and analysis of symptoms like cramps, sleeping, sex, and acne, the two most innovative additions are community support and access to doctors’ insight. With the former, users can opt to join a forum that focuses on “periods, birth control, trying to conceive, pregnancy, and perimenopause and menopause to ask questions, swap tips, or share advice.”
With the latter, users can access medical expertise via “judgement-free content developed with Fitbit advisors Katharine White, MD, MPH, assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Boston University, and Larry Tiglao, MD, an obstetrician-gynecologist at Stanford Healthcare’s Los Olivos Women’s Medical Group in Los Gatos, CA.”
In an interview with Yahoo Finance!, White explained why she thinks this app important for women. “Female health tracking will empower women with a greater understanding of their menstrual cycles in conjunction with their physical and mental health, as they start to recognize what are normal trends over time versus what could be an issue to share with their doctor.” The more information you log, the more the algorithms start to “learn,” which means it can better predict patterns and predictions about your period, health, and symptoms.
Plus, if Fitbit’s survey is right and 80 percent of respondents really didn’t know how many phases are in menstrual cycle, an app like this might be beneficial in simply helping to educate more women about the ins and outs of their cycle. At the very least, it’s good to know producers are taking women’s needs into account (not to mention taking periods seriously) seeing as we are major consumers in the wellness space—and most others.