Period Tracker Apps that are defining Women’s Health
For most of the women across the globe, menstruation is the most dreadful time of the month. Some societies regard menstruating women requiring isolation, and as needing rest during the days, they bleed. The idea of women being unclean during menstruation has been normalised in many contexts. As per ‘Purity and Danger‘ book by Mary Douglas, some men believe that contact with menstrual blood can “sicken a man and cause persistent vomiting.” And they would “become ill if they use any objects that have been touched by a menstruating woman.
As per Joan C. Chrisler‘s paper ‘Leaks, Lumps, and Lines: Stigma and Women’s Bodies’, across most cultures, shame continues to be involved with menstruation with most women believing that it is good manners, and often necessary to hide evidence of menstruation from public view if not also in private. Many people, including women, regard menstruation as the the ‘ultimate taboo‘. However, digital technologies today offers solutions, such as digital period trackers, creating economic value in exchange for providing a sense of period cleanliness and personal space while engendering greater self-understanding for menstruating women.
Global Market Insights report reveals that the femtech (includes all digital technology-based products and services focused on women’s health) market size surpassed US$16.5 billion in 2018 and is expected to grow at CAGR of 16.3% up to US$50 billion by 2025. For women who access digital technologies, period-tracking apps are part of a rapidly increasing femtech product in the market. Period tracker apps or PTAs observe and analyse menstrual cycles, and a wide variety of related factors. Women can use PTAs to monitor menstruation as well as produce workout patterns, nutritional regimes and family planning tailored to body cycles. Their home screens typically display a numerical countdown or graphic illustrations of the number of days to the beginning of the next period or ovulation.
Many PTAs allow tracking menstrual cycle-related factors such as sleep pattern, pain, mood swings, contraceptives, effluvia, sex life, vaginal discharge, medications, physical activity and food cravings. Some PTAs also give access to online forums and allow interaction with other users and non-users. Here is a list of period-tracking apps, so that you can keep a track when to hit your local chemist for a tampon or sanitary napkins.
Me V PMDD
A fundamental period tracker app is only capable of tracking menstrual flow and ovulation. But suppose you want a better monitor at possible hormonal related mental health changes. In that case, you can consider Me V PMDD, recommended by Dr Ashley Margeson, naturopathic doctor expertise in women’s health. This app uses a scale system to track data behind moods, emotions, feelings like panic attacks, trouble focusing, and physical effects such as nausea, low energy, acne, and packages it so that you can see any potential hormonal changes way easier. “When I have women in my office, premenstrual dysphonic disorder (PMDD) is a potential concern,” states Ashley. “This is the only period tracker I suggest because of its sliding scale system.”
Available free either or for US$2 on the App Store and Google Play, Period Tracker is a tried-and-true favourite for many “because of its insane accuracy and ability to track when you are intimate, your symptoms, and emotions,” says an App Store reviewer.
With an average rating of over four and a half stars on the App Store, Period Tracker Health Calendar comes with a wide range of features, such as syncing your tracker to your calendar, creating bar graphs of your moods and fertility, and offering a forum for women to chat about feminine hygiene.
Period Diary has over 30 PMS symptoms and 20 moods available to track and syncs with your phone’s calendar so you can see all your period information in one place. And if you don’t let others know that you’re one of the billions of women in the world who menstruate, the app has a password-protection feature, and the icon is labelled P.D instead of Period Diary.
This PTA takes menstrual tracking multiple steps forward. The predictions and analysis by the app can help you track irregularities regarding any info the app gathers meaning anything about your birth control, whatever type you may use along with how your skin and hair have been doing, along with exercise, sleep, and ovulation. Clue provides the average statistics from her period, so she can easily understand her cycle that can be incredibly helpful for women who are looking to conceive.
Eve Tracker App
The feature of a daily ‘cyclescope’, horoscope-like forecast makes this PTA a bit unique that is based on where you are in your cycle. It also alerts you about daily sex quizzes and a community of Eve’s to commiserate with about things like nasty cramps.
PTAs’ calculative outputs reveal as much as they hide. These carry presumptions of truth embodying understandings of medical science, the legitimacy of big data analysis and the property of complex algorithmic functions. PTAs are presented as customisable private platforms so women can act with freedom on data that is seemingly transparent, robust and objective. By doing so, digital apps also offer the ground for re-stabilising conventional gender arrangements and prescribed conceptions of feminity. These also provide women with a wilful gateway to self-care and self-knowledge that embodies truths which take more suppressive forms elsewhere.
As PTAs provide advance idealised notions of calculative and transparent private spaces, they are called digital ‘chhaupadis’ that are algorithmically constructed to endow a sense of liberation and self-knowledge. These are today’s technologically intelligent solution offering women private spaces, which uphold invisible structures of the feminine ideal. Period-tracking apps are the ultimate platforms making the public deeply personal to create economic value.