Tracking your cycle on an app is going to feel pretty basic next to this latest advancement in period technology. Billed as "the world's first smart menstrual cup," the Looncup is more than just a high-tech alternative to tampons. It might actually have some positive health implications. (Speaking of period tech, should you tweet your period?)
Rather than absorbing your period blood like a tampon does, menstrual cups collect it, allowing you to empty it every few hours and reuse. The idea sounds a little gross at first (a cup full of blood all up in your lady bits? Yuck.), but many women praise them for being comfortable, cheaper, and much more eco-friendly than tampons.
The Looncup, which raised over $150,000 in funding via Kickstarter last year, is essentially a menstrual cup with a techy twist. This baby has Bluetooth. Yes, you read that right. It's Bluetooth-enabled. The product syncs to an app on your phone to clue you into more than just when it's time to empty. The silicone cup contains a sensor that collects information about the volume and color of your menstrual fluid and an antenna then sends that information to your phone. Weird, but cool. Not only is that big news for those women anxious about leaks, but the device can also indicate greater health issues. (Related: Is it normal to miss a period?). Hypothetically, the color of your period blood can signal a clot, fibroids, or even an infection. This hasn't been tested in the Looncup, yet, but the ability is there. (Could results explain why your period is so painful?)
The current model has a battery life of six months, meaning you'd have to buy a new one twice a year. The cup will still function, but you just won't collect any data. And unlike regular menstrual cups, which are usually boiled in water to totally disinfect them, the Looncup's tech means it can only be cleaned with regular soap and water—something that might leave some feeling squeamish.
Whether you're into the idea of the Looncup or not, its introduction into the period product space could mean even bigger and better things for the future of your monthly visits.