Not only does Apple's latest health innovation track your menstrual cycle, it brings even more female-friendly features to the table

By Rachael Schultz
October 21, 2015
Corbis Images

When Apple's HealthKit launched in the fall, it seemed to be the Pinterest of health apps-a genius platform that finally pulled together data from services like MapMyRun, FitBit, and Calorie King to paint a single comprehensive picture of your health. (Need a refresher? Here's What You Should Know About Apple's Health Products.)

Well, comprehensive for one sex that is. While the kit could track a person's wellbeing all the way down to their blood alcohol level and inhaler use, developers neglected one of the most important areas for females: reproductive health.

Back in June, the company showcased the next version of the iPhone Health app at their Worldwide Developers Conference and we were all abuzz over one standout feature: The ability to track your period! (This can help you narrow in on 10 Everyday Things That Can Affect Your Period.) Now, the actual launch of the app has yielded even more fertility-friendly features, including the ability to log when you have sex. Combine these two calendars and women who are trying to get pregnant can monitor their fertility cycle and chances alongside other health factors, like UV exposure and hours spent sitting. And it's not just about finding out when you're ovulating, since recent research has found that having sex outside your ovulation window still boosts your chances of getting pregnant.

These two trackers together are also especially helpful for women who don't want to get pregnant, particularly if they use the rhythm method as birth control. (Find out more in 3 Apps to Make Natural Family Planning Easier.)

Now, having a running tab of every time you got down with your hubby in the last month may make you nervous, considering Apple directly connects their health app with ResearchKit, designed to give medical researchers access to our health data. But, according to Apple, you can decide which information you want to share with the third-party app, which also have established privacy policies intended to protect you.

We love that the Apple HealthKit is helping women take charge of their health with everything from proper sleep to period tracking, but we're still keeping our fingers crossed that the next update with focus on the little things as well, like, say, syncing with your calendar to send a reminder to pick up chocolate and Midol three days before Aunt Flow is set to visit.


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