What Is a Period Tracker App?
The word "period" is a term used to describe menstruation, the monthly flow of blood in women due to uterus lining shedding, which is associated with the menstrual cycle. The menstrual cycle is one of the body's mechanisms for preparing for the possibility of pregnancy. It’s a series of hormone-induced reactions that repeat their activities once a month in the female body. The reactions are triggered by the pituitary gland and the hypothalamus, which are located in the brain and connected to the female reproductive system. Menstrual cycles should happen on a regular, monthly basis and there is even a period tracker app to help people out.
The Menstrual Cycle
Typically, the menstrual cycle occurs monthly during a woman’s reproductive years, with the exception during pregnancy. The menstrual cycle consists of three major phases:
- Follicular phase: before egg release; occurs from day 1 to 14
- Ovulation phase: egg release (ovulation); typically occurs around day 14
- Luteal phase: after egg release
Day one is regarded as the first day of the menstrual cycle. Menstruation happens on this day and lasts for three to eight days. By days 6 to 14, menstruation is expected to have stopped and the body gets set for the possibility of a pregnancy. Between days 14 and 25, an egg is first released from one of the ovaries and passes through the fallopian tubes to the uterus. If the egg encounters sperm during this movement, fertilization is expected to occur. The fertilized egg can then make its way to the uterus to begin development. By day 28, in the case of an unfertilized egg, the lining of the uterus sheds and the egg is destroyed, shedding along with it. After this, another round of menstrual bleeding occurs starting a new cycle.
How Do Period Tracker Apps Work?
Traditionally, women have kept track of their menstrual cycle by using calendars and writing down reminder notes. However, technological advances have changed this, as apps have been developed to help keep track of a woman’s menstrual cycle and provide the means for proper documentation and analysis.
With the advent of these period tracker apps, all it takes is a few clicks and a woman’s menstrual cycle can be adequately monitored for their benefit. The period tracker app works by receiving relevant data from the woman about her period, pain, mood and sexual activity. Period tracker apps are geared towards encouraging healthy and transparent reproductive health information handling.
Many period tracker apps compile information and organize it for release to health care practitioners at the request of the user. Period tracker apps are a perfect tool for the monitoring and management of menstruation, fertility and birth control. Their ability to calculate and predict the date for the start of new cycles, ovulation dates and fertile days enables women to send this information to their doctors with a few clicks.
Clue, Period Tracker and the Blood Sisterhood app are three of the top period tracker apps currently available.
Pros and Cons of Period Tracker Apps
Similar to all forms of technology there are both pros and cons to period tracker apps. Below we outline some of the most common pros and cons of using this technology.
The Pros of Period Tracker Apps
Easy to Use
A period tracker app is a seamless approach to reproductive health information management. All that is needed is for the user to update daily info and leave the app to do the prediction, statistics gathering and data analysis.
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Accessible and Quick
A period tracker app allows a user to quickly access and manage all information without having to carry calendars or notebooks filled with information. Everything a woman needs to know about her reproductive health progress is accessible with just a few clicks.
Many period tracker apps come with a digital note pad feature that enables users to keep as much documentation about their reproductive system as they want and helps them remember all they need to, especially before a meeting with a physician.
The Cons of Period Tracker Apps
Many period tracker apps fail to accommodate sexual orientations that are not heterosexual. Females with homosexual orientations have complained of the insensitivity of period tracker apps in this regard.
Focus on Fertility
Many period tracker apps have been designed to focus on fertility issues alone to the detriment of other functions. Many women have reasons for using the period tracker apps that are not fertility related.
Computers are not perfect and cannot predict irregular menstrual cycles. Irregular menstrual cycles are those that do not align with the average monthly window of 28 days, by either exceeding them or not meeting them.
Benefits of Period Tracker Apps
There are many ways in which period tracker apps have shown to be very useful for women They can help women to understand their bodies as a period tracker apps help users to know their average cycle length. With this technology, they can tell when their next cycle begins without having to mark calendars when their next cycle begins.
Period tracker apps are also helpful with knowing about fertility. There are only a limited number of fertile days in a woman’s cycle. This knowledge helps women know when to have sex in order to help increase the chance of pregnancy, and it also allows them to know when to avoid having sex if pregnancy is not wanted.
With this being said, it helps with overall health awareness too. Shifts in menstrual cycles usually point to the presence of underlying medical conditions. The period tracker app helps to point out these shifts for their users, allowing for quicker detection of other health issues.
This can also help with peoples’ moods during this time. Sexual desires rise and fall during the menstrual cycle, as do happiness levels, stress and irritability. Period tracker apps help users know what to expect throughout their cycle, allowing them to respond and manage their changes in mood and personality appropriately.
Risk Factors Involved With the Use of Period Tracker Apps
As awesome as the idea and functionality of the period tracker app is, there are several risks that have been associated with its use.
Period tracker apps collect a lot of information from users. How protected is this information? Many period tracker apps have been accused of not doing enough to secure user info. When period tracker apps are unsecured, user info has the potential to be stolen through cyber attacks.
Millions of people download and use period tracker apps every year. By the year 2023, period tracker app download is expected to hit the 400 million mark. Apart from concerns about intelligence, safety, privacy and sexual sensitivity, there seems to be a general agreement regarding the effectiveness of these apps.
Having recorded significant success over the years, including a steady increase in downloads, helping to prevent unwanted pregnancies, provide info on general health, improving the sex lives of couples and analysis of user data, it seems appropriate to say that the era of app enhanced menstrual tracking is not ending anytime soon.