Apple Watch joins growing trend of fertility tracking technology

Woman with smart watch Credit blackzheep  Shutterstock blackzheep / Shutterstock.

It its latest rollout of updates, Apple announced that it will be adding menstruation and fertility tracking to its newest Apple Watch system.

While it has been a feature of the health app on Apple smartphones since 2015, the ability to track period and fertility information on the Apple Watch with watchOS6 is new.

"The new Cycle Tracking app gives women the ability to log important information related to their menstrual cycles and see predicted timing for their next period and fertile window using the convenience of Apple Watch," Apple announced in a statement.

"The daily log function enables the quick addition of information related to the menstrual cycle, including current period, flow, symptoms, results from ovulation prediction kits and other elements of fertility tracking," Apple stated.

The feature is also available in the health app on Apple smartphones, but "being able to track your cycles on the Watch is a 'finally' moment," Sean Hollister wrote in an article for The Verge, a technology trends publication.

Hollister noted that period tracking was added to the Apple smartphone health app in 2015 after significant backlash following the release of the 2014 Apple health app, which did not include menstrual tracking.

The adding of period and fertility tracking to the Apple Watch follows a growing trend of smartwatches that track menstruation, ovulation and related symptoms. In 2018, Fitbit launched a "female health tracking" feature that allowed women to log their periods and related information, and that would predict the start of a woman's next cycle. Garmin smartwatches added a period tracker in April of this year.

The features are similar to numerous apps already available on Apple or Android that allow women to track their periods as well as ovulation information and fertility windows.

Wired, another tech magazine, rated Clue as a top period and fertility tracking app available on Android or Apple, which lets you track your period and fertile window, with options to add the data to the Apple health app.

Other popular period and fertility tracking apps include Natural Cycles, Femm, Eve, Flo, and numerous others. There are also method-based apps available for various methods of Natural Family Planning, also known as FBAMs (Fertility-Based Awareness Methods).

There are also smartwatches specifically designed for fertility tracking, including Ava or Tempdrop, which are wearable devices that track metrics such as a woman's temperature, stress levels and pulse rates to predict ovulation and a woman's most fertile days.

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