Apple has finally decided to add a feature to Apple Watch that many users have been calling for: a menstrual cycle tracker. When the new iOS 13 is launched, this tracker will not only be added to the Apple Watch, but it will also be part of the Health app on every iPhone.
Apple announced the menstrual cycle tracker at its WWDC conference yesterday, together with a whole array of other product updates. Similar to period trackers that are already on offer as separate apps by other firms, the end user will have to manually enter data such as symptoms, flow, current period, the outcomes of ovulation prediction tests and similar information related to fertility tracking on a daily basis. This is according to what Apple said yesterday.
After being widely criticised for not offering integrated support for menstrual health tracking in earlier versions of the device, Apple announced a ‘reproductive health’ tracker back in 2015 that formed part of its Health app at the time.
Menstrual cycle trackers are not only useful as far as making the user aware of when the next period may commence, but they can also help answer questions about fertility. Hormone levels are known to fluctuate throughout the menstrual cycle and, although it has not been proven scientifically yet, it has often been suggested that these fluctuations might lend themselves to different kinds of physical exercise at the various stages of the cycle, something that could well be useful to fitness-conscious Apple Watch users.
It has to be mentioned at this stage that Apple’s new Cycle Tracker will not be the first menstrual period tracker that works on an Apple Watch. Menstrual cycle related apps such as Natural Cycles and Clue already have Apple Watch versions. In the summer of 2018, the FDA gave the green light for the Natural Cycles app to advertise itself as a pregnancy contraception method.