PCOS/PCOD

Period Tracking Apps for Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome(PCOS)

Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) is a metabolic condition characterized by increased androgen, excessive insulin, and deranged adipokines secretion from the adipose tissue. It is the most prevalent endocrinological condition in women of reproductive age who belong to higher socioeconomic strata.

The hallmark of PCOS is long and irregular menstruation due to the higher androgen levels and simultaneous low sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG) which also increases the risk of developing ovarian cancer. Being the leading cause of infertility, tracking periods becomes a good tool for predicting the development of and monitoring the progress of a patient’s PCOS as well as providing insight into their fertile period to aid in conception. A baseline understanding of a patient’s cycle also helps in the early identification of changes. Here’s a look at some period tracking app options for women.

Flo

Founded in April 2015, Flo quickly become a popular choice for women as the definitive period tracking app, reaching 1 million installations by June 2016. It incorporates machine learning to improve the prediction of menstruation and ovulation.

It provides a beautifully simple user interface and calendar feature to track symptoms, affect, sex drive, and menstruation flow. It allows for the monitoring of lifestyle changes such as sleep, water consumption, and physical activity which are essential for the management of PCOS. The platform also provides personalized health insights, expert tips from clinicians, and a private community to share questions and concerns. Available on both the Appstore on iOS and Google Play store for free.

Clue

Clue was founded in Berlin by Ida Tin, Hans Raffauf, Moritz von Buttlar, and Mike LaVigne and currently boasts a user base of 12 million people from over 190 countries on their app. Their focus on accessibility and inclusivity is their strongest plus point. Clue is currently available in 15 languages and growing.

The ‘Analysis’ Tab helps gives a personalized overview of the user’s past cycle lengths, period lengths, and cycle length variation. This will show them if their cycle is considered typical or atypical, and possible reasons why this could be. They also create content that is written by reproductive healthcare clinicians and science writers to provide people with evidence-based education about health, periods, and sex. Available for free with additional paid features on both the Appstore on iOS and Google Play store.

Maya (previously known as LoveCycles)

Launched in 2012, LoveCycles (now rebranded as Maya) lets women record their monthly cycles, associated symptoms and trace out a pattern to help them manage their menstrual health better. Created by Bengaluru-based Plackal, Maya is a native app supported across all major smartphone platforms and currently has 8 million downloads and 1.2 million monthly active users. It is available In 14 international languages across 192 countries. On 8th Mar 2016, Maya launched in India with support for Hindi.

It enables women to keep track of their menstrual and physiological health and is building a personal health assistant that uses data, analytics, and machine learning to provide women actionable insights about their health. Available for free on both the Appstore on iOS and Google play store and Windows.

Period Tracker Period Calendar

Period Tracker Period Calendar is popular in 63 Countries and has a userbase of 100 million Android Users. It tracks periods, cycles, ovulation, and the chance of conception.

It also provides the option of recording cervical mucus, BMI, sexual activity, weight, temperature, symptoms, or moods. Marketed as a personal period diary with a comprehensive approach towards women’s health. It also provides a cute display that is adjustable to the user’s taste. Available for free on both the Appstore on iOS and Google play store and Windows.

For women hoping to conceive, if PCOS is interfering with their ovulation, having a detailed record of their cycles can help inform treatment options and decide the next steps. Lifestyle changes can be monitored and evaluated using these apps as well which is an important pillar of managing PCOS. Changes to a woman’s menstrual cycle can also indicate other health issues such as thyroid disorders, primary ovarian insufficiency, Cushing’s syndrome, etc.

Author:

Rupali Sachdev

Rupali Sachdev is an intern doctor at Grant Medical College and Sir JJ Group of Hospitals in Mumbai. With experience in writing, design, medical technology, public speaking, and social service, she believes that doctors need to broaden their horizons and look at patient care more holistically.

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