When Apple first released its Health app in fall 2014, many women were frustrated that it didn’t include a period tracker.
While Apple has since addressed concerns by adding a period tracker in a new edition, the initial omission speaks to a larger problem: it can be difficult to find apps that specifically address women’s health needs.
Here are five apps that every woman should have to keep her health in check.
The app predicts when your period will arrive, tracks your premenstrual symptoms, reminds you when you're about to ovulate, and allows you to record your energy, pain, and bleeding levels during your cycle. And unlike some other period trackers on the market, the app is devoid of stereotypical pink or floral accents.
myPill's primary function is to remind women of when to take their birth control. The reminders will come regardless of whether your phone is connected to WiFi. And despite its name, the app works with all types of birth control, including the patch and rings.
myPill also tracks how protected your sex has been based on your birth control habits, and keeps track of how many pills you have left in a pack.
Price: Free, with options to further customise based on your birth control for $2.99 or $4.99.
Nonprofit Keep A Breast Foundation launched CHECK YOURSELF! to teach and encourage women to conduct monthly self-check breast exams. The app includes tutorials on how to properly conduct a self-examination and allows you to schedule a reminder to assure you conduct a self-check up every month (in addition to your regular breast check at your doctor's office.)
Maven, the creation of former The Economist reporter Katharine Richardson, wanted to make doctors and other health professionals more accessible to women.
Users can book immediate video appointments with accredited medical professionals in the fields of general health, mental health, nutrition, prenatal and postpartum, and family medicine for consultation on non-urgent questions and needs. The app also has a forum that allows users to share their experiences and advice.
Price: Free, but video appointments with medical professionals cost between $18 and $35.
Circle of 6 was dubbed by Wired as a '21st century rape whistle.' The app allows users to identify six family members or friends to be part of their 'circle,' or on-call in case of emergencies. Users can click the pin icon, which immediately sends their circle their location and a text that says, 'Come and get me. I need help getting home safely.'
Other texts that can be sent to a user's circle with one click include: 'Call and pretend you need me. I need an interruption,' or 'I need to talk.'