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How to track your menstrual cycle and fertility with the Apple Watch



Whether you do it to know when your next period gaining weight or to increase your chances of getting pregnant, tracking your menstrual cycle is a useful habit to keep an eye on your reproductive health. There are many apps that can do this, but why not use one that is already part of your Apple Watch or iPhone? In the Apple Health appyou can record your period and ovulation using Cycle Tracking, which is also available as a standalone app on the Apple Watch.

Keeping track of your period will help you prepare for its arrival so you don̵

7;t get caught off guard and scramble to get a tampon. But more importantly, it can keep an eye on your health. Being able to record how heavy your blood flow is, how painful your cramps are, and the presence of other symptoms – such as mood swings, breast tenderness, and acne – can help you and your doctor determine whether you have polycystic ovary syndrome or endometriosis.

Tracking your cycle is also helpful if you are trying to conceiveor not get pregnant because you can tell when you are ovulating.

Use cycle tracking

In the Apple Health app on your iPhone, tap the Browse tab, then tap Track Cycle. To start, you will need to provide the date of the first day of your last period, the average length of your period, and the average length of your full cycle. You can also decide if you want Cycle Tracking to give you fertility predictions and record fertility data (such as sexual activity and ovulation test results).

Once set, you will see the current date at the top of the app. You can tap any date to indicate your period that day. Under the calendar you can write down symptoms and note how heavy your flow is.

While you record information about your cycle, the app predicts when your next period will start and sends you notifications on your iPhone and / or Apple Watch. You can also set up notifications to let you know when you are ovulating and to remind you to record your symptoms during your period.

Screenshots by Sarah Mitroff / CNET

Read more: Online Birth Control and Fertility Tests: What to Know Before You Buy

Tracking your fertility allows you to record statistics such as basal body temperature or the results of an ovulation test. The app uses that information to create a fertility window, or the few days in a month when you are most likely to get pregnant.



An update in December added Cycle Factors. It allows you to capture specific factors – such as pregnancy, breastfeeding, and birth control – that can affect your cycle so Apple Health can fine-tune its advice and predictions. For example, if you are using an IUD as a contraceptive, Cycle Tracking will interrupt the fertile window predictions because they are not as reliable. Or, if you are pregnant, the app will not ask you to record your period each month until after your pregnancy has ended.

Like most period tracking apps like Clue and Eve, the more information you provide, the more accurate the predictions become. If you use Cycle Tracking month after month, you will get statistics about your cycle, such as the average length and progress of your period.

There are many different dashboards within Cycle Tracking that can feel like information overload. However, I appreciate that there are many different symptoms you can register, from acne and cramps to sleep changes and headaches. I would like to add my own symptoms, but for now that just isn’t possible.

The information in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health care practitioner if you have any questions about a medical condition or health goals.

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