There’s an app for everything now and female health is – finally – no exception. After a long period of neglect (Apple notoriously failed to include period tracking when it launched its Health app in 2014, for example), there is now an incredible array of apps to support women.
The global women’s health app market grew by 40% from 2019 to 2021 and is expected to reach nearly £50bn by 2030, according to Grand View Research.
So why are we seeing an explosion in apps devoted to periods, infertility, pregnancy, pelvic floor health and menopause? It’s because previously taboo topics are finally being spoken about, and the tech world is taking notice, according to FemTech Analytics.
Female health apps offer tech companies a ripe opportunity to make money. But the best apps are also genuinely useful, empowering, and convenient for the women who use them.
Apps can help to destigmatise health conditions, identify medical problems, and bridge the gap between patient-doctor relationships and self-care. They can keep us more in tune with our bodies, help us develop healthy habits and nudge us towards positive behaviour change.
So, while apps should never be a substitute for seeing a health professional, they can give us better control over our health.
Here’s our pick of the best user-rated women’s health apps.
Periods and fertility
Tracking apps such as Flo and Clue use artificial intelligence and sophisticated algorithms to predict almost exactly when you will get your period and ovulate. Whether you’re hoping to get pregnant, trying to avoid it or simply want to understand more about your cycle, this knowledge can be powerful.
They can also tell you more about your body and brain and how they are connected to your cycle. For example, they can tell you what symptoms you could be experiencing right now, or soon, which can make some women feel more in control.
There are also apps specifically for conditions that can affect or disrupt periods, such as PCOS tracker. These can help you see patterns, log symptoms, and build up a full picture of your menstrual health so you feel more empowered when talking to healthcare professionals.
During pregnancy, it can be hard to remember which foods to avoid, which supplements to take and all the symptoms you should never ignore. Throw in very normal anxiety about your baby’s health, and yours, and it can be an overwhelming time.
Apps such as BabyCentre and Pregnancy + make it easier for women to have the healthiest pregnancy possible. These informative but simple-to-follow apps can help you track your baby’s development, connect with other mums, or get expert advice on sleep, feeding and everything else you need to know.
The postpartum period can be exhausting and overwhelming, but there are apps out there to help you make sense of it.
Keeping up your pelvic floor exercises after birth is vital, for example, but it can be hard to remember (or find the time) when you have a newborn to take care of. Easy Kegel is a pelvic floor exercise app that lets you set up daily reminders and adjust session lengths to fit in with your life. It has easy-to-follow visuals and optional audio or vibration cues.
Apps such as Baby Breastfeeding Tracker also help you track your baby’s feeds. This can be useful when you’re trying to get into a routine, or if you keep forgetting which breast you last fed from! Despite the name, the app can also be used to help you log formula or combination feeding.
Perimenopause and menopause
Menopause has always been overlooked and under-discussed. Fortunately, more and more women are speaking up about the problems they deal with during this life stage, including celebrities such as Davina McCall.
The app scene is responding with a new range of apps including Health & Her, balance and mySysters. These are packed with useful and empowering information about HRT, self-care, diet, and supplements. They also allow users going through perimenopause and menopause to track their symptoms, as well as suggest tools to manage them and give access to personalised expert content.
Breast cancer is the most common cancer in the UK, with one in eight women getting a diagnosis during their lifetime. An important new range of apps, such as Keep A Breast and Know Your Lemons, are brimming with advice on self-exam techniques, breast cancer symptoms and what to do if you notice a change in your breasts.
With Know Your Lemons you can even calculate your personal breast cancer risk and create a screening plan, while both apps will help you set regular reminders to check yourself. Early detection is vital, so these apps could potentially save lives.
At Thrive we are committed to understanding what women truly want and need from health communications. Our insights and expertise can help you connect deeply with your audience. If you’d like to join our list of incredible clients, get in touch.
Every Friday, we profile an inspiring women’s health company or charity on our social channels. Look out for next week’s and we’d welcome your own Health Hero recommendations in the comments.
Charlotte is Content Marketing Editor at Thrive and is passionate about the increasingly vital role social media plays in marketing strategies.
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