This App Is More Than A Period Tracker

Photo: Courtesy Glow.
Period-tracking apps have been around almost as long as the App Store has — but a new one, called Ruby, does way more than just give you a heads-up when Aunt Flo is at your doorstep. Ruby aims to empower women to have more control over their reproductive health; it acts as a holistic, trustworthy source for all things sex and body.

To start, Ruby (made by fertility-monitoring app company Glow) lets you track what's happening to your body throughout your cycle, much like the popular period tracker Clue. The app opens to a circular representation of your month, and you report into the app one or more times a day to log things about your body: Do you have your period? Are you feeling stressed? What about bloated? Did you have protected or unprotected sex? As you record more information, the app illustrates a more exact look at your bodily trends, showing you what happens month after month. You can look at a feed of your month day by day or tap into a specific piece of data, like when you've had sex, to see it plotted out. (Why, look at that: You do tend to get headaches three days before your period starts, and you have the most sex during your fertile window. Learning!)

With that information, the app will soon be able to give you more helpful, actionable notifications, such as a reminder to stock up on ibuprofen a few days before your headaches normally set in. It can also let you know what times of the month your pain tolerance is likely highest, so you can schedule a bikini wax or new tattoo when you can handle it best.

On top of this, the app has answers to your every burning question about sex, birth control, and your reproductive cycle. There's a Q&A section where community members can ask, answer, and chat about areas like "Period Talk" and "Love & Sex," plus a section (powered by Bedsider) that provides fact-backed literature on a range of topics, and a definitive guide to what you need to know about every form of birth control. (Keeping readers informed about this stuff is something Refinery29 also values deeply.) Now, you can know exactly how an IUD works, and how your body's cycle reacts should you choose to get one.

With tools like this, hopefully the next generation of women won't have to parse the horrific inaccuracies of Yahoo Answers for the information their sex ed class failed to teach — all while filling in the maybe-embarrassing gaps in our own reproductive educations.

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