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There’s an App for That: Improve your fertility and pelvic floor with your phone

Smart phone technology has made massive changes to our lifestyles in a really short space of time. It’s now easier than ever before to keep in touch with loved ones, stay connected to news from around the world and even meet new people with a simple swipe to the right! A big recent trend is for apps that allow you to track and improve different aspects of your health. In an instant you can see how many steps you’ve taken today or get expert instruction in running or meditation. Health apps are also causing a revolution in women’s awareness of their bodies and well-being. Smart phones allow us to gain control over aspects of our reproductive health that we may not have had much information about before, like exactly how our menstrual cycles work. If you’re looking to whip your pelvic floor into shape but don’t know where to start, or you’re sick of the side effects of the pill and want a simpler and safer option, then read on for our pick of the best technology and women's health apps out there…

Squeezy does it – the new NHS and Woman & Home approved kegel appwoman and home women's health apps

Squeezy is a great new app designed by pelvic floor physiotherapists and endorsed by the NHS. It will help you to remember to do your kegels while tracking your progress and giving you tips on how to improve. You can customise your own exercise plan according to your needs or the advice of your doctor. It talks you through your programme like a personal trainer - when it's time to exercise a simple animation tells you when to squeeze and when to let go. Once you've completed your daily programme it’s noted in your record so that you and your doctor can keep track of how you’ve been doing. It can be really easy to forget to do your kegels if you’re busy so Squeezy will give you a friendly reminder when it's time. It's been recommended in this month's Women's Health, along with our friends at Kegel8, so you can be sure that it's a tried and tested way to perfect your pelvic floor!

PeriCoach – the personal trainer for your pelvic floor

pericoach women's health appsThe tips that Squeezy can give you on how to perform kegels are fantastic as they’ve been written by pelvic floor experts. But what if you’re still having trouble? It can be really tricky to get the hang of pelvic floor exercises as they aren’t muscles that we think about using very often. It’s also difficult to get started if your muscles are particularly weak as it will be difficult for you to feel whether they’re contracting correctly. An excellent way of working your way up to solo exercises is to practice with a machine like the PeriCoach. Like the popular Kegel8, it uses a probe to detect which muscles you’re squeezing and how strong they are. Pericoach links up to an app that tells you when to squeeze and gives real-time audio and visual feedback on exactly what your muscles are doing! This makes kegels so much easier to get right and enables you to track and share your progress automatically. A recent study also found that women using Pericoach reported an increase in sexual satisfaction - more than enough reason to give it a try!



Get a Clue – women's health apps for tracking and predicting your periods

daysy women's health appsIt’s not just your pelvic floor that can benefit from smart phone technology. Period tracking apps are getting increasingly popular as they make it simple to make sense of the many complex symptoms that make up your menstrual cycle. Women's health apps can show you the unique ways in which your body works and accurately predict when your period will start, even if it’s irregular. One of the most popular apps is Clue. The beautifully simple interface of this free app lets you track as many symptoms as you like – from how heavy your flow is and if you have cramps to whether you’re craving chocolate (and other less stereotypical signs that you might be menstruating!). The more you use it the more accurate it gets, so you can see at a glance if you’re about to start experiencing PMS, ovulation or your period. Clue will give you notifications on your phone so that you know when it's time to start stocking up on tampons!

Plan for a baby – or avoid one – with Daysy

What used to be known as the ‘rhythm method’ of contraception is having a revival at the moment. Now that we know a lot more about female biology than we did back in the early 20th century, body temperature and the position and moisture of the cervix can be used to make much more accurate predictions. Known as ‘fertility awareness’, when it’s done perfectly it has a success rate of 99%. However, as most of us are not gynaecologists it’s thought to have a failure rate of up to 25%. The high tech Daysy fertility monitor fixes this; it uses a highly accurate thermometer to record your temperature and track it against a unique algorithm that’s been developed using years of family planning research. This makes it 99.3% effective – all completely non-invasively and without hormones! You can see in a few seconds whether you’re ovulating so that you know if you can have unprotected sex. Daysy can help you to avoid pregnancy or to know when’s best to try for a baby. When you connect Daysy to your phone, it gives you detailed data on your body’s cycles via its DaysyView app.

So your iPhone isn't just for finding out what your friends are doing - it can also tell you whether there's anyone hanging out in your uterus! Take a look around the app store right now and see for yourself how technology can help you get to know body better.