The company that makes the fertility app Glow released a new iOS app called Ruby today, which lets women track their menstrual cycles and sexual health without an obsessive in-your-face focus on pinpointing ovulation.
Like its baby-focused cousin Glow, the Ruby app still tells you when you're in a 'fertile window', but its interface is designed to give a broader view of your entire monthly cycle. Each month is shown as one loop in a spiral that grows as time moves on and data accrues. Menstrual days are red, days with peak fertility are shown in green, in-between days are blue. During the fertile window, the chance of pregnancy appears in big bold letters in the center of the circle, later in the month that space changes to a heads-up countdown for when your period is going to start. The spiral is customised, not just for length of cycle or duration of menstrual period, but also for the birth control method you're on: if your contraceptive keeps you from ovulating, your fertile window vanishes (so be honest!).
Each day, users have the option to add information about intercourse, condom use, emotional state (so far, limited to happy, emotional, or stressed, but Glow promises more options soon), menstrual symptoms, or vaginal discharge; the app lets users look for patterns in those variables over time. And through the Apple HealthKit, Ruby can also integrate users sleep and exercise data from other tracking programs.
The program has an easy-to-find tab that opens Glow's community site for support and advice, and digging into menus brings up information on contraceptive methods from Glow's partners at Bedsider, the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy's birth control support network.
The app is free for download on iTunes. And each time someone shares the hashtag #TalkRubyToMe on social media, the company will donate to Huru International, which provides menstrual supplies to Kenyan girls so they don't miss school.