Got Questions About Your Sexual Health?
There’s an app for that
It seems like there’s an app for everything these days — monitoring your bank accounts, listening to your favorite podcasts and music, even watching exactly how many steps you take in a day. But did you know that you can use apps to help manage your sexual health?
Every day, women just like you are using technology to help address some of the trickiest and most embarrassing questions you may have. And though it can be intimidating to manage, incorporating apps into your sexual-wellness routine can streamline it, making it as much a part of your everyday routine as brushing your teeth or showering. The best part? Using technology gives you the option to get your questions addressed without worrying about how reliable the source is or feeling embarrassed.
Here are a few apps and digital platforms that are helping women like you learn about their bodies and manage their sexual health.
Planned Parenthood Direct
For decades, Planned Parenthood has worked to provide reproductive health care for citizens in the United States and beyond. But they’re expanding their services by working on an app to make obtaining care for some of the most popular health concerns easier than ever. Planned Parenthood Direct, which is available on Google Play and iTunes, offers birth control and urinary track infection (UTI) treatment from the comfort of your home. How does it work? Users can download the app, select the service they need (for example, getting treatment for a UTI, obtaining birth control or finding the nearest health center) and submit a request to a live physician. The app is only available for users in select states, but Planned Parenthood is working to expand it.
If you’re also looking for a way to interact directly with a professional about any question you may have concerning your sexual health, the Planned Parenthood chat (available on their website and on your phone) is also a great option.
Clue Period Tracker
If you want to better understand how to manage your sexual health, learning about your period is the perfect place to start. By tracking your cycle, you can begin to learn much about your body’s natural rhythms and can more easily track when something is amiss. But for many people, the idea of managing their period every month can bring on anxiety and dread.
The Clue Period Tracker helps you manage and track your cycle covertly because the last thing you need is an app that screams “PERIOD TRACKER.” In addition to the app, the Clue website has resources available that explain changes to your cycle throughout your life and offers interesting articles that explore how menstruation is viewed in cultures around the world. No matter how you explore it, apps that streamline tracking your cycle are a good introduction to learning about your reproductive health.
Another important aspect of reproductive health is regular breast checks. Black women are diagnosed with breast cancer at the same rates as white women, according to the Center of Disease Control and Prevention, but Black women die at higher rates. Why? According to the American Cancer Society, Black women experience inequalities in access to care, including screening and treatment.
But you know one way we can learn about breast cancer and pass on the knowledge? Apps.
Breast Test is an iPhone app that teaches the user the proper way to perform a breast self-exam. The app takes you step-by-step and answers some of the most commonly asked questions, like which area to check and how and what to feel for.
The American Cancer Society also suggests that women age 40 and older should be getting regular breast exams. But an exam once a year isn’t nearly enough to ensure that your breasts are healthy. Learning how to give yourself a regular breast self-exam (ideally, every month) can give you peace of mind and help you to take control of your health.
While using apps to track your menstrual cycle and learning to give yourself breast self-exams are great, they can also be used to track … well, your sex life! Lioness is a free interactive app that pairs with a vibrator to track your sexual health. It is completely private and encrypted, so you don’t have to worry about hacking or personal information being leaked. The app tracks core body temperature by using temperature sensors, uses motion sensors to monitor how you’re using the vibrator during your sessions and tracks your pelvic floor muscles to document arousal and orgasm patterns. All of this information is processed within the app, where you can write notes and other data in a calendar, as well as input your own notes via a diary option. How cool is that?