#2030NOW: How an app safeguards women’s reproductive health

Pia Ranada

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#2030NOW: How an app safeguards women’s reproductive health

LeAnne Jazul

Zarina San Jose of the World Youth Alliance Philippines promotes an app that can help women monitor their menstrual health

MANILA, Philippines – Apps are now capable of helping the world improve women’s reproductive health, among the Sustainable Development Goals the world hopes to achieve by the 2030.

Zarina San Jose of World Youth Alliance Philippines promoted the app FEMM (Fertility Education and Medical Management) to the participants of the 2017 Manila Social Good Summit held on Saturday, September 16, in Taguig.

FEMM is a smartphone app which helps women monitor their reproductive health through biomarkers related to their menstrual cycle.

It can already be ownloaded from App Store or Google Play, it is yet to be launched in the Philippines.

San Jose said they hope to launch trainings on FEMM and possibly clinics in 2018. In the meantime, her organization has trained around 500 individuals from the private sector and medical field to use the app and understand the science behind it.

While there are countless apps which help women track their menstrual period, FEMM does one thing more: it helps women make sure their menstrual cycle is normal and that their reproductive system is in the pink of health.

“The science behind FEMM is based on healthy biomarkers. What does a healthy cycle look like, and if not’s a healthy cycle, what can you do?” said San Jose.

Most women dismiss cramps, mood swings, or acne as normal experiences during their menstruation, but San Jose said these symptoms should be monitored.

“These symptoms are often dismissed as something normal. It happens every month; it’s part of being a woman. But they’re not always signs that you are very healthy,” she said.

According to the app’s website, FEMM allows women to track cervical fluid, bleeding, physical symptoms like cramps and acne, and emotional symptoms like depression and moodiness.

“These biomarkers are indicators of the hormonal interplay that is occurring throughout your cycle,” the FEMM website said.

Monitoring these indicators allows the app to tell you the average length of your cycle, quality, and length of your bleeding, point of ovulation, and length of your luteal phase or the “grey days” after ovulation.

It also allows the app to inform you if your lifestyle, stress levels, or activities are affecting your reproductive health.

Apps like FEMM use digital technology to achieve some of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals. Protecting women’s health and promoting women empowerment are among these goals. – Rappler.com

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Pia Ranada

Pia Ranada is a senior reporter for Rappler covering Philippine politics and environmental issues. For tips and story suggestions, email her at pia.ranada@rappler.com.