Health tracking is all the rage these days, with the wearables market practically exploding with all kinds of technology that will keep tabs on your exercise, your sleep, and your diet. And now, you can also track your sexual activity with your iPhone. Because no health report is complete without your sexual history.
Much more than a digital belt to make notches in, the iPhone’s new sex tracking system comes complete with the ability to monitor menstrual cycles, basal body temperature, cervical mucus quality, and spotting, and will even allow women to make note of when they’re ovulating.
Ultimately, this latest feature seems to serve as a stand for women’s reproductive health rights, giving them the tools they need to exercise their agency and autonomy when it comes to their sex lives.
This latest feature is part of the Health suite, which has previously been criticized for not being inclusive enough of women’s health, a problem which may be indicative of a larger, industry-wide trend. But now, with the latest update announced at Apple’s recent Worldwide Developers Conference, there is at least the semblance of more female recognition (reflected also in the inclusion of women in the WDC keynote for the first time ever).
As with all other data tracked in the Health app, your sexual history can be graphically represented and shared with doctors at your discretion. And Apple was sure to stress that this information in particular will be kept private unless the user explicitly decides to share it with health professionals.
Some experts doubt the usefulness of the sex tracking feature on its own. Victoria Jennings, director of the Institute for Reproductive Health at Georgetown University, told LiveScience, “In the absence of its connection to something else, it’s hard to see what the health purpose would be.” But that does leave room for the app to offer aid to health when it is used with other releases or sources of information. The tracking could, after all, help couples trying to conceive or, conversely, avoid unwanted pregnancies.
For our money, this new feature could be one of the most practical Apple additions for women’s health yet.