Fitbit’s Just-Released Women’s Health Feature Could Expand Your #girlsquad—Here’s How

Photo: Instagram/@jeanieamapola
After smartwatch titan Fitbit recently learned from survey results that the majority of female respondents weren't the best at keeping tabs on their menstrual cycles, the company wanted to help. So along with its latest device launch, the Versa ($200 to $230, depending on model), Fitbit is rolling out a highly requested feature, which is becoming available to all users starting today: Female Health Tracking.

The feature is available on-device for Fitbit Versa and Iconic models, as well as to all women who use the Fitbit app. The health-tracking feature allows you to log and track your period and symptoms (and then notifies you when Aunt Flo is due for a visit!) and view an estimated fertile window that can provide details on when you're ovulating. Plus, as you log more cycles, your holistic health profile will become more robust, and the algorithm will be able to provide smarter predictions.

But its (arguably) most connective function is also its most simple.

With the launch of Female Health Tracking comes five new Fitbit Community Groups that focus on periods, birth control, trying to conceive, pregnancy, and perimenopause and menopause. You can post to the group boards to pose questions about topics you're not comfortable discussing with friends and family—or to just do some baseline, crowdsourced research before scheduling an appointment with your OB/GYN. And you can also share a wealth of personal intel by sharing your own women's-health-related experiences with others.

"Sometimes having information around a basic question from women who have experienced it is sufficient, and I think this is a really great place to start." —Kat Binder, Fitbit

"The future of health care is leaning toward more virtual and remote ways of receiving care, and sometimes it doesn't necessitate actually needing to speak to your doctor," says Kat Binder, senior product marketing manager at Fitbit. "Sometimes having information around a basic question from women who have experienced it is sufficient, and I think this is a really great place to start." Plus, using the community channels aimed toward active boss babes could extend your #girlsquad network, which is a win, since making friends in adulthood is practically its own job.

So, how do you go about using Female Health Tracking? Anyone who has identified themselves as female on the Fitbit app will soon receive a notification when the feature is available (it's currently in the rollout phase). Then, you can simply opt in and start inputing your information. And since a Fitbit rep told me via email that a long-term goal of the feature is to offer insight about how your cycle relates to your sleep, weight, and nutrition, and then also provide tips for minimizing monthly symptoms, it might be a smart idea to opt in.

Could this high-tech pad make your period cramps a thing of the past? Also, here's how meditation can help ease pesky (and painful!) period woes.

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