When Apple launched HealthKit last year, many women were quick to note there was no way for them to track their periods with the tool, which can collect and share data among health and fitness apps. That’s finally changing with iOS 9, which will be released later this fall.
But Apple isn’t stopping with menstruation. According to Apple’s developer documentation for its upcoming mobile operating system, iOS 9, HealthKit will allow iPhones to track a number of other reproductive health metrics:
- Basal body temperature: This is a person’s resting body temperature. A woman is most fertile two to three days before her body temperature rises, which happens during ovulation.
- Cervical mucus quality: Estrogen stimulates the production of cervical mucus, a fluid secreted by the cervix. The quality, which varies day by day, is an indicator of fertility.
- Spotting: This is abnormal vaginal bleeding that occurs outside of menstruation.
- Ovulation test results
- Sexual activity: Users will be able to log the time and date of sexual activity and specify if they used birth control or not.
And all this hi-tech tracking could help revive an antiquated birth control method. The old-fashioned “rhythm method” form of contraception (today referred to as “fertility-awareness based method”) also relies on basal body temperature, cervical mucus, and menstruation to determine periods of fertility.
But the method’s reliability as birth control was often foiled by imperfect tracking—something that HealthKit could change.