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Cycle-Tracking Apps

February 7, 2014, 6:19 PM by Casey Wonnenberg

Cycle-Tracking Apps

Four-month-old Maddox Erickson is a very easy going, happy baby.

"Definitely the light of my life. I tell him every day he's my little angel," Mother Amanda Erickson said.

Especially because Amanda didn't know if she'd be able to have children. One thing that really helped with her fertility was tracking her cycle. Instead of the traditional calendar, the Sioux Falls woman used an app called MyDays X.

"A lot of people with a calendar would forget or even trying to track your cycles, you forget when you stopped," Amanda said.

Amanda also says the app helped her even before she was trying to conceive. She started using her phone to track her cycle shortly before she got married.

"It was nice to know with the parties and planning when everything was going to happen," Amanda said.

"I think a lot of people actually track it on their phone more so than they admit it. They do it for whatever the reason--just so they can even look ahead for a vacation and say, 'I don't want to be gone that weekend," Avera OB/GYN Dr. Molly Uhing said.

These apps can also indicate possible health problems.

"Having irregular cycles can be a sign of having something abnormal with your hormone levels that's not allowing your brain to send the signals to your ovary to ovulate once a month," Uhing said.

Dr. Molly Uhing says it could be a sign of polycystic ovarian syndrome or a thyroid abnormality.

"Unfortunately, people who are extremes of weight--people who are terribly heavy or terribly slender--can have irregular periods just because their hormones aren't at the appropriate rates," Uhing said.

If you do have a normal cycle, you could also use the app to try to prevent having children.

"It is a fairly effective way at preventing pregnancy. If you really, really don't want to get pregnant, I would say it's not quite enough," Uhing said.

Even after having her baby, Amanda still uses her app. She recommends it for every woman her age.

"I definitely would whether you are trying to get pregnant or need to keep track of your cycle with everything that goes on in your life," Amanda said.

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