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Need to Check Your Fertility? There's an App for That!

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Just when you thought the iPhone couldn't get any smarter, Apple today announced pre-ordering for the iPhone4, a phone that allows you to video conference with your friends, shoot your own video in HD, and multitask between apps. And thank God for the latter, because some of us now run our entire lives off apps, from BarCheck (an app that lets you enter a product's bar code into the phone while you're shopping to compare against online prices), to Lie Detector (probably more fun than accurate), to iDoodle (because who doesn't love to doodle).

But who would have guessed that this multitasking could also extend to managing your reproductive health on the go? Already available for consumption are a few fascinating apps that make remembering when to expect your period (iPeriod, no joke), take your birth control pill (iPilule), or go for your mammogram (BreastHealth GPS) easier than ever. And perhaps most impressive is an app called MeFertile that helps conceiving women track their fertility over time.

This last app, a year-old Brooklyn-based venture that's just shy of a humble 200 Twitter followers, allows users to enter variables such as basal body temperature, last intercourse, cervical mucus consistency, and current medications, and chart them on a touch-screen graph. As values are entered, the graph begins to highlight the different stages of the menstrual cycle, showing the user when she is most likely to ovulate. The program even highlights what it calculates to be a "most fertile day" out of the entire month.

And for on-the-go women who are already pregnant, apps like iPregnant and BabyBump (selling for $0.99 and $4.99 respectively) help users remember exactly how far along they are, all while tracking their progress through regular prenatal clinic visits. Perfect for the visual learners among us, the BabyBump app even gives you a cartoon schematic of what the fetus should look like at each changing interval. Combined with a due date countdown and fun facts section alerting users to new fetal developments ("by now your baby's irises can dilate and contract in response to light," on week 31, for example), how could you not get addicted?

As a new genre of iPhone applications, these programs seem like the next best thing in clickable conveniences, save but a few that also allow men to predict and track their female partner's menstrual periods. Saved for the end because of its pure shock value, the IAmAMan app crosses the line. With multiple passwords (one for each girlfriend, it appears), the app promises to help male users "with their private life planning," a service that Gizmodo.com (the same website that was blasted for revealing the iPhone4 a week too early) calls sleazy and for shameless players.

Have iPhone apps revolutionized the way we organize and manage our lives, or are these personal reproductive health trackers going too far? You decide.


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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.


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