INTRODUCTION: Reproductive health care providers need recommendations on applications (apps) for patient use, particularly apps for menstrual cycle and fertility tracking, because these apps are frequently downloaded by women and can be used by clinicians when evaluating menstrual problems.
METHODS: We searched PubMed and OVID MEDLINE for literature on women's reproductive health apps and searched the Apple iTunes store for menstrual cycle and fertility tracking apps. We recorded price, user rating, functionality, and whether an app was developed or recommended by medical experts.
RESULTS: We identified six articles, all published since 2012, that discuss apps for patient use regarding women's reproductive health; none focused specifically on menstrual cycle or fertility tracking. The apps search identified 94 unique apps for menstrual cycle tracking, priced from free to $16.99. Sixteen (17%) free apps also had paid versions. User ratings ranged from 1.5–4.5 of 5 stars. App functionality included the ability to create a password (43%), tailor for irregular cycles (23%), back up or restore data (22%), select a pregnancy mode (20%), export or e-mail data (10%), or connect to social media (7%). Two apps (2%) advertised development by medical professionals. Despite endorsement of other reproductive health apps, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Institutes of Health did not create or endorse any of these apps.
CONCLUSION AND IMPLICATION: From many available apps, few women's reproductive health apps have been assessed and recommended by reproductive health experts. Available apps have varied functionality that may be important when recommending apps. Evaluation of usability and quality of these apps is needed.
Financial Disclosure: The authors did not report any potential conflicts of interest.
© 2015 by The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Published by Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.