It is amazing how technology makes life much easier. Remember those days you struggled to calculate and remember the exact date your period starts but always seemed off the mark? Well, those days are over
My Calender the app, gives women an easy and none-invasive option to take charge of their reproduction by keeping track of periods, cycle, ovulation, and fertile days.
The use of the phone app as birth control method comes at a time when the country is grappling with unmet need of family planning among married women standing at 28 per cent.
Nassali Fatiah, a journalist working with one of the local television stations in Uganda, says the smartphone application informs her of the days in the month when she will be fertile and able to conceive.
“There is an alarm that alerts you about the days when you are a fertile, and when your period starts and when you are late,” Nassali explains.
The mother of one says the app has kept her safe from unwanted pregnancies for more than a year.
“I am always safe because it reminds me when to buy pads,” she says.
How the App works
Nassali says the phone application is downloaded from the Google play store and can be installed on android enabled smart phones.
“You go in your Google play store and type in period tracker to download the specific application you wish to use,” says Nassali says.
The period tracker is a natural family planning method similar to the moon-bead and calendar method.
Dr Robert Busingye, a senior consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist at Mulago hospital, says the phone application relies on the already existent statistics. He says the method works well for women whose average menstrual cycle is around 28 days.
“So if your average menstrual cycle is 28, you ovulate around day 14. Day one is the first day of the menstrual period and the last day is the day before the next period begins,” he adds.
Annet Asiimwe of Reproductive Health Uganda says the menstrual cycle differs from individual to individual. Some women have shorter cycles while others have long ones.
She however, encourages couples to complement with a backup method such as condoms on days when they are not sure.
App brings relief
According to the 2016 Uganda Demographic and Health Survey, 32 per cent of sexually active unmarried women have an unmet need for family planning with about 51 per cent currently using a contraceptive method.
However, women complain about the numerous side effects rising from the use of hormonal methods of contraception lsuch as injections, implants and pills.
Susan Nakaweesi, a resident of Mityana district, says she has decided to stop using implants following constant headaches. She has chosen to abstain from sex as opposed to using any method of contraception.
The Mityana district health officer, Dr Fred Lwasampijja, consents that like any other drugs, contraceptives have side effects, which are however, manageable.
The smart phone, method which is a natural method of family planning could be a game changer for mothers like Nakaweesi.
What the app offers
The phone app helps track irregular periods, weight, temperature, moods, blood flow, symptoms and more.
Gives discreet reminders to keep you informed and prepared for upcoming periods, ovulation, and fertile days.
The calendar is great at predicting fertility, ovulation and periods. The app adapts to your cycle history and accurately predicts the key days that interest you.
You can protect your period calendar using a unique PIN code.
Other period trackers
There are various period monitoring apps available for smart phone users. Here are some of the best that can be downloaded for free.
This is fully integrated with Apple Health, which makes it optimal for iOS users who use the catch-all fitness app. It is also available for Android.
It reminds you of your cycles in emoji-laced notifications, and every log is a colourful drawing rather than plain old text. It also provides information on things like birth control.
It is passcode-protected for those who prefer to keep private matters private. It’s available for iOS and Android.
This is a straightforward calendar where you can add information every day and get reminders at specific times.