Apple Highlights Women’s Health Study Data to Help ‘Destigmatize Menstruation’

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In 2019, Apple partnered with the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and the NIH’s National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences to launch a Women’s Health Study through its Research app on the iPhone and Apple Watch.

apple womens health study


Apple today highlighted preliminary data from the study, offering insights on women and their menstrual symptoms. Among the first 10,000 participants to enroll in the study and respond to a demographics survey, the most frequently tracked symptoms were abdominal cramps, bloating, and tiredness, all of which were experienced by more than 60 percent of participants who logged symptoms, according to Apple’s press release.

More than half of the participants who logged symptoms reported acne and headaches, based on the preliminary findings. Some less widely recognized symptoms, like diarrhea and sleep changes, were tracked by 37 percent of participants logging symptoms.

Apple said the preliminary data from the Women’s Health Study “highlights how large-scale, longitudinal research on menstruation can help advance the science around women’s health and destigmatize menstruation.”

“These findings take us a step further in validating and destigmatizing period symptoms,” said Dr. Sumbul Desai, Apple’s vice president of Health. “Harvard Chan researchers are leaders in the field on this critically important subject, and we couldn’t be more proud to support and help scale their efforts through the Research app.”

Apple said the Women’s Health Study aims to advance the understanding of menstrual cycles and how they relate to various health conditions, such as polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), infertility, and menopausal transition. Participants must be at least 18 years old (at least 19 years old in Alabama and Nebraska and at least 21 years old in Puerto Rico) and have menstruated at least once in their life.

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