How The New Apple Watch Shifts Its Focus To Women's Health

Apple Watch's Series 8 and an updated Apple Watch SE arrive September 16, 2022, bringing an improved workout app, a deeper look into your sleep cycle, a feature that tracks atrial fibrillation history, and a medication reminder (via Apple). Apple's latest innovation adds improved features specific to women's health.

The watch tracks body temperature through two sensors, one on the back of the watch and one just underneath the watch's face. It will sample body temperature every five seconds and detect small changes up to 0.1 degrees Celsius. The watch gives a woman the ability to track fluctuations in her body temperature to predict when she might be ovulating. The Apple Watch also sends notifications when ovulation last occurred, which can help with family planning. You can also track any deviations from your regular menstrual cycle, and the watch will send you notifications if there is a notable irregularity (via Apple).

The benefits of tracking body temperature and menstrual periods

If family planning is important to you, you'll more than likely be interested in monitoring your body temperature. According to Banner Health, your body temperature fluctuates between 97 to 99 degrees Fahrenheit throughout the day. The lowest temperature is typically recorded before you wake up, and the highest is just before you head to bed at night. During a woman's menstrual cycle, her average body temperature will rise when she ovulates.

According to the Mayo Clinic, a woman is most fertile within two or three days before ovulation occurs. A woman can improve her odds of conceiving if sperm is in the fallopian tubes when the egg is released. Sperm typically can live in a woman's reproductive tract for up to five days. Therefore, tracking the likelihood of ovulation through the Apple Watch can be somewhat easier by monitoring the body temperature (via Apple).

Because the Apple Watch notifies you of irregular periods, you may be able to detect any potential health issues. According to the Cleveland Clinic, problems can occur if your period is less than 21 days, more than 35 days, missed for three or more cycles, or has an abnormal flow. Although irregular periods can result from drastic weight changes, stress, or other disruptions in your routine, they can also signal uterine polyps, endometriosis, pelvic inflammatory disease, or polycystic ovary syndrome. Tracking information about your menstrual cycle can help your doctor diagnose any issues (via Healthline).