Although most menstrual cycle anomalies aren't dangerous, they can occasionally suggest health issues.
Menstrual cycle tracking can assist women in determining what is normal, the time of ovulation, and identifying significant deviations such as a missed period or irregular menstrual bleeding. The Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health has collaborated with Apple and the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) on the first study of its kind to learn more about how certain demographic and lifestyle factors may affect menstrual cycles and gynecologic conditions. Additionally, it included related issues such as infertility, menopause, and polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS).
Together with survey responses, the cycle tracking data from your iPhone and/or Apple Watch (optional) will be used to build new products for tracking menstrual cycles, assessing risk, and screening for gynecologic disorders.
Data were acquired on participants’ iPhones and Apple Watches using the Apple Research App. About 30,000 of the more than 37,000 people who signed up for the study, which runs from 2019 to 2021, completed a reproductive history survey, which asked them about their previous menstrual cycles.
Research into menstrual cycle
This is the first large-scale, long-term study of its kind. It aims to improve knowledge of the menstrual cycle and how it relates to health issues such as infertility, heart disease, and menopause.
During the research, the data linked to polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) were heavily considered. Other factors/measures taken into account during the research include age, medical history in the family, hormone use, gynecological issues in the past, and the participants’ cardiac conditions.
We commonly think of PCOS as a syndrome that impacts periods and fertility. However, it also has implications on cardiovascular health, blood pressure, cholesterol, diabetes, and obesity, according to the researchers. Despite the fact that the menstrual cycle has never been investigated in relation to PCOS and heart issues.
The researchers have discovered that people with PCOS have a higher prevalence of certain illnesses. This can have a harmful impact on heart health.
The Apple Women’s Health Study‘s quality of study is critical for a better knowledge of PCOS and its health consequences. This is applicable for those with PCOS and others who may have PCOS but are unaware of it.
How to deal with irregular menstrual cycle
The researcher advises healthcare providers to increase menstrual regularity by recommending lifestyle adjustments.
Among their suggestions are :
- changing workout regimen,
- increasing the amount of nutritious food consumed,
- improving sleeping habits,
- keeping themselves hydrated,
- looking after their mental health.
Mahalingaiah said, “by increasing access to clinics and encouraging lifestyle changes at the primary care level, healthcare professionals can provide better care to people with PCOS throughout their lifetime.“