iPhone Update Looks After Your Sexual Health

From sexual activity to menstrual flow, the HealthKit in Apple's latest operating system puts a new focus on women's reproductive health.

iPhone Update Looks After Your Sexual Health Photo (cc) by Infomastern

An imminent iPhone update promises to help users look after their sexual health.

Apple took heat for neglecting women’s health issues after the release of the current iPhone operating system, iOS 8.

Apple’s HealthKit software platform, for example, was the target of criticism from Arielle Duhaime-Ross of tech site The Verge, who wrote:

“Of all the crazy stuff you can do with the Health app, Apple somehow managed to omit a woman’s menstrual cycle. …

So, is it really too much to ask to that Apple treat women, and their health, with as much care as they’ve treated humanity’s sodium intake?”

Enter iOS 9’s version of HealthKit. News website Apple Insider reports that a new category on the app will track menstrual cycles and more:

  • Basal body temperature
  • Cervical mucus quality
  • Menstruation
  • Ovulation test result
  • Sexual activity
  • Spotting

Apple announced the new features this week during the 2015 Apple Worldwide Developers Conference in San Francisco. A beta version of iOS 9 will be available to the public at beta.Apple.com in July, Apple announced in a press release.

Tech websites like Gizmodo and TechCrunch point out that Apple’s iOS Developer Library for software developers gives further insight into the new features as currently planned.

For example, women can input “the amount of menstrual flow for a given sample” by choosing from a range of four values: unspecified, light, medium and heavy. They can enter “cervical mucus quality” by choosing from five values ranging from “dry” (indicating a woman is least fertile) to “egg whites” (most fertile).

Other HealthKit features debuting in iOS 9 include “an identifier for quantity types that measure the user’s UV exposure” and “categories representing the user’s skin type based on the Fitzpatrick scale,” according to Apple’s iOS Developer Library.

The Fitzpatrick scale classifies skin types in range from very fair (Type I) to the very dark (Type VI), according to the international nonprofit Skin Cancer Foundation.

You don’t have to wait for iOS 9 to find out your Fitzpatrick skin type, though. Visit this Skin Cancer Foundation webpage — and check out “The ABCs of Skin Cancer (Don’t Get Burned by SPFs)” to learn how to protect yourself from skin cancer and wrinkles and age spots.

Karla Bowsher
Karla Bowsher
I’m a freelance journalist and former newspaper reporter who has covered both personal and public finance. I've worked for a top 50 major metro daily and a community newspaper as well as ... More


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