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Wellness

Apple WatchOS 6: How to track your menstrual cycle and fertility

How to use Apple's new period-tracking app.

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Cycle Tracking in the Apple Health app

James Martin/CNET

Apple has (finally) created a dedicated app for tracking your period, called Cycle Tracking. The new app isn't available quite yet -- but you'll be able to use it later this year when iOS 13 and WatchOS 6 are available to the public. It is a standalone app on the Apple Watch ( $349 at Amazon) and is built into the Health app on the iPhone ( $1,000 at Best Buy).

Tracking your menstrual cycle is an important way to keep tabs on your health. Knowing when your next cycle starts not only helps you always be prepared, it's also useful if you are trying to conceive, or are living with conditions like polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) and endometriosis.

During your period you can log your flow level and symptoms like cramps or headaches in the Cycle Tracking app. As you log information about your cycle, the app will predict when your next period will begin and when you're ovulating, and then generate notifications on your iPhone and/or Apple Watch.

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You can log symptoms from your Apple Watch

James Martin/CNET

You can also log fertility stats like basal body temperature or the results from an ovulation test. The app uses that information to create a fertility window -- the few days each month when you're most likely to get pregnant. You can see an overview of your cycle in the Apple Health iPhone app, and you can log symptoms directly from your Apple Watch.

Apple's Cycle Tracking follows a model very similar to other menstruation-tracking apps such as Clue and Eve, both of which use the data you enter to predict when your period will arrive and when you're ovulating.

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