The first results of the Apple Women’s Health Study have been published, demonstrating how large-scale and long-term menstruation research can facilitate scientific advances in women’s health and help eliminate taboos about menstruation.
In this landmark study, comprehensive information gathered by collecting cycle monitoring data and other health data is supported by questionnaires filled out by participants of different races and ages from all states and regions of the USA. Participants can control the types of data they will share with the research and see transparently for what purposes these data will be used in the research.
The team, which runs the Apple Women’s Health Research at Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health, leads the scientific analysis of women and their menstrual symptoms with the preliminary research update published with the data obtained with the innovative methodology of the Research application. The update, which includes data from 10,000 American participants of various ages and races, reveals how large-scale and long-term menstruation research can facilitate scientific advances in women’s health and help eliminate taboos about menstruation.
Although most doctors view women’s menstrual cycles as an important window to their overall health, this issue is remarkably under-researched. Medical research on menstruation has often been limited to small-scale studies and could not represent the majority of the population. Without solid scientific data, women’s menstrual symptoms have historically been either ignored or underestimated as overreactions or hypersensitivity.
The Apple Women’s Health Study, conducted through the Research app, invites women in the US to participate in this study using their iPhones and Apple Watch, if available.
The research team will continue to work on preliminary data and prepare a detailed analysis, including the methods used, for peer review and publication in a scientific journal.
Apple Women’s Health Study, the first of its kind, aims to gain a better understanding of menstrual cycles and their connection with various health conditions such as polycystic ovary syndrome, infertility and menopause. IPhone and Apple Watch users in the US can participate in research conducted with the Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health and the NIH National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) by downloading the Research app. Participants must be at least 18 years old (at least 19 in Alabama and Nebraska, at least 21 in Puerto Rico) and have had at least one period in their lifetime.