Glow launches new app to help young women track sexual health, cycles

By Aditi Pai
06:00 am
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RubySan Francisco-based Glow, which has developed a suite of women's health apps, launched a new app today designed to help women manage their sex life and their menstrual cycle, called Ruby.

"We’re taught in school to avoid, delay having sex for as long as possible, and when the topic of sex comes up in the classroom, it’s introduced as something fearful: ‘If you have sex, you might get pregnant and you probably don't want to do that’," Glow VP of Partnerships and Marketing Jennifer Tye told MobiHealthNews. "What's not being taught is how to have open and empowering sexual relationships. How to figure out what the right birth control is for you if any and why it's even important to track your cycles to understand your health as a woman."

Glow's other two apps include their eponymous app, which helps women conceive or just track their fertility if they don't have plans to conceive, and Glow Nurture, which women can use to track their pregnancy once they've conceived. Tye said that part of the inspiration for Ruby came from the Glow app.

"Roughly half of our users actually use the Glow app to actively avoid pregnancy," she said. "Based on that, we wanted to develop a whole new app and experience just for them that could more fully reflect their lifestyle."

Women can use Ruby to track their cycles, sexual health, as well as other health factors, which they can sync from HealthKit or log manually. Ruby will use this data to provide women with insights into their health and sex life. The app also offers educational materials about a number of forms of birth control and forums in which women can discuss sexual health, birth control, and other women's health topics.

Tye explains that one of the main differences between Glow, which also allows women to track their period and health, and Ruby, is that Ruby is less focused on the fertility aspect of a woman's health.

"The idea here is to create an experience that is really tailored and relevant to young women who aren’t looking to track every single aspect of their fertility, specifically, but do still think that it’s really important to track their health," Tye said. "For instance, having a personalized experience based on your birth control method, having content in here that is really sex-positive and focused on how to have healthy sexual relationships, [having content about] other aspects of your health that aren’t necessarily focused squarely on fertility."

Ruby is available on iOS for now, but Glow has plans to make an Android version soon.

Earlier this year, Glow added a new feature to its pregnancy app, Glow Nurture, that helps women who have had a miscarriage. The new feature includes curated articles about miscarriage, insights from “trusted sources”, and a daily log. Glow also offers a forum where Glow Nurture users can speak with and listen to a community of women who had miscarriages and want to share their experiences.