your health

Fertility App Glow Adds Period Tracker For Willfully Childless Heathens

Pinpoint the exact moment in your cycle when it's time to start freaking out.

Choose your own adventure! (Photo: blog.glowing.com)

Choose your own adventure! (Photo: blog.glowing.com)

Baby makin’ encouragement application Glow is adding another skill to its roster: helping people stay unpregnant.

The app launched last year, with PayPal cofounder Max Levchin leading its team of impressive tech guys. Yes, somehow the founders are all guys. But the app serves its purpose quite well. A spokesperson told Betabeat that more and more women are successfully becoming pregnant with the app’s help every day.

The app synthesizes heaps of users’ medical data to give advice. It gives you a percentage rate for how likely you are to get pregnant each day of your cycle, for example, and also might advise you to be checked for, say, endometriosis if you’re experiencing particularly painful cramps.

Glow also partnered with cherished nutrition app MyFitnessPal last October to put two of the most anxiety inducing issues facing women — how much we weigh and when the hell our periods are supposed to get here — in one handy place.

It's great when your avocado comes with a healthy pep talk!

It’s great when your avocado comes with a healthy pep talk!

Despite the temptation to kill these two nefarious birds with one stone, though, it wasn’t a great situation for those of us who are chill with being childless for now. This reporter once downloaded the Glow app for research, but had to delete it when it kept saying things like, “Having sex in the next few days will maximize your chances for pregnancy!” Spooky.

But now, Glow is incorporating period tracking for people who don’t want to get pregnant. Now, when users download Glow, they’ll be able to pick one of two options: trying to conceive or not trying. And for those of us who aren’t, Glow will get to know our natural patterns and inform us when things look wonky.

Also, getting started with Glow now could help down the road if you decide you do want to get pregnant. That’s what differentiates this app from the scores of other period trackers available online. From the app’s blog post announcing the new features:

“Whether you want to start a family now or later in life, having more knowledge of your reproductive health allows for better decisions and more control. Glow will give you the confidence you need to understand your body and its many signals and make the right choices now and in the future.”

Glow is available on iTunes and Google Play. And various forms of birth control are available at your local drug store. Just sayin’.

Follow Molly Mulshine on Twitter or via RSS. mmulshine@observer.com