Apple Notices That Basically Half the Population Menstruates

Craig Federighi talking about updates to the Health app. (Menstruation bottom left.)

Screencap from Apple

When Apple released its Health app in September 2014, something was conspicuously missing: It didn’t include functionality for tracking menstruation or fertility. It was a problematic oversight, but it’s the type of thing companies correct quickly, right? Haha, nope. When Apple updated the Health app in March, it was still period-free.

Finally, on Monday at Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference, senior vice president of software engineering Craig Federighi announced that the Health app in iOS 9 will include reproductive health tracking. A category for “Menstruation” briefly flashed across the demo screen, before Federighi moved on to talking about smarthomes. Apple’s liveblog noted, “The Health app can … now also track reproductive health, how often you’re seated, and UV exposure.”

There aren’t any other details yet about what exactly the addition of a “reproductive health” category will mean, and no one said the words “period” or “menstruation” out loud on stage. Recognizing a standard component of health and health monitoring for a pretty important (!) demographic group is apparently a learning process for Apple.