Apple Watch: Top things to know about Women Health features

Since the first generation of the Apple Watch in 2015, each new iteration has set new standards. In particular, timely warnings for heart-related conditions such as atrial fibrillation (AFib), irregular heart rhythm and even fall detection have saved thousands of lives worldwide.

But not many people know that over the years, Apple has introduced several value-added features to monitor women’s health, such as menstrual cycle tracking, retrospective ovulation estimation, and more. This data can be used to diagnose health problems in women.

Recently, Harvard Chan School researchers used survey data from the Apple Women’s Health Study to gain a scientific understanding of the correlation between persistently abnormal periods, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), and endometrial hyperplasia and cancer.

The report found that 12 percent of participants reported a PCOS diagnosis. It also showed that participants with PCOS were more than four times the risk of endometrial hyperplasia (precancerous of the uterus) and more than 2.5 times the risk of uterine cancer.

And about 5.7 percent of participants reported that it took five or more years for their cycles to become regular after their first period. Participants in that group had more than twice the risk of endometrial hyperplasia and more than 3.5 times the risk of uterine cancer, compared to those who reported their cycles took less than a year to become regular.

Cycle tracking on Apple Watch. Image credit: apple

Here’s what you need to know about the Apple Watch’s Women’s Health tracking features:

Track menstrual cycle
All Apple Watches come with a menstrual cycle tracking app and users can update its details.

Here’s how to set up cycle tracking on iPhone
Step 1: On your iPhone, open the Health app
Step 2: Tap browse at the bottom right of the screen to find the health categories. Once there, tap Track bike
Step 3: Then just follow the onscreen instructions and set up notifications
Step 4: After setting the bike path, users can describe the period: the current level and the symptoms

With heart rate data recorded over time, it can also make more accurate predictions. If you happen to own the latest Watch Series 8 and sleep with it every night, the app tracks wrist temperature to improve period predictions and provide retrospective ovulation estimates.

It is very important to enable Menstrual Notifications and Fertility Notifications in Health app on iPhone. With this, users receive notifications on Apple Watch about upcoming periods, fertile window predictions, and on Apple Watch Series 8 retrospective ovulation estimates.

Apple Watch can provide ovulation date estimate and even show possible cycle abnormalities. Image credit: Apple

And users can create a PDF of cycle history, including details such as logged periods, pulse temperature, retrospective ovulation estimates, symptoms, and cycle abnormalities, and share it with a professional physician to aid in the diagnosis of PCOS, endometrial hyperplasia, and other health conditions.

Users can always remove or add options through the Health app. Also, Cycle Tracking data is encrypted on the device and can only be accessed with the passcode, Touch ID or Face ID.

Here’s how to use the ECG app on Apple Watch
The electrodes built into the back crystal and the Digital Crown on the Apple Watch Series 4 (and newer models) work in tandem with the ECG app to allow customers to record an EKG similar to a single lead.

Step 1: Tap the ECG app on Apple Watch Series 4 (and newer models) and hold your finger on the Digital Crown. This completes the circuit and the electrical signals across their hearts are measured.
Step 2: After 30 seconds, the heart rhythm is classified as AFib, sinus rhythm, or unclear.

It alerts the user if there is an abnormal fluctuation in heart rate between 50 beats per minute (BPM) and 120 BPM.

Must Read | Apple Watch’s EKG app saves woman from life-threatening AFib heart condition

AFib app on Apple Watch. Credit: Apple

Set irregular rhythm notification
Condition: Make sure the Apple iPhone and Apple Watch are up to date with the latest software.
Step 1: On iPhone, open the Health app.
Step 2: Tap the Browse tab, then go to Heart > Irregular Rhythm Notifications.

Users can also enable or disable irregular rhythm notifications in the Apple Watch app through iPhone.

Step 1: Open the Apple Watch app, tap the My Watch tab, then go to Heart > Irregular Rhythm.
Once enabled, Apple Watch alerts the user with a notification of an irregular rhythm detected on five rhythm checks for a minimum of 65 minutes.

SOS emergency assistance
Step 1: Press and hold the side button of the watch (the button just below the Digital Crown) until the Emergency call slider appears.
Step 2: Users just need to slide the Emergency call option to start the call immediately.

It should be noted that even if the user holds down the side button, after a countdown, Apple Watch will automatically call emergency services and immediate family members (as set in the Medical ID).

Apple SOS emergency and fall detection features. Credit: Apple

Fall detection
Users can enable the Fall Detection feature in the Apple Watch app on iPhone. It should be noted that for users 55 and older, the Fall Detect feature is always enabled by default.
And for users ages 18 to 54, Fall Detection is only enabled by default during workouts.

Here’s how to enable Fall Detection
Step 1: Open the Watch app on iPhone and then tap the My Watch tab.
Step 2: Tap Emergency SOS.
Step 3: Turn the Fall Detection on or off. When Fall Detection is enabled, users can select Always On or Only On during workouts.

It should be noted that the latest Watch Series 8, Watch SE (2nd generation) and even the iPhone 14/14 Pro devices come with special sensors to detect serious car accidents. Based on the strong impact or sudden loss of speed of the car, they will automatically flash a message: It seems that you have had an accident. iPhone/Watch triggers Emergency SOS if you don’t respond.” If the users do not respond to the message on the screen, emergency services and close relatives are automatically called.

Must Read | Car falls off a 100-meter cliff, Apple iPhone 14’s Crash Detection feature saves a couple’s life

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