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Menstruation Station: An Open Letter to Fitbit

By F+, Featured

Illustration by Cat Cao

Fitbit finally added a period tracker to their app.

I had been holding out. I knew, one day, they would add this, and I didn’t want to download a separate period tracking app. Then, an update, and there it was.

I discovered, upon logging my first tracked period, that not only can I put in the length and frequency of my periods, I also get to log every period-related symptom I have. For those of you who already use period-tracking apps, this comes as no surprise, but for me, the hold-out, I was extremely excited that there was a sanctioned place for me to blame my monthly breakout on my cycle.

Turns out, for the purposes of potentially becoming pregnant, you can also track when you have sex, protected or unprotected.

Here’s the rub: I also recently purchased a new vibrator.

(If you are a family member, you can go ahead and stop reading now. I appreciate your support and love, but if you keep reading, there are just some things we will not be discussing probably ever.)

I love my new vibrator. At the risk of sharing just way too much, I have orgasmed at least once a day since acquiring said vibrator and have no plans of ending that trend.

I feel very strongly that I should be able to log this activity in my Fitbit app now. I already feel vaguely judged when they tell me how much sleep I am or am not getting and guess as to why; I don’t feel like I need to log sex in order to let Fitbit know that I’m getting mine.

In addition to that weird complex I have about Fitbit’s opinion of me, orgasms are not irrelevant to my feminine health in relation to my menstrual cycle and ovulation. If the purpose of being able to log period-related symptoms is to identify and predict trends in my cycle (the first day, cramping, etc.), then I should also be able to log things that lessen those symptoms in order to identify and predict those outcomes.

Lord knows when I have an orgasm, those cramps go right away.

So here is my letter to Fitbit, asking for some upgrades:

Dear Fitbit,

Thank you for the recent update that includes a female health section on your app. I have begun use of the feature, and have a few suggestions on how to improve it.

At the risk of judgement or pity from the person reading this letter, I’ll tell you that I haven’t had sex with another human being in almost a year. This is probably for the best — I’ve had a weird year. Worry not, though, I have a vibrator and have been making good use of it.

This brings me to my main suggestion for your period and fertility tracker: I think people who have periods should be able to track not only when they have sex, protected and unprotected, but also their orgasms.

A quick Google search confirms orgasms can relieve pain in addition to just being awesome in every other way. Your app allows me to log cramps, in addition to other period-related symptoms, so I don’t think it’s irrelevant. If I’m to log cramps and headaches, I should be able to log bodily solutions to those problems outside of sex.

Sure, I could log masturbation as sex, but that’s not really the point. Particularly because I know the sex log exists to track whether or not I might be pregnant, an impossibility when I’m having sex with myself and my vibrator (also, an impossibility when I’m having sex frequently, as I am a lesbian).

This seems like an oversight that’s easily remedied: add an orgasm or masturbation category to the sex log. Doing so would add nuance and accuracy to predicting trends in my period symptoms. I know y’all love a good graph: I know exactly how much sleep I’m getting and how restful it was — not to mention my heart rate, step count, and workout routine graphs. Data allows me to not only know what my baseline is, health-wise, it allows me to see trends and therefore predict outcomes.

My period and its symptoms are high-value predictions, as presumably you know based on your inclusion of this feature. Including every relevant facet of my cycle can only serve to improve the data, allowing for more accuracy.

I also just want an app-approved reason to talk more about my new vibrator, so this would be a win-win.

Thank you for your time,

Emily

 

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