We've all been there. You're going about daily life like the boss lady you are and, oh - your period starts, totally unexpected and unprepared for. The next half hour is spent scurrying around looking for a tampon in the bottom of your bag while simultaneously checking the back of your skirt in every reflective surface.
Yep, irregular periods can be a massive bore. Luckily, technology has come to the rescue with apps like , which use artificial intelligence and sophisticated algorithms to accurately predict when your period is likely to start.
So, how do period tracking apps work, exactly?
Flo has paired with InData Labs to collect and analyse the information submitted by its millions of users to create overriding menstrual trends that can be applied to everyone, while still treating each user as an individual.
All you have to input your moods, days of menstruation and heaviness of your flow, along with any other symptoms. The artificial intelligence system then collates your experiences with the millions of other data points on its central system to accurately predict your upcoming fertile days (which show up in blue) and the days of your next period (which show up in red). Simple, really.
How accurate are period tracking apps?
The prediction error is 2.6 days, down from the 5.6 days of apps that don't use this new artificial intelligence software. What this means is Flo can improve irregular cycle predictions by 54.2%. Not bad, Flo.
Needless to say, Flo is an amazing tool to better understand your body and your cycle as well as tracking and preparing for your period, but it is not contraception and shouldn't be used to try and prevent pregnancy - you'll need proper contraception for that. Oh, and it doesn't protect from STDs, either.
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What's Natalia Vodianova got to do with it?
The top model, philanthropist and mother-of-five started using Flo to try and track her periods. She instantly fell in love with it and ended up investing in its development, as well as working with the founders to tackle period poverty and the stigma surrounding periods. Yas, Natalia!