Written by guest contributor AF:
Hands up: who tracks their period!? Wave your tampon in the air if you do! Just kidding. Don’t do that. Ew. Don’t talk about it at all actually, ever… JUST KIDDING. Do what you want. It’s such a contentious subject, though isn’t it? The literal lifeblood of girl power is always being shushed, hidden, turned into ridiculous blue (?) liquid so we don’t get totally squeaked out about our bodies… all of this just makes it sound like it’s a shameful thing. Thankfully, there are way better ads out there nowadays and way more people willing to call out all those dated, old school ideas about “womanstuffs”, I mean PERIODS. I’m not saying everyone should start making self-portrait finger paintings with it every month (or do, I don’t care), but it think there is so much more room to discuss and joke about and understand periods without feeling like they are any more disgusting or taboo than anything else (just ask Crimson Wave!) I mean, you know if dudes had periods, it would be as un-taboo as the fart joke, right?
As a preteen I initially saw my period as a badge of honour, ushering me into womanhood. I wanted to discuss it with everyone because I was intrigued and proud of finally being included the “club”. I literally thought that it meant I got to “graduate” from the kid stores to the women stores at Lansdowne Place (Northern Reflections I’m still coming for you!). Somewhere along the way, though, I forgot that our bodies are actually incredibly impressive, and instead starting thinking about it as something to hide. But our reproductive machinery is an INSANE, even when it’s not being used as an Airbnb for embryos. I can only imagine how impressed I’ll be by my capabilities if/when I have a kid! If John Mayor says your body is a wonderland, then your reproductive system is like freggin’ TOP GUN: intricate, epic, terrifying. So anything that can enlighten me on it’s inner magic is highly encouraged.
So, let’s meet Ruby. Despite the hopeful eyes of my mother-in-law, I’m not trying to conceive a tiny bearded
lumbersexual just yet (for those of you that don’t know me, I’m married to a large bearded lumbersexual) but having some kind of idea about the inner workings of my body sounds really helpful and valuable to me, so I started tracking my period using a new app called Ruby. Ruby is the sister app to Glow, and is one of several period trackers available to IOS users. While Glow focuses on tracking your fertility WITH babymaking in mind, Ruby focuses on the menstrual cycle itself and also serves as a sexual education hub. It documents your unique bodily trends to predict both your fertile period (in green) and your period period (in red). It also includes a health blog and links to provide details on different forms of birth control and common symptoms. After plugging in your info every month it will get to know your ovaries a little better, and is able to tell you – approximately – what’s going on on any given day of the month. So far I love knowing this information! It makes me feel like I in the know, you know?? Plus, with Ruby I get little notifications like “Today you ovulate!” or “Your fertile window is ending!”, and I think, thanks, girl! You’ve totally got my back.
Speaking of ovulating, apps are not a replacement for birth control, they are still only predictions based on data. Relying on it solely would be like trusting Siri to drive your car for you. The information on Ruby doesn’t sugarcoat things either, it’s full of the straight-up facts and very user-friendly. I feel like this could be an amazing tool for teens and their parents too (all I had was a calendar and a marker!). I am no medical professional, but as a period-having lady, I find tracking it using an app like Ruby to be a really useful way of getting information and taking control of your own self-knowledge.
Now here is the best period joke of all time (Warning: swearing and some bloody hilarious humour). Periods are HILARIOUS, amirite!?!