Using Technology to Get Through Menopause
Menopause brings more to think about and more to manage, but not more free time. Fortunately, there are smartphone apps to offer the support you need without demanding much of your time or effort in return.
While there’s no doubt that the right phone app can improve your routine, the difference between a helpful resource and a waste of time is in how well the app fits with your most pressing menopause concerns.
What a Menopause App Can Do for You
Symptom tracking is just the tip of the iceberg; many apps gather all sorts of pertinent information for you and your doctor, and help you understand your own situation a little bit better. The best menopause apps will help you manage a few key areas of your health, by:
- Directing you to the best references. Menopause brings chaos and confusion now and then, but a little bit of accurate info can go a long way to calming your nerves. Apps that provide links to specific online resources on medication, symptom assessment, and tools for calculating various risk scores can come in very handy when you’re feeling uncertain.
- Organizing your thoughts and records. Journaling is both relaxing, productive – and when you can jot down your thoughts on your phone – exceptionally convenient. Not only does it promise some immediate stress relief, but recording your thoughts and observations alongside other medical information can illuminate certain patterns and connections.
- Preparing for doctor visits and appointments. A lot can get lost in the shuffle, especially on bad days, but an app can keep a running list of points to relay to your doctor. Or better yet, you can compile and send information directly to your health care professional before your next visit.
Top Menopause Apps to Try
There are a few well-designed apps for menopause on the market that work nicely with menopause management plans. But which is best for you? Instead of cycling through all of them, consider which features fit with your lifestyle and interests, and which may be more of a burden than a help.
The North American Menopause Society introduced this mobile management tool to strengthen communication between doctors and patients, and help develop a better treatment plan. In fact, the app has two modes – one for you and one for your doctor or therapist – to keep everyone on the same page when it comes to your unique menopause experience.
Pros: One great advantage of MenoPro is its lack of advertising. It was developed without any support or influence from pharmaceutical companies, which means the focus is on your health, not your consumer power. It’s thorough and clear in its aim, and that’s something that physicians can appreciate.
Cons: While it has a lot to offer, this app is fairly clinical in nature; much of the information is intended to help you decide whether or not to undergo hormone therapy (HT). In any case, the helpful risk assessment tool can clear up confusion, and point you toward the best treatment for your particular state of health.
A multitasking app that helps you understand your symptoms better, myPause is cleverly designed and easy to use, especially when it comes to tracking menopause symptoms.
Pros: Studies have shown that tracking and writing about menopause symptoms can actually reduce your psychological and physical discomforts, and having this handy resource at your fingertips will make it even easier to keep on top of your journaling. The app also shows trends in your symptoms with an arrow pointing up, down, or across beside each discomfort you’ve recorded, so you can make any needed adjustments.
Cons: Although myPause helps you get in touch with how your symptoms are moving, it doesn’t offer quite as much support when it comes to treatment options. If you like to stay connected to your phone, you’ll get a lot out of this app, but otherwise the twitter, support email, and feedback functions probably won’t appeal to you.
While not specifically designed for menopausal women, this symptom journal and health app makes it surprisingly easy to track, understand, and report new or unusual symptoms – and that can be pretty useful during menopause.
Pros: The app lets you track up to 20 symptoms at one time, plus you can attach notes and photos to your entries. You can also record how other aspects of your lifestyle (like eating habits, exercise, or daily medication) impact your symptoms. Once you’ve entered your relevant info, the app graphs it for you to see how all these aspects of your health intersect.
Cons: Even when each tracking feature is clear and easy to use, it can be difficult to compile all of the results into one straightforward picture. Some might find the charts difficult to read and compare, and because of the particular organizational structure, you aren’t able to easily recall good days and bad days.
Choosing the Right Tools for Your Journey
Menopause is a personal journey. Your set of symptoms will differ from other women, and your unique personality will determine how you experience them, and how you approach the challenge. Also, your particular medical history, age, and stage of menopause could rule out certain treatments, but favor others.
Accurate information and good recording habits can be immensely helpful, but a targeted menopause app probably won’t solve all your problems. You should also consider some more general tools that keep you on a healthy track: fitness motivators, menu planners, shopping lists, sleep trackers, and brain trainers all have a place in a proactive self-care plan.