Women’s comfort with mobile applications for menstrual cycle self-monitoring following the overturning of Roe v. Wade

Gabrielle M. Salvatore, Iris Bercovitz, Danielle Arigo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: The overturning of Roe v. Wade in June 2022 has many implications for American women of reproductive age, as well as for researchers focused on women’s health in the United States (U.S.). Personal reproductive health data, such as information collected by menstrual cycle (MC) tracking applications (apps), can now be bought, sold, or accessed by law enforcement to enforce limits on abortion. American women have grown concerned about data privacy and have even deleted MC tracking apps following the overturning of Roe v. Wade. This concern is problematic as these apps may advance our understanding of women’s MC experiences by capturing time-sensitive data. The present study was designed to provide updated insight into women’s perceptions of these apps, including the response rate to a study of this nature and women’s willingness to self-report demographic information in this context, following the Supreme Court decision. Methods: A total of 206 women aged 18–60 years who were identified as pre- or perimenopausal completed an anonymous, cross-sectional survey between August and November 2022. Results: Most respondents had experience using a MC app at the time of reporting; 53.4% (n=110) were current users, and an additional 48 participants had used MC tracking apps in the past. Over one-third of participants (38.3%; n=75) indicated that they had reconsidered using such an app because of current events; 30.3% (n=59) preferred methods of MC tracking that did not involve app-based technology, and 34.2% (n=67) reported that they are not willing to participate in research that involves daily tracking of the MC. Conclusions: Overall, the feasibility of menstruation-related research that includes mobile apps is fairly low, given women’s current comfort with this technology compared to the Roe era, and there is a need to establish criteria and protections for use of mobile apps in women’s health research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalmHealth
Volume10
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 30 2024

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Health Informatics
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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