Appy and Healthy

Blog by Polly Heffer, Culture Club Secretary

As the iPhone 3G adverts of 2009 used to tell us, ‘There’s an app for that’.

Today, this is truer than ever. Recent statistics suggest that 90% of the time people spend on their mobiles is on apps. There are apps that count our steps and track our runs, so it makes sense that there are apps that help us with other aspects of our health.

For our meeting this month, we had two speakers come to talk to us about how tech can help women’s health.

First up, Alex Bell, a Clue ambassador spoke to us about this nifty app for tracking our cycles.

Alex Bell, a Clue ambassador is our first speaker

In the Clue app, you can enter information about your period to see how regular (or not regular) it is over time. It also allows you to input information about other aspects of your health, from your mood to how you exercise, your skin and hair condition, the method you use for collecting your period, when you have sex and how motivated you’re feeling.

The Clue app

All this helps build a picture of how you feel and act on different days of the month, so you can look at patterns building up over time and get to know your body and what is normal for you.

The app also lets you connect with other users, if you wish, so you can give information to your family and friends and open up the conversation about periods. Alex was really open and honest when talking to us about Clue – she even described how she noticed her sister’s period (they are connected on Clue) was late. When she called her up, it turned out her sister was pregnant, and Alex found out before her sister’s husband!

Our second speaker was Myra Robson, the Physiotherapist who developed the Squeezy app.

Myra chats to us about Pelvic Floor exercises

Myra began her talk by reminding us that a huge number of women suffer at some point in their lives from pelvic floor dysfunction. This can be anything from stress incontinence to overactive bladder problems or prolapses.

These problems are so common, and yet people don’t talk them or get them treated. They just think of them as facts of life. Even at a chemist, you are more likely to find incontinence pads than pelvic floor gadgets.

Pessaries can be great if you have pelvic floor issues

Myra decided this needed to change and that is where Squeezy comes in.

The Squeezy app

Squeezy is a really simple app that sends you push notifications when it is time to do your pelvic floor exercises. Everyone should do these at least three times a day, and the app lets you change the times to suit you. It counts with you while you do them – ten slow and ten quick.

Myra told us the right way to go about doing these exercises (there is information about this on Squeezy too) and we had a go *cue a room full of women concentrating very hard*.

This strange-looking device is used to help you practice your pelvic floor exercises

Both our speakers we honest and humorous, telling us real stories and opening up a conversation about women’s health which isn’t often spoken about. Thanks to both of them for an eye-opening evening.

Chatting about womens health (and other topics) is very much encouraged

During the meeting we gave out our membership packs! These beauties contained a wonderful tea towel emblazoned with our Borough Belles logo and our colourful zine packed with information, recipes, drawings and tips. Get yours by becoming a BBWI member!

We also had a great raffle this week. Thanks to Mooncup, Borough Market and Emma for providing the prizes. All the money raised will go to Women for Refugee Women.