Clue: the period and fertility tracking app you've been waiting for
On any given day, millions of people around the world are menstruating. You’d think that would mean we live in a stigma-free world, but that’s not the case. There’s a severe lack of technology and education around how menstrual cycles work and how one can live with them from day to day. Sure, we hear the phrase “shed your uterine lining” from time to time; but do we all really know what that means?
Don't believe me? A street study showed that 64% of people don’t know what ovulation is. And when Buzzfeed put adults to the test by asking them to label the reproductive systems, the results were... as hilarious as they were sad. So what are we gonna do?
Cue Clue, the world’s fastest growing period and fertility tracker app. Download this tool and you may be on the fast track to educating yourself on your body. We got in touch with Clue's co-founder and CEO, Ida Tin, to tell us all about it.
“Clue is first and foremost a scientific tool, and it was important to us that the design reflected this," Tin told us about the app. "When we set out to build Clue, we wanted to create an app that made users feel confident and empowered, not patronized. So we left out the pink and the butterflies to bring users a design that is simple, stylish, and refreshing."
This baby is no joke. There are no euphemisms in sight (sorry Aunt Flo) and no beating around the bush (wink, wink). And not only does Clue track the dates of your cycle, it also provides over 25 tracking options that fall under five categories: Period, Body, Vitality, Activities, Medical, and Other. Are you on the 6th day of your period and having light bleeding, carb cravings, and bouts of fatigue, but are still able to kick it at that party and hook up with the girl across the bar? You can record it all.
Now, you may be thinking that it sounds amazing, but you're not sure if it would be inclusive for you. Have no fear, Tin’s mission for Clue extends past the gender binary. There are 1.4 million transgender people in the U.S. alone. 19% of trans people had been turned away from health services because of their gender identity, and half of the people involved in the survey said that they’ve had to explain their health issues to a doctor. These numbers are an unacceptable reality, and having companies like Clue being more inclusive makes big a difference.
“It's important to us that Clue is accessible to anyone who identifies with it or can find the app useful," Said Tin. "The Clue community is diverse, and how people identify themselves in terms of both sexuality and gender is complex and not necessarily determined by simply “man” or “woman.””
Early this year in July, Clue asked app users to weigh in on the development of the app's inclusive language. The genuine care and concern for getting phrasing right is something you don't see every day.
"We chose to be open with our users in order to be accurate and not discriminate in any way. It is vital for us to gain user insight. As we continue to develop the app, [the user experience is at the forefront of our considerations]. User suggestions are invaluable," Tin told us. " After considering all of the various options, we have chosen to call the area that Clue serves, 'female health.' We feel it best captures the area of health that Clue is currently designed to support, while being the least exclusive of all the ways to describe that biology.”
The sad truth is that we still live in a world where talking about menstruation is taboo. Education about the body, especially the reproductive systems, can get political almost instantaneously. But there is hope in people like Ida Tin whose vision spreads from ocean to ocean.
“On a company level, I feel the immense potential of what Clue can do in the world. Notably, the difference it will make when people have a good understanding of how their body works, and are able to take good care of themselves. Especially women in relation to childbearing. Access to technology will change the world. It already is. We hear it every day through emails that people send us from all over,” Tin told us about her vision for international education.
“Our ultimate goal is to completely move female health away from its status as ‘niche,’ and get to a stage where society can openly discuss menstrual health without hesitation. You wouldn’t think twice to mention that you have a headache or a sore throat. When people feel as comfortable talking about cramps or other period-related symptoms, only then have we managed to fully break down the stigma surrounding them.”
Ida Tin is on a mission, but she couldn’t get it done without the team she calls her tribe. Having the work environment at Clue be “honest, flexible, and collaborative” is key in making sure that everyone is coming together for common goals.
“It’s important to me that our working environment is a positive one, and that each employee feels valued and comfortable enough to voice their opinion. Quite often as a whole company, we go on ‘away days’ to just get out of the office, get to know each other properly, and bond as a team. I had a moment sitting with the team last winter in a small chocolate cafe where I realized that the team felt so much like my tribe, and together we build something we care about for the benefit of many.”
Excited and impressed? Try it out for yourself! Clue is available for iPhones and Androids. No more going to the gyno and feeling like a deer in the headlights when you’re getting asked how you've been.
Teri Bradford is the Editor-in-Chief of Concept. Meet the rest of the family on the staff page.