The Oura Ring, known for its health-tracking capabilities, is now doubling down on menstrual health with a new feature – Cycle Insights. This upgrade provides menstruating Oura members with detailed insights into their menstrual cycles, going beyond the traditional focus on the actual period to offer a deeper understanding of the follicular and luteal phases.
Holly Shelton, Chief Product Officer at Oura, emphasized the importance of self-care, stating: “As women, and as caregivers, taking care of ourselves first allows us to better take care of others. Oura’s role is to give women the permission, knowledge, and tools to take care of their bodies.”
Caroline Kryder, Oura’s Product Manager for women’s health, adds: “When we’re taught about our menstrual cycles, it’s often focused entirely on our periods. But there’s so much more to your cycle than that, and now, you can see how your body reacts to different menstrual phases with Oura.”
Cycle Insights utilizes biomarkers such as body temperature trends to pinpoint the specific phase of the menstrual cycle a user is in, whether it’s the follicular or luteal phase. This information is complemented by daily insights about how the cycle affects the entire body.
Kryder described the insights as akin to asking, “Is there anything new I might notice about my body in this cycle phase?” She added: “With Cycle Insights, you’ll start to see the difference in your body between the follicular and luteal phases. We hope that women will be able to find moments in their cycle they truly look forward to — when they feel stronger than ever.”
As users engage with Cycle Insights, they may begin to notice patterns between their cycle phases and various behaviors or habits. For instance, they may discover that certain activities, like midday naps or strength training, can alleviate PMS symptoms or improve sleep quality depending on the menstrual phase.
Oura’s predictive capabilities are grounded in monitoring changes in users’ bodily signals, recognizing that the menstrual cycle is a vital sign of overall health. Factors like heart rate variability, body temperature, and resting heart rate are continually measured by the Oura Ring to inform the algorithm about the user’s menstrual cycle phase. Body temperature trends play a central role in menstrual cycle tracking. For instance, during the follicular phase, which includes menstruation and ovulation, the body temperature drops and remains low. Conversely, the luteal phase sees a sharp increase in body temperature, which continues to rise until menstruation begins. While temperature trends are the primary focus, Oura also considers calendar tracking. To make predictions, users should have at least two months’ worth of consistent temperature data recorded in the Oura App or personal body temperature records.
Cycle Insights is designed for individuals with a natural menstrual cycle, as it relies on detecting temperature changes driven by hormonal fluctuations. Those using non-hormonal birth control methods, like Natural Cycles (which by the way can be used together with the Oura Ring and recently announced an integration with the Apple Watch), can also leverage Cycle Insights to gain insights into their cycles. However, individuals who do not have a natural temperature cycle due to factors such as menopause, hormonal birth control, or other reasons will not be able to view follicular and luteal phases in Cycle Insights.