Two years ago, the team at women’s health analytics company My.Flow started working on an age-old problem. Managing menstrual flow historically has been troublesome and hard-to-predict. Period anxiety issues range from hygiene to social discomfort to concerns about potentially fatal menstruation-related problems such as abnormal uterine bleeding and Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS).
The eponymous my.Flow wearable includes a battery-operated wireless device, special tampons, and a smartphone app. The wireless device attaches to clothing or underwear. The tampons have no batteries or circuitry. The only difference between my.Flow tampons and normal tampons is a medical grade conductive thread that runs the length of the tampon. The conductive thread extends to become an extra long tampon tail. The end of the tampon tail is inserted into the wearable.
According to the company, the tampon monitor pairs with a smartphone via Bluetooth when it is first turned on, after which it connects automatically. The wearable monitors when the tampon reaches saturation and sends an alert to the app in the paired smartphone. Users can also track tampon saturation via the app minute-by-minute and on monthly levels. Learning about how long to leave tampons in place can be a cause of anxiety for many women from middle school on, according to my.Flow.
With my.Flow the goal is empowerment so women can learn more about how their bodies act during menstruation. The device also helps detect saturation to avoid unexpected leakage. While toxic shock syndrome is not as prevalent as it once was, the wearable not only can alert users to full saturation but also remove another source of anxiety. The my.Flow company and its wearable have received multiple awards and recognition. Still in development, a my.Flow prototypes are currently in testing, with no announced launch date.