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Menstrual Cycle Tracking Applications and the Potential for Epidemiological Research: a Comprehensive Review of the Literature


Purpose of Review

We reviewed published studies on menstrual cycle tracking applications (MCTAs) in order to describe the potential of MCTAs for epidemiologic research.

Recent Findings

A search of PubMed, Web of Science, and Scopus for MCTA literature yielded 150 articles. After exclusions, there were 49 articles that addressed the primary interest areas: 1) characteristics of MCTA users in research, 2) reasons women use or continue using MCTAs, 3) accuracy of identifying ovulation and utility at promoting and preventing pregnancy, and 4) quality assessments of MCTAs across several domains.


MCTAs are an important tool for the advancement of epidemiologic research on menstruation. MCTA studies should describe the characteristics of their user base and missing data patterns. Describing the motivation for using MCTAs throughout a user’s life and validating the data collected should be prioritized in future research.

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Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance •• Of major importance

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Correspondence to Anne Marie Z. Jukic.

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This article is part of the Topical Collection on Reproductive and Perinatal Epidemiology

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Schantz, J.S., Fernandez, C.S.P. & Jukic, A.M.Z. Menstrual Cycle Tracking Applications and the Potential for Epidemiological Research: a Comprehensive Review of the Literature. Curr Epidemiol Rep 8, 9–19 (2021).

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