Apple, Harvard team up on menstrual symptom study

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Apple and Harvard University teamed up to conduct a large-scale study on menstruation symptoms with the goal of advancing science around and destigmatizing menstruation.

In a March 9 news release, Apple said the preliminary study included 10,000 participants of varying ages and races across the U.S. Through the Research App, participants can log their symptoms.

Early findings suggest that abdominal cramps, bloating and tiredness are the most common symptoms for Black, Hispanic and white participants. 

Less common symptoms include diarrhea, sleep changes, nausea and constipation throughout the menstrual cycle.

"What researchers and physicians in the scientific community want and need to know is more about the menstrual cycle, its relation to long-term health, as well as more about what environmental factors might affect cycle length and characteristics," Shruthi Mahalingaiah, MD, assistant professor at Boston-based Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and principal investigator of the study, said in a statement shared with Becker's. "With this study, we are creating a larger foundational data set on this topic, which can eventually lead to further discovery and innovation in women's health research and care."

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