Ivy knows. Who is Ivy? What does Ivy know? Ivy is Bellabeat’s newest wearable technology, and it’s the only health tracker designed and engineered for women. The female wellness brand’s mission goes beyond just healthy eating and staying active to monitor and reach peak performance for women. The Ivy health tracker takes a holistic approach to combine and deliver information with a balanced mind and body approach first.
Why am I so sleepy during certain times of the month? Why do I feel unmotivated right before my period? Why does it feel like such a struggle to work out after I’ve ended my cycle? Well, there’s a lot to unpack here, and every woman’s body is different and is definitely different from that of a man. This is where Ivy comes in to help monitor and track activity like heart rate (and resting heart rate), stress levels, respiratory rate, hydration levels, and mindfulness during each cycle so you can properly take care of yourself!
Through its readiness and wellness scores, the bracelet is designed to provide workout, nutrition, and sleep suggestions (and more) based on your cycle phase. Wearing it every day is a simple and sleek way to biohack your health and wellness.
Have some questions? We did too, that’s why we tapped the Bellabeat team to explain how this piece of jewelry tracks and informs women on what to expect during each of the four menstrual cycles (including how to get ahead of your pesky PMS symptoms).
Ivy Wellness Tracker
Can you explain how Ivy's top feature will help with your cycle?
“Simply put, Ivy helps you understand why you feel the way you do and provides guidance for the necessary steps that lead to improving your physical and mental health. It enables women to listen to the natural wisdom of their bodies by tracking heart rates, breathing, sleep, activities, and self-care efforts, then correlating all that data to their menstrual cycle.
Why is that important? Because living in sync with our cycle is the most groundbreaking element in the biohacking of women’s health. Our entire well-being, our feelings, energy levels, moods, mental and physical capabilities, and more, are closely related to our hormones and our cycle. Using that knowledge is very powerful in creating greater health and overall balance. However, many have heard about it only recently, and here’s why I think that’s the case.
The development of typical trackers and other health-improvement products and programs, even diets and workout plans, was always based on the knowledge of male bodies and men’s biochemical data. But as Dr. Stacy Sims reminds us, ‘Women are not small men.’ Most researchers deliberately ‘stayed away’ from women and their body metrics, primarily because the complexities around our menstrual cycle would result in data that is fundamentally different from men’s and requires more correlations.
As a pioneer in developing technology engineered specifically for women, in 2015 Bellabeat created the first women-only wellness tracker. It was also the first tracker that added menstrual cycle data and pregnancy monitoring into the same system where sleep and activity were tracked. We use the same holistic approach to this day, in our efforts to provide women with all their important health information in one place.
As the latest addition to our family of trackers, Ivy went a step further by adding heart rate monitoring in real time and an entire set of biometric data, all tracked 24/7. This allows us to have deeper insights into our body’s secrets and a better understanding of the correlations between our lifestyle, bio responses, and cycle. Empowered with these insights, we can adjust our self-care to maximize our efforts and achieve health and wellness goals.”
How does the bracelet track the four phases of your cycle: menstruation, the follicular phase, ovulation, and the luteal phase?
“All Ivy’s ‘smarts’ are accessible when it’s synced with the Bellabeat app. Besides other health and lifestyle information, the app keeps track of your cycle data, storing it neatly into a tab called My Diary. It contains the dates of your period, your recorded moods, and other accompanying symptoms that you have entered.
Bellabeat’s proprietary algorithm takes this information into account when it calculates period predictions and maps your cycle. The map of your cycle combines your unique data with scientific knowledge about the four phases of the female cycle: menstrual, follicular, ovulation, and luteal phases.
Depending on the phase of the cycle you are currently in, you can get specific workout, mindfulness, and meal plan recommendations through our added service, the Bellabeat Coach.”
What is the benefit of knowing which phase you're in?
“Identifying which phase of the cycle we’re in is critical for making more informed decisions about our health, as well as designing our life plans and goals. As our hormonal balance changes throughout the cycle, so do our nutritional needs, the ability to grow and repair muscles, stamina, sexual drive, and mood in general.
For example, our progesterone drops immediately before the menstrual phase, which signals the need to slow down, withdraw, meditate, hibernate, and spend some alone time. When our estrogen levels start rising again in the follicular phase, we will feel more energized, productive, and vibrant, so that might be a great time to have important meetings. Then in the ovulation phase, we will be at our peak performance, and that could be the best time to schedule something really important that requires great focus and energy. This is also the best time to focus on our strength workouts. When the progesterone starts to increase again in the luteal phase, we could start slowing down by quieting work, doing Pilates workouts, meditating, and other similar activities.
As you can see, the benefit of knowing and understanding your cycle helps you to adjust your lifestyle and self-care to your specific needs during different phases.
Being in the know itself empowers women.”
How does Ivy track PMS symptoms, and how does that help women?
“We already mentioned how we track all cycle data in the My Diary tab. However, Ivy also tracks your body’s bio response during the night, allowing you to get insight into your daily Readiness Score. Combined with symptom tracking, it can give users important insights into how their body and mind respond to changes in hormonal balance and self-care efforts. It allows them to recognize trends and patterns upon which they can act.”
Will Ivy tell you the best days to have sex if you're trying to conceive?
“We are happy to learn that the Bellabeat app and our smart jewelry trackers have helped many women conceive by now! Not just by helping them predict fertile windows, but also by helping them focus on improving their lifestyle to support conception.
Because of our technology, these women were motivated to be more active, take more time for themselves, or improve their sleeping habits. What Bellabeat is trying to teach all customers is that, ultimately, everything is connected and that their body’s responses reflect their lifestyle.”
Why should women be keeping track of their cycle?
“Because a woman’s cycle is so much more than having a period; it’s a window into our endocrine system and its health. It can reveal many underlying problems and can guide us in improving our overall health.
In 2015, the ACOG (American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists) recommended that the menstrual cycle be used as a fifth vital sign when evaluating the health of menstruating teenagers. Some experts have adopted the idea to continue to expand this consideration throughout a woman’s reproductive years.
For so long women have felt powerless facing their symptoms, stemming from hormonal imbalance, and having limited resources that help them understand their bodies. Finally, we are empowering women with tools that make cycle-charting and understanding simple and can help them in taking necessary steps in adjusting their lifestyle habits. We’re transforming women’s lives.
Besides cycle tracking, Ivy helps users track their sleeping patterns, daily activity, steps, active heart rate, resting heart rate, respiratory rate, and cardiac coherence. Based on the user’s lifestyle and biometric data, it calculates an individual Wellness Score and Readiness Score, which, in correlation with data on cycle, allows for personalization and guidance through the Bellabeat Coach. Coming soon—we’ll go even further in personalization and guidance by adding in-depth pregnancy tracking with a ‘kick counter’ as well as even more detailed fitness and mindfulness tracking capabilities.”
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