- How secure is my data?
We take security very seriously:
- In the current version of The Flow (#1) the data is stored securely on the iPhone without data copies to other storage locations or servers. As long as you use a PIN and lock your iPhone while not using it, the data is automatically encrypted using protection offered by Apple.
- We do not to collect any data which could lead to identification of a physical person now or at a later point in time since menstrual cycle data presents a sensitive information about woman's health. E.g. instead of a birth date we use only the year of birth. Most other apps e.g. for period tracking use the full birth date.
- We will ask you from time to time to fill out a short survey so that we know how to improve The Flow. We will collect anonymized data only which cannot be used to identify a physical person.
- What makes The Flow different from other applications?
In short: The Flow was designed to be very different from other apps currently available. Its main differentiators are:
- Powerful graphical design created to support the functionality
- Multi-user support
- Intuitive user interface
- Simple visualizations of user data
- Positive feature tracking
- Shows phases of the moon cycle
- Individualized forecast
- Suitable for women with varying menstrual cycle length
- Suitable for women taking pill
- Secure data
- Fully anonymous
The The Flow allows you to discover the positive aspects and opportunities of the female menstrual cycle and learn which super strengths each menstruating women experiences throughout her cycle. The Flow will also help you understand, how these nuances in skills translate into happier relationships and improved performance-relaxation ratio at work and at home; and allow you to integrates with your calendar application to transform your actionable ideas into appointments and activities in an instant.
- How does The Flow forecast the cycle?
The Flow calculates and displays on the timeline the expected next period, ovulation and fertile days based on the data entered by the user in the past and the length of the luteal phase. One should keep two things in mind:
- On average, the luteal phase (between ovulation and the next period) takes 14 days in most women, if you know your luteal phase is shorter or longer, you can update its length in the User Settings. The length of the folicular phase (before ovulation) varies between women and also between cycles in the same women.
- If your cycles are irregular but within 21-35 days, The Flow calculates your expected period, ovulation and fertile days based on the average cycle, and marks additional days in the future cycle, in which you may be fertile.
- How can I track someone else and why should I do it?
The Flow allows you add Tags and Journal entries for each cycle day.
You can use this feature regardless of whether you menstruate or not to make relevant notes not only about yourself but also about your wife, girl-friend, daughter, best friend, or a client, if you are in a coaching relationship, in order to help you manage your relationships with this person better.
Version 1.0 of The Flow does not offer user synchronization but later on we plant to allow users to synchronize their accounts. E.g. once this feature is active, a husband will not have to enter the start date of the period of his wife as it will get automatically synchronized. He will see in which cycle phase his wife is or will be with tips what it means.
- Can I synchronize my cycle data with a friend?
This is planned in the future but not possible in version 1.0 of The Flow.
- Can I use The Flow if my period has not started yet?
Yes. This data can become important later.
Once you start entering your period, The Flow will propose Tags for cycle days in the future, aggregated based on past periods entered. You will be able to use data you entered prior to the start of your period exploring any dependencies and distilling leanings for yourself and since menstrual cycles have hereditary aspects, this data can be of importance in a longer future for your daughters.
- Can I use The Flow if I am on a pill? Or on contraception, there are more ways than the pill only
Yes you can. You can use all tracking features and in the future we plan to add also cycle phase specific Tips for your type of the pill. Till then, you can refer to all other Tips The Flow offers to understand the cycle and what a woman should plan for, but with an understanding, that a Pill tempers positive aspects of the cycle on a woman, taking away the peaks of the magic skills she otherwise has if not on a pill.
- What is meant by 'positive feature tracking'?
Most period tracking apps offer a long list of symptoms to track on a daily basis, often on a scale from 1 to 3 or 4. Reading through such list can become truly depressive and is a very wrong message especially to young girls who start to menstruate.
The Flow looks first at the positive aspects of a menstrual cycle, views severe symptoms such as PMS, cramps, depressions, or migraines as something not caused by the menstrual cycle, but primarily other factors which are out of whack in a woman's life.
- What are Tags in The Flow?
Tags are used as a generic term to mark a calendar and cycle day by what a woman feels is relevant for her menstrual cycle and what she wants to track and see predicted for the cycle day in the future.
Tag is to differentiate from symptoms and moods, since there is much more to tracking than these aspects. The mental and cognitive skills of a woman vary with the cycle, so does her preference for social interactions with others. Moods and symptoms are too constrained to express this complexity.
Tag comes from Tag Cloud - a visualization form The Flow hopes to start using in the near future.
- Who is the target audience for The Flow?We see several categories of interests, uses and benefits The Flow brings to people as follows.Individual:- Women who menstruate to understand their own power-cycles and get prepared to understand pre-menopause hormone fluctuations as such and act on them appropriately- Girls beginning to menstruate to learn how their cycle empowers them and be proud of the new powers they are gaining instead of feeling confused and let down by their bodyLove Relationships:- Men who love a woman to understand how to plan with her cycles (when to speak or just to hug her), how to align with her libido cycle, etc.- Mothers to understand and coach their daughters- Fathers to understand and coach their daughtersBusiness:- Coaches to understand and better coach their female clients- Mentors to understand and better coach their female maintees- Managers primarily to understand their loved women and second to translate this awareness of differences between men and women into better management and leadership style at workSociety/Government- Interested to reduce healthcare costs associated with mistreated depressions, increased diversity with larger female candidate base for leadership positions
- Do you cooperate with research institutions?
We created The Flow using scientifically backed data as well as consulted researchers developing various features of The Flow.
In the future we want to use The Flow as a platform for crowd-driven research, making the results available to all users and public for free, and to provide paid services to organizations to optimize their work force.
- Do you plan device integration?
Yes, we do.
The Flow app will be as good as the community of its users and the data the users enter in order to assess well their current situation and improve predictions. Integrating measuring devices such as wifi-scales, wifi-thermometers, brain sensors, any other measuring devices such as sleep, activity trackers etc. is of strategic importance to us.
If you are interested to start a specific integration project with us, simply write your intention in concise writing to Lucia Lukanova, the founder of The Flow, at firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll come back to you asap.
- Can I get involved further developing The Flow?
Absolutely, we'll welcome any constructive ideas you may have and will appreciate the time you may want to bring in or even budget to work together on a joint project. Simply write your intention in concise writing to Lucia Lukanova, the founder of The Flow, at email@example.com and we'll come back to you asap.
- Do you plan an Android version?
Yes, we intend to launch the Android version latest in September.
- What do we want to achieve with The Flow?
We created The Flow as a platform for:
- Women and men to learn about positive aspects of female menstrual cycle and how to lead more fulfilled lives at work and at home, improving their performance and relaxation at the same time.
- Women to track not only periods and fertility but also changing mental, physical and emotional capabilities and plan for them.
- Crowd driven research providing data base to understand how the inorganic, biological and social layers of reality connect and interact.
Our The vision behind The Flow is following:
- In a year from now, women worldwide actively re-engage the powers of their menstrual cycle at work and at home.
- In the next five years, depression diagnoses in women miraculously decline by 30% from the current twice as many depression diagnoses in women than in men.
- In seven years from now, female participation in senior leadership will double over the next 7 years following the widespread practice of women refraining from addressing exciting but challenging career options with a hurried “No” during their pre- and menstrual week.
- In less than twenty years from now, all major religions will admit they that had treated female body and menstrual cycle with disrespect. They will seek to reinvigorate the Spirit by understanding the sacredness of physical well-being and health alike.
- Speaking of period (or menstruation, monthlies, etc.) with my family or friends is a taboo, how do I break it?
Speaking of menstruation remains one of the taboos of our societies even after many other taboos such as sex or coming out with one's sexual orientation keep falling. If you feel as much as we do, that menstruation is an important topic to speak about, we recommend you the following:
- Speak of menstruation in a positive way
- Menstrual cycle is the main health indicator a woman has. If you think of the ""negative"" aspects of menstruation such as PMS, cramps, depressions, migraines, crying etc, be aware that the primary cause of these symptoms lies elsewhere. Once you cured yourself of these symptoms, you'll return to a menstrual cycle without them and then will be able to enjoy the women inside you at full.
- At all times avoid using derogatory names which automatically take away the power of the menstrual cycle
- What if I seem to react more to weather or moon cycle than to my hormones?
You still can use The Flow to track your cycle. The first version of the cycle offers only correlation and prediction based on the menstrual cycle, however lateron we want to research also correlation with other cycles in the nature such as weather patterns, moon or sun cycle.
- How do I know if my mood is influenced more by the phase of a cycle or by other factors such as weather, moon or sun cycles?
Different people are sensitive to different things and it is up to them to distill what it is.
On the positive, in case of over-sensitivity, we can influence how sensitive we are as well. E.g. through lifestyle changes in food, activity level, and positive attitude, we can reduce our dependency on hormone or weather fluctuations.
- Why should I care about the phases of a menstrual cycle?
Because they matter. Throughout the cycle a woman experiences different levels of estrogen, testosterone and progesterone. Even small changes in the level of these hormones have an impact onto how we feel, how we relate to ourselves and others.
- Is there a best or worst phase of the menstrual cycle?
No. Each phase brings different unique aspects which a woman does not have in the other phases:
Dynamic phase - Rational (link) hemisphere is performing at its best driven by rising estrogen and testosterone. The women feels lots of physical energy, gets a lot done, can multitask, is outgoing to strangers, is goal driven and more egoistic than in other phases of her cycle.
Expressive phase - A woman has a lot of physical energy, is highly emphatic and open to others, she is outgoing towards people she knows, she can understand and motivate others.
Creative phase - A woman has little tolerance for imperfections of others and her-self. Declining levels of all hormones make her sensitive and passionate, it is the most creative phase of all. Surprisingly, women in their creative phase were shown to produce delta brain waves during the day, something otherwise possible only in sleep or deep meditation.
Reflexive phase - This phase tends to be the most difficult one for many women. The physical and mental energy level is low during the first days of their period when all hormone levels are down. But on the positive, this is the phase which offers the deepest introspection about what truly matters to the woman and community around her. Some North American Indian tribes considered menstruating woman to be most powerful mentally and spiritually. It was for a good reason. Only after a woman manages to become ""friends"" with her reflexive phase of menstrual cycle, is she fully capable to realize her femininity and power.
- When does the menstrual cycle start?
Even though different perspectives exist on what the "first" day of a cycle is, the most common and most practical is to consider the first day of the period as the start of the menstrual cycle. This is because every woman knows when the period starts and only few woman learnt to recognize their ovulation.
- What shall I do if my period is irregular?
The average period length is 28 days. This period length was most common while women lived in sync with nature and without artificial lightening. Due to modern style of living it is almost impossible to have a regular period, unless a woman is on contraception. Any period length between 21 and 35 days is considered normal. If your period is shorter or longer than that, or if you do not feel comfortable with your period length, you should seek medical help.
- What if I have severe PMS?
Seek medical advice. PMS is not normal and occurs not because of the menstrual cycle but because something else is not right. Inform yourself well about cure options with and without contraception. For natural healing options refer to:
- Diana Fabianova, movie Moon Inside You
- Sarra Gottfried, book The Hormone Cure
- Alisa Vitti, book Woman Code