The Scoop: Periods are only a piece of the puzzle of personal health for the people who get them. Aavia is an app that helps anyone with ovaries understand and track their hormonal cycle so they can learn how it impacts their daily life. Aagya Mathur is the co-founder and CEO of Aavia, and she talked to us about the app and why she believes it is important for people with ovaries to understand and be in tune with their hormonal health. Aavia is committed to empowering people with ovaries through high-quality educational material and tracking features, along with unparalleled user privacy.

Every person I know who has a period has some kind of awful experience with their menstrual cycle. From medical negligence to bullying, people with periods go through a lot. I got my period for the first time when I was 11 and attending a small Catholic school in South Carolina. (If that sounds unpleasant to you, trust your feelings.)

I was the first of my friends to start, and I quickly became the go-to for any questions about periods. In our burgeoning and confusing middle school worlds, the best resource my friends had for questions about one of the most important aspects of their overall health was me, an 11-year-old who didn’t even know that hormones were part of a menstrual cycle.

Some of their questions were shocking to me, even at the time. One friend was under the impression that her uterus would shed its lining “like water coming out of a sink faucet” and was extremely worried about being able to control the flow. Another friend approached me about the moral and spiritual implications of using a tampon. Having been baptized, given First Communion, and at Mass every week since birth, I didn’t have an answer for her.

There are so many people with ovaries who don’t have the knowledge and resources they need to understand their bodies. Periods are just part of the picture when it comes to hormonal health. Hormones impact people with ovaries every day, not just the days of their periods, and can affect everything from mood and energy levels to sex drive and bowel movements. 

Aavia is an app that gives people with ovaries the resources they need to understand their hormones and use this information to improve their lives. Aagya Mathur is the co-founder and CEO of Aavia, and she talked to us about the app and its mission to empower its users.

“Half of the world’s population has been left in the dark about their health and how to run their lives,” Aagya said. “We’ve found that a lot of people aren’t taught enough about their periods. You’re given tampons and the American Girl Doll book and told to deal with it. The more you understand what’s going on, the more you can be in control, and the more you can learn to appreciate it.”

“Hormone Cycles Impact Everything”

Aagya and her co-founder, Aya Suzuki, were inspired to create Aavia by a series of personal and professional experiences. “One of my co-founder’s stories is that she was having intense ocular migraines.” Ocular migraines are episodes of vision loss accompanied by a headache and are often chronic and life-altering.

“She would go to the doctor, and they would check for brain damage and different brain disorders, but no one ever asked her about her menstrual cycle,” Aagya said. “Eventually, a medical adviser helped her track how often the migraines were happening and if they occurred at specific times. And they realized they were actually menstrual migraines. Neither one of us had heard of them before that.”

Aagya’s journey to Aavia began after a series of personal and professional experiences in the healthcare world. “I started looking at papers and talking to people to try and understand the health of people with ovaries.”

Aavia app makes your bad days better
Aavia is giving everyone with periods better-bad-days.

What Aagya discovered during this period would form the foundations for Aavia. “I came across this whole umbrella of ovarian hormone health. You have this 21 to 35-day hormone cycle, and it impacts everything. Your quality of sleep, quality of muscle toning, energy levels, sex drive, skin, mental health, mood, discharge, poop– you name it.”

As Aagya learned more about ovarian hormone health, she realized how little the average person with ovaries knows about hormone health and how few resources or educational opportunities there are for people to learn about their hormonal cycle. She decided she wanted to do something to change that.

“When me and my co-founders came together, we were less than thrilled about the personal and professional experiences we had in healthcare,” Aagya said. “We saw that we have similar health experiences, and we want to do something about it so other people don’t have the same experiences as us.”

More Than Just A Period Tracker

Because the few days a uterus sheds its lining is only part of the ovarian hormone cycle, Aavia is designed to be used every day. Aside from its tracking features, Aavia has educational features built into every corner of the app. 

“We are more than a period tracker. We’re really a cycle tracker and planner,” Aagya said. “We help you understand not just when your period is but what your period is. There’s a big educational component. Even as early as onboarding, we’re talking you through what the luteal and follicular phases are and where you are in your cycle.”

Aavia users can input health indicators daily. Health indicators could be their moods, the amount and quality of their sleep, and whether they experienced body aches or pains. Aavia takes that information and gives users personalized support and resources. Once users have logged at least 60 days, Aavia will help make even more personalized predictions about what part of their cycle the user is in.

Aavia cycle predictions/symptoms
Aavia gets smarter as users log more information.

With this information, users can adapt their schedules or plans to better suit their needs. “We share, based off where you may be in your cycle, that this is how you may feel, this is what you may experience. We tell them why, and then what they can do to address it,” Aagya said. “The more you log the more personalized it becomes.”

Aavia gives users recommendations to make their days better. “The app can recommend you foods you should eat to boost your mood or workouts that will help you feel better,” Aagya explained. “Aavia gives you a forecast for a day and then things you can do to help yourself out.”

User privacy and safety is very important to Aavia. “It’s so super important to us,” Aagya said. “We have anonymous sign-ings, meaning you can track everything and get the full experience without having any data associated with your personal information.”

Knowledge Is Empowerment

Many people with periods experience frustration with the lack of guidance and education they’ve received about their hormonal cycles. “There’s just so much I want to say,” Aagya said. “The first thing I want to say to people who are frustrated with their cycle is that the first step is understanding and getting in tune with your cycle.”

Aagya continued, “We’re never taught, so when we teach ourselves and learn, if you look at it through the lens of living in a patriarchal society, we take power back. We understand what’s going on in our bodies.” Knowledge is power, and Aavia makes it simple for people with periods to gain crucial pieces of the knowledge they need to feel empowered.

aavia cycle tracking
Aavia makes cycle tracking straight-forward and inclusive.

Aavia can be useful for users when it’s time for them to go to the doctor. There are many frustrating elements of the healthcare system, and people with periods often feel like troubling symptoms are misunderstood by medical professionals. “If someone gets gaslit by a medical professional, it’s not always the doctor’s fault,” Aagya said. “We’re not human computers. If doctors only have 15 minutes with a patient, it can be hard to get the full picture.”

 Aavia worked with health care professionals to develop a Trends tab that members can show to medical professionals during their appointments, to improve the care they receive.  Aagya said this information helps doctors and other healthcare professionals quickly visually see more about what their clients have been experiencing and if there are cyclical trends. 

Aavia is an all-in-one resource for people with periods. “We’re a category creator,” Aagya said. “We’re a holistic ovarian hormone health app. Aavia provides personalized predictions and recommendations for mood, sleep, nutrition, productivity– everything– for each stage of your cycle.”