How Dr. Uma, MD Uses Aavia to Improve Patient Outcomes

Hear from our very own Dr. Uma, MD, who works in Reproductive Health Psychiatry and is an Aavia Medical Advisor based in San Francisco. We asked her how she uses Aavia to improve outcomes with her patients. 

How do you use Aavia to improve patient outcomes? 

I recommend patients use Aavia to track their menstrual cycle, remind them to take their birth control, and track mood and other symptoms. This helps patients be more aware of their body and hormonal fluctuations. They can also bring this data into their appointments with me to help me better diagnose and treat their symptoms.  

 What do you tell your patients to track

Period, mood, suicidal or other stressful thoughts, anxiety/ panic attacks, sleep, migraines, fatigue, ADHD symptoms, libido, basically anything that might correlate with hormonal fluctuations.

What features help you the most? 

It helps me as their doctor to simply see how their physical and emotional experiences track with their menstrual cycle.  

What are the most common symptoms / issues patients are coming in with? 

Depression, anxiety, ADHD symptoms, sleep difficulties

 How is the Aavia app: Trends, Forecasts, Tracking, Community different from other cycle trackers that help you do your job better? 

Aavia has a peer support group component which can be helpful in normalizing girls' and women's experiences. Aavia also has a hardware component that reminds users to take their birth control pill at the same time everyday, which helps in maintaining consistent mood, energy, and cognition. 

Can you tell a story of how Aavia has increased trust/retention between you and your Gen Z patients (as old as 27 this year)?

First off, using Aavia has helped keep me young and tied in to the cultural experiences and language of girls, womyn, and femmes coming of age today. I’m at a life stage where I could be digging my heels in and settling in to my own ways. But I don’t want that. I have a lot to offer and I want to continue to be a part of the conversation. Aavia has been a bridge, supporting me in keeping abreast of changing language, culture, and perspectives as well as helping me to share my knowledge and perspectives in a way that my younger patients can trust and find relevant.

Can you give some examples of conversations that have stemmed from recommending Aavia to patients? 

Sasha was 27 years old and was coming in to see me because of depression and irritability symptoms. After she had talked for a while, I asked her how long and how frequently she was experiencing these mood difficulties. “Years,” she answered. But she wasn’t sure how frequently. “I don’t know. All the time, maybe.” I responded that based on how she described her lifestyle, work, and social life, it seemed like her mood and energy fluctuated and I asked if she tracked her periods. She hadn’t. In fact, she couldn’t remember when her last period was. I recommended that she use the Aavia app to track her menstrual cycle, mood, and energy before we decide on a treatment plan.

Three months later, Sasha returned with smart phone in hand. We pulled up the app together and scrolled through the data mapping the weeks of her cycle, mood, energy, and physical symptoms. Together, we noticed that her mood difficulties seemed to only occur the week before her period and that she tended to have both low energy and cramping the week of her period. 

Sasha was excited to have this new understanding of her body, which was really validating for me as her doctor to be a part of. Based on these results, we decided that she should talk with her gynecologist about birth control options, consider using an antidepressant as needed for hormone related mood difficulties, and manage pain and low energy during her period with over the counter medication and lifestyle changes.