Groove: Reproductive Health Education for All

I remember so clearly my first day back at school after I started my very first period. I was incredibly uncomfortable with my “new” body, so I wore the baggiest clothing I could find in my closet. I hated wearing a pad (it made me feel like a baby wearing a diaper), and I wasn’t quite sure how often I should change it. I couldn’t concentrate in class, and I was convinced that the rest of my classmates would somehow figure out that I had gotten my period (they didn’t).

I knew very little about periods or why women get them. I remember my mom talking to me about them—how they are a “normal” part of becoming a woman. But aside from the fact that having my period meant that I could now have babies (which was the last thing on my mind as an 11-year-old-girl), the only things I really knew about my period were that it caused me a lot of pain and embarrassment. Starting my period definitely didn’t feel the way that I had always imagined becoming a woman would feel. And, unfortunately, my experience is not an isolated one.

PictureGroove Co-Founders

My first experience with menstruation left a sour taste in my mouth. I grew up thinking that my body was my enemy. On top of that, society made me feel as though I needed to do everything in my power to hide the fact that I was bleeding each month. As a result, I struggled all throughout adolescence with low self-confidence, poor self-esteem, and a negative body image. And, like many other girls and women, these issues ended up following me into my adult life.

It wasn’t until I was well into my twenties that I learned how the menstrual cycle actually works, and it happened entirely by accident. But once I got sucked in, there was no going back. I completely immersed myself in learning about female sex hormones hormones, how those hormones interact to create the menstrual cycle, how the menstrual cycle is linked to reproductive and hormonal health, how my lifestyle can affect the regularity (or irregularity) of my cycles, and how tracking physical symptoms like basal body temperature and cervical fluid secretions can support good bodily health. With all of this information, I finally felt a connection with my body that my teenage years had been lacking. I had finally found the missing puzzle piece, and it brought with it a feeling of self-confidence that I had never experienced. I immediately knew it was my purpose to help other women discover that very same confidence.


I started my company, Groove, as a vessel to carry out my mission. I want to help girls and women feel a sense of agency when it comes to their reproductive health, and I want to help break down the stigmas surrounding sex and menstruation. That’s why we built the Groove – Period & Fertility Tracker app and why we provide free reproductive health information on our website. It’s also why we have several other amazing projects in the works. No woman deserves to be deprived of information that has the power to transform the way she thinks about her body. I want to prevent others from feeling way I once did about my period: confused, ashamed, scared, and embarrassed.

Education is the foundation of Groove, because I know first-hand the life-altering effects it can provide. Our mission is to empower women with knowledge about their menstrual cycles so that they can spend their time worry about things in life that really matter—doing well in school, keeping their bodies healthy, following their dreams, and changing the world around them for the better—and not worrying about a potential pregnancy, what’s going on inside their bodies, whether their cycles are normal and healthy, and whether they can attend school.

PictureScreenshots from the Ready to Groove App! 10% of all sales of the app will be donated to the Feminine Health Management Program.

We’ve helped tens of thousands of women already, but it’s important to me that we’re always asking ourselves “What else can we be doing to help?” I truly believe that education is a fundamental human right, and I want the company I’ve built to fully embody that belief in everything we do. It simply wouldn’t feel right not to donate a portion of Groove’s hard-earned money to help support causes that change the lives of girls and women across the globe. That’s why partnering with Femme International feels like the perfect next step in our journey as an organization.

I’m excited to witness Groove’s partnership with Femme develop, and I’m humbled by the impact that our donations can make in women’s lives. No girl should ever have to give up her education because of her body, and we’re honored for the chance to play a small part in helping Femme eliminate that decision from the lives of girls in East Africa.

Jennifer Aldoretta is the cofounder and CEO of Groove, an Austin-based women’s health company and makers of the Groove – Period & Fertility Tracker app for iPhone. She is a menstrual health expert and author who is passionate about the intersection of technology and women’s health.