Period Tracker: The 5 Best Apps for Tracking Your Menstrual Cycle
Every woman’s menstrual cycle is different, so it’s a good thing there’s a wide range of choices when it comes to period tracking apps. Whether you want a reminder for when your period will arrive, to track your premenstrual symptoms, plan or avoid pregnancy, or gather the kind of data your naturopath or health coach will geek out over—there’s an app out there for you. As we become more comfortable with discussing periods publicly, it makes sense that we would want to get to know our menstrual cycles a little, or a lot, better.
Women have tracked their menstrual cycles for centuries. In fact, some researchers suggest menstrual cycle tracking brought about the concept of time itself. Now we have the tools to not just track, but also gain insight on how and why our cycles change, providing information that can enrich your whole period experience. Tracking your menstrual cycle can even make your period better!
Plus, there are health benefits to being menstrual cycle aware: in 2016, ACOG (the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists) declared the menstrual cycle “the fifth vital sign of health.” Changes in your menstrual cycle are considered an indicator of overall health.
The Top 5 Period Trackers
Not getting your period? Your cycles lengthening or shortening? Information you can track with your app can provide the necessary insight for early diagnosis of a number of hormonal imbalance-based health issues or give you a hint that you need to change your diet or self-care practices.
This app firmly places the menstrual cycle in the health sphere, teaming up with prestigious universities around the world to use collectively sourced data to further women’s health research. The rest of science needs a serious feminist awakening (most research still doesn’t include female subjects and much health advice comes from research primarily focused on the male body).
But Clue has female-kind covered. You can track as little or as much as you like with this app—from the obvious (period start date, length, flow) to the useful (premenstrual symptoms like cramps and cravings), to the enlightening (energy levels, mood, mental state). You’ll no longer feel surprised or sabotaged by your cycle—Clue keeps you, quite literally, clued in on the whys and hows of every hormonal shift.
Image via FloLiving
Created by a women’s health coach, this period tracker app wants to help you have a better period. Track where you are in your cycle as well as your current symptoms (like cramps, anxiety, and acne) and this app will tell you what you can do to make yourself feel better.
The advice stems from a functional medicine standpoint, so there’s no “take a Tylenol” message here. More likely suggestions will include boosting your B vitamins, eating more leafy greens, cutting out dairy, or taking a supplement. If you want easy (and inexpensive) access to the naturopathic medical advice that could have an affect on your period experience for cycles to come, this app will get you started and give you the option to dig deeper with paid, in-app programs.
Image via Lady Clever
If you’re the kind of woman who goes on full moon hikes or gets circled up with full moon-gazing friends every month to discuss intention setting and releasing, this is the period tracker app for you.
This one is for anyone who digital detoxes once a month, knows the best time to charge a crystal, and wants to draw out more of that rising feminine energy. The MyMoontime app fills the gap between the screen and the solar system. Track your cycle and see where your hormones align with the phases of the moon. Receive daily affirmations and start a period journal to put down all those intense thoughts and feelings.
Image via Behance
Your menstrual cycle is more than period start dates and symptoms; women experience hormone fluctuations throughout the cycle that bring about the period’s partner-in-crime—ovulation. Finding out if and when you ovulate is important not just for planning a pregnancy, but also for your overall health. To do this, you need to track cycle signs like cervical fluid changes and basal body temperature.
Kindara was one of the first apps that allowed women who wanted to practice fertility awareness to throw out their paper charts and use their smartphone instead. The in-app community of women tracking their fertility signs for all kinds of reasons creates a support cushion to those wanting to learn more about their menstrual cycle. Everyone’s tracking their period these days—take it up a notch by tracking your ovulation too.
Image via Nicole Jardim
If you’ve ditched hormonal birth control and need an app that will help you prevent pregnancy with the same ease and effectiveness (99.3 percent) you had when taking the Pill every day, DaysyView is the app for you. Paired with the stand-alone fertility tracker, Daysy, you have the tools you need to experience fertility freedom and reproductive empowerment.
If you’re intrigued by fertility awareness, but checking out your cervical fluid and reading charts feels like too much of a commitment, Daysy + DaysyView simplifies the process to 60 seconds per day. Just take your temperature when you wake up, and you’ll see a red light when you’re fertile and green light when you’re not. Then sync to the app and you’ll see your current fertility status, future predictions, and cycle data.
Featured image by Madeleine Morlet
Author Bio Holly Grigg-Spall is the author of “Sweetening the Pill: Or How We Got Hooked On Hormonal Birth Control” and consulting producer on the forthcoming documentary inspired by her book, from the team behind “The Business of Being Born,” Ricki Lake and Abby Epstein.