Period Trackers 101
There’s no denying that periods can interfere with a woman’s everyday life—especially those who have it worse than others. Some months, women have a sense of when they’re getting their periods. But other months can be unpredictable and catch menstruators off guard. With symptoms ranging from mood swings and food cravings to fatigue and cramps, this can be an unwanted surprise. From remembering to switch out your organic cotton tampon or menstrual cup to feeling a little more prepared for PMS symptoms, these apps give you one less thing to worry about.
Using a period tracker can help women curb unpredictability by giving you a timeline of when to expect your period, as well as premenstrual and postmenstrual symptoms.
WHAT DO PERIOD TRACKERS ACTUALLY TRACK?
Period trackers are apps designed to track your menstrual cycle. Most apps will prompt you every month to enter data about your period, pain, fluid, sexual activity, discharge, sex drive, and more. After three months of logging your information, the system can calculate when you should expect your future periods, ovulation, and fertile days. Period tracker apps were designed to help women track their flows, destigmatize periods, and easily share information about any irregularities with their healthcare providers. There are so many things that women can’t control about their periods, but period trackers can at least take some of the guesswork out of their menstrual cycle.
HOW PERIOD TRACKERS EMPOWER WOMEN
According to Ida Tin, the CEO of the period tracker app Clue, there are many reasons to track your period. It can help you understand your unique cycle patterns, your fertility window, and your sex drive. Tracking your period can also increase your health and wellness awareness, Tin explains. Overall, it helps you better understand your body and gives you the reigns to make thoughtful decisions about your body.
Every woman has a unique cycle and period tracking can help identify yours. On average, women have a 28-day cycle, but yours might be different. Plus, if you’re looking to get pregnant, you’ll get notified when the days leading up to and after ovulation occur, which is when you’re most fertile.
In addition to monitoring your fertility cycle, learning about the fluctuations in your libido and mood can show you when you’ll feel desire or when you’ll want to prepare for irritability, anxiety, or other emotions. If you know when you feel most happy, sad, or exhausted, you can better manage these feelings.
BEST PERIOD TRACKERS
There are so many period trackers to choose from based on the information that you’re looking for. Are you looking for an app just to track your menstrual cycle? Are you more concerned about your mood swings or fertility window? The following examples are the best period tracker apps that do it all, based on your individual needs.
As its name suggests, Period Tracker, is a period calendar and ovulation tracker. This app helps women looking to conceive and those trying to birth control. “It can track your chance of pregnancy every day. You can also record your cervical mucus, BMI, sexual activity, weight, temperature, symptoms or moods,” the app explains. You can also set your notifications to remind you about taking contraceptive pills.
Clue collaborates with scientists and universities to ensure continuous improvements in how they predict your period, PMS, and fertile window. With their app, you can seamlessly draw conclusions from a calendar overview filled with your personal patterns.
This AI-based period and ovulation predictor is best known for its daily health insights based on expert articles, quizzes, and surveys in your personal feed. Aside from the pregnancy tracker feature, you can also track your baby’s development and learn the essentials of being a parent with special visuals and articles developed by medical experts. Flo also includes “secret chats” for women to anonymously discuss intimate health topics.
Ovia Health has a few different apps to choose from including Ovia Fertility, Ovia Pregnancy, and Ovia Parenting. Each app is tailored to your individual life stage and tracks your health (and baby’s if you’re using Ovia Parenting) accordingly. Whichever one you choose, you’ll have a community of women to chat with anonymously.
If you want to support Planned Parenthood, then Spot On is for you. This app is powered by the #1 nonprofit organization that provides reproductive health care. Track your period, cycle, fertility, or any method that affects your cycle, including the pill, patch, ring, shot, IUD, or implant,” their site explains. Plus, unlike other apps, Spot On doesn’t make any assumptions about your gender, sexual orientation, or reproductive goals. You won’t be seeing any pink flowers or butterflies in sight.
MyFlo’s mission is for women to “reclaim your month” and “run your world.” They believe that women shouldn’t have to lose a week out of their month dealing with period symptoms. They’ll track your symptoms and tell you what to do in order to be symptom-free. “The app analyzes which symptoms are a recurring problem then recommends a weekly, food-based prescription to resolve them,” their site explains.
CYCLE TRACKING (APPLE WATCH)
If you have an Apple Watch, this app will come in handy. Simply log details about your menstrual cycle and record your symptoms to receive alerts about your next period or fertile window. However, like most apps, Cycle Tracking emphasizes that fertile window predictions should not be used as a form of birth control.
Author Bio Bonnie is a writer based in New York with works published on Marie Claire, Harper’s Bazaar, Coveteur, Man Repeller, Pro Health and more. She loves wearing fanny packs and laying in child's pose. You can catch up with her at http://www.bontobewildblog.com/.