There aren’t many things worse than being surprised by your period. Whether you’re surprised by its arrival or waiting for it to come, tracking your period has many advantages. And in today’s digital world, there’s an app for that. There are several, actually. To save you the time of trial and error, we’ve researched the best apps for period tracking.
Why You Should Track Your Period
Period tracking has many great benefits, some of which include knowing when to buy tampons, when to plan date nights, and when not to have sex—depending on your birth control methods. But there are a few medical reasons for tracking your period too.
Contrary to what we learned in health class, a woman’s cycle is not always exactly 28 days long. Knowing the length of your cycle can help you become more in tune with your body, which helps you know when you’re fertile. Your cycle length will help you determine your fertile window, which extends beyond the day you ovulate. Pregnancy is possible within your fertile window, which includes the days leading up to, and after ovulation. The average window is open for five days, but you’ll want to know your window specifically.
Period tracking will also help you learn what’s normal for you. That way when you have a string of abnormally heavy or light periods, you can talk to your doctor about them. You’ll also be better prepared to manage moods or PMS symptoms and learn about your sex drive. Typically women see an increase of sex drive around the time of ovulation.
Best Apps for Period Tracking
Now that you know why you should track your period, it’s time to decide on an app. Here are some of the best apps for period tracking, most of which are free and available for both Android and iOS phones.
Clue allows you to track many things, including period flow and what products you used during your period. You can also track mood, pain, sexual activity, and cervical fluid. This period tracking app helps you become more in-tune with your overall health, which is really important as a woman. Clue has been ranked top of the best apps for period tracking by Obstetrics & Gynecology journal.
The Eve period tracking app is cute and cheeky, and while marketing skews towards millennials, we think it’s probably better for Generation Z. Eve has some features beyond straight period tracking, like daily sex quizzes, a community of others going through the misery of PMS, and a “Cyclescope” to give you a forecast based on your cycle. Eve helps you discover trends in your cycle and the app is very colorful and visually appealing.
One of the best parts about the Flo app is that it’s password protected. So for those of us who let our preteens text their friends on our phone, we don’t have to worry about them learning why mom is upset that day. You can use Flo to sync with water intake, exercise, and sleep data as well. Flo also helps you estimate your fertile days and can easily become a pregnancy app if that’s your goal.
Read more: Are period panties really worth it?
Ovia Fertility Period Tracker is one of the best period apps for those hoping they stop getting their period. Ovia gives you a “fertility score” and can help you record your attempts to conceive. Ovia also helps you to chart your basal body temperature, cervical position, and cervical mucus. If you’re not looking to get pregnant, the period tracking is a good way to keep tabs on your body anyway.
Period Tracker markets itself as the perfect app for those with irregular periods, but it works well for anyone who values simplicity and ease. You can log as much or as little information as you want, scroll from month to month to see when your next cycle is due, and the tracker calculates based on the previous three months of data. This app also shows your ovulation days and fertility window as well.
If you’re a minimalist at heart, the Cycles app is for you. This app is simple and requires pretty little input. You can also invite your partner to the app to keep up too. This is a great way to get some extra support on those emotional days, and as an explanation as to why you may not be “in the mood.” Simple graphics and soothing colors keep the app discreet, even on his phone.
This period tracking app is the first (and only!) one designed for women approaching menopause. Avoid any unwanted surprises and have the data in hand to talk to your doctor about your symptoms and their severity. If you prefer paper, Mysyster will send you a printable chart before your appointment. (This one is not yet available on Android.)
If symptoms and unpredictability are among the top reasons you hate that “time of the month” then MyFlo is the best tracking app for you. MyFlo helps track all the things, like migraines, low energy, and bloating, and also makes some suggestions on food that may make you feel better. It also can help you with data collection that may lead you, and your doctor, to discover hormone imbalances or other potential problems.
Like many of the other apps, Period Calendar can be as simple, or as intuitive as you want. Easily track your cycle dates, see your fertility window and predicted ovulation date, track all the symptoms if you’re trying to conceive, and schedule in when you need to refill your birth control. Period Calendar is the top-rated period tracking app on Google. It’s perfect for anyone, from the regular to irregular and from young to old.
Bonus: Best Apps for Period Tracking for Your Daughter
When your daughter starts her period, it’s going to be even harder for her to comprehend what is going on. Young girls aren’t typically on a “normal” cycle for the first several years. However, there are two recommended apps for period tracking that can help this particular age group.
MagicGirl Period Tracker was designed specifically for teenagers, so it’s very easy to use and makes the whole menstruation thing a little less intimidating. Within the app, your teen can chat with other girls and get period advice, add a reminder for birth control pills or shots, and learn about product options. Plus, she’ll think it’s fun because it’s bright and cheery.
Spot On is a great app with a friendly and colorful vibe. The app encourages teens and preteens to log not only their periods but also their daily emotions and body aches, using emojis. Together, you can watch her cycle as it changes over time, discuss the way her body is working, teach her to stay in tune with her body, and maybe remove some of the stigmas that come from this period thing.
Tracking your period doesn’t need to involve your day planner or family calendar like your mother may have. It can all be done privately and discreetly on an app. Try a few of these best apps for period tracking and see which one fits your lifestyle best.
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