Back in ye olden days, before I had a smartphone, I kept track of my period using a small pocket calendar. Or at least, I tried to keep track of it that way. It was so easy to forget to mark the calendar each month. The worst thing was showing up at a gynecologist appointment and not having an answer when the nurse asked me for the date of my last period. However, that’s a problem of the past thanks to the proliferation of period tracking apps.
There’s a bounty of tracking apps available you can use to keep tabs on your monthly cycle. According to an article in The New York Times, there are now more than 200 such apps available.
Many of them are free or offer free versions. Once you’ve downloaded the period tracker of your choice, you enter the start and end dates of your period, and the apps let you know when you’re at your most fertile, when PMS is about to start and, of course, when to expect your next visit from Aunt Flo. Here are some of the most popular period tracking apps:
Period Tracker Lite
This is the app I’ve used for the past year. While it would be nice to upgrade to the deluxe version to see charts of moods and cravings, I haven’t made the leap, and frankly, it’s good for what I need it to do the most: Tell me exactly when to expect my next period.
It’s useful for looking way into the future to avoid scheduling a vacation or other significant event during your time of the month. Additionally, it shows you when your fertile window is during your cycle and allows you to keep track of symptoms like cravings, bloating or breakouts. You can also track the heaviness of your flow and note down the days you were intimate. You’ll need to pay for the deluxe version to see charts of symptoms, but you can do most everything else with this app using the Lite version, which is free to use. You can get Period Tracker Lite here.
Clue seems to be taking the period tracking world by storm. It’s garnered a lot of press and people appear to value it for its sleek graphics and lack of pink and butterflies as much as for its detailed reports.
You enter basic information about yourself and then you’re on your way to keeping track of your next period, your fertile window and my favorite feature: when you can expect PMS to start. I can’t be the only one who has learned to avoid certain difficult people in their lives during PMS week. This app will send you notifications letting you know exactly when that time will begin. Clue also can be used to go even more in-depth to make connections between how much sleep and exercise you’ve gotten and how severe your symptoms were. This can give you a good idea of how your behaviors influence your cycle and vice versa. You can learn which actions make you feel better or worse. Clue is free, and you can get it here.
Eve tracks much of the same data as other period trackers: the date of your last and next period and when you’ll be ovulating.
What makes it different is that is that has an active social community connected to it. It’s also a little bit more fun and edgy than the other apps. For instance, instead of checking off when you’ve been “intimate” as you do with Period Tracker, Eve asks, “Did you get some?” and you even can rate how good it was, from “ehh” to “mind-blowing.” Eve is targeted to sexually active young women, and the forums are a place where you can discuss anything, and I mean anything.
Nothing’s off limits, particularly topics related to sex and health. The app’s got cute graphics and attractive charts. The creators of Eve have made an effort to put a little more fun and sociability into period tracking. You can get Eve by Glow here.
Mood Horoscope and Period Tracker
If you follow this blog, you know that your cycle can have an impact on your day to day performance, and you can leverage that knowledge of your cycle to your advantage.
This period tracker, Mood Horoscope Period Tracker, works on that principle by presenting you with a daily horoscope, not based on the stars, but on your cycle. These hormone-oscopes can let you know when you’re more likely to be irritable or emotional, or when you’ll be at your most outgoing and carefree. The longer you use this app, the more accurate your mood horoscope will be since it’ll have more data to go on. If you upgrade to the full paid version, you’ll receive tips to help deal with the hormonal ups and downs of your cycle. This fun app is something you’d use together with a period tracker that records more specific data. You can get Mood Horoscope and Period Tracker here.
No more forgetting to put that red dot on the calendar! Period tracking apps are great tools to help you navigate your period and your life.