At this point I should be well acquainted enough with my body and the biological mechanisms inside of it, but alas, I am not. My periods are a surprise no matter how much planning I do, or how well I track them — which is exactly why anyone in the same boat should invest in period-tracking apps, and get to understand your body and the effects of your period in ways you might not even anticipate.
Recently, I've been reading a book by Julie Holland called Moody Bitches, which goes into the biological side of being a woman. It explains, using scientific terms and data, why we are the way that we are. The chapters dealing with periods were the most revelatory and helped me understand more about my mood swings. Oh — did I forget to mention that I have mood swings? I do. I really do. I have come home crying because of a good song on the radio on multiple occasions and I can be extremely sensitive when talking to people. Moody Bitches was a difficult read for me at times, but the one great take away Julie Holland suggested was for women to track their mood swings, particularly as they pertain to your cycle.
By keeping a record of exactly what happens to your body every month, you can get well acquainted with your cycles. You can predict challenging days and, if you're ready for it, days that are great for getting pregnant. With modern technology and the availability of apps, there are hundreds of options to do this simple thing. No more penciling in calendars with ominous 'P's, no more guess work — it's 2016, so it's time for some iHelp. Below are some apps that you can use to keep track of your period, ovulation, and different birth controls.
Tracking Your Period
These apps are here to save you from ruining your favorite pair of underwear. You can now plan on buying tampons in advance, instead of rushing head first into the feminine aisle before all hell breaks loose. We've all been there, and we all need a little help sometimes.
Clue: Period And PMS Tracker
What It Does: This app allows you to plug in details about your monthly cycles, which in turn can predict things for you later on. You can put in your moods, track body temperature, and find out when you are ovulating. You can even put in all of your old period stats from previous months to better calculate the results.
Cost It Costs: Free!
What It Does: In the same way as Clue, this app tracks and charts your cycle. You get a handy calendar where you can plug in your information, including icons for moods. It even has a countdown clock which tells you how much time you have until your next period. An added bonus is that you can customize the backgrounds to fit your unique personality.
What It Costs: Free for Lite version and $1.99 for Period Tracker Deluxe.
What It Does: Not only does this app do the usual tracking of your monthly cycles, it also keeps track of your health and wellness. You can plug in your sleep and workout information for a better understanding of your body.
What It Costs: Free for beta version and $3.99 for Life Premium.
Checking In On Fertility
If you are in a stage of your life where fertility is important or relevant, there are some apps you can use to better predict the days your fertility is at its highest. You can always use the previous three apps mentioned, but the following are a little more legit and specific.
What It Does: Fertility Friend tracks fertility signs like basal body temperature and cervical fluid. According to their website, they are responsible for 650,000+ pregnancies — which is nothing to shake a stick at.
What It Costs: Free, but the upgrades to being a VIP member can cost you $44.99 for the year.
What It Does: This app gives you the literal green light if you are hoping to have a baby. Ovulation is tricky and this app can help lessen the burden.
What It Costs: $4.99.
Controlling Birth Control
If you are not ready to become a parent, and you have been taking birth control, these apps are for you. Not only are they going to help remind you not to forget a day, but they can also be customizable for your specific birth control needs.
Birth Control Reminder (Pills, Ring or Patch)
What It Does: Not only does this app remind you when you need to take your birth control, it also tells you when you need to get a refill. The alarms sound off, and have a snooze button built in. Finally, it can be customized to your specific birth control and remind you when you need to change your ring or patch!
What It Costs: Free
myPill Birth Control Reminder
What It Does: High resolution graphics will remind you to take your pills on your time. It also shows you any discrepancies in case you took it too early or too late in the day. This will help anyone who is on the go! It also comes with a feature that tracks your pill prescription six months in advance so that you never run out.
What It Costs: $4.99.