8 Inclusive Period Tracking Apps You’ll Actually Want To Use
There's a very strong possibility you've started your period at a very inconvenient time — maybe right in the middle of that big presentation at work, or while you're stuck on your commute, or right as your sitting down to a first date (check, check, check). If your time of the month has a habit of sneaking up on you, period tracking apps are making it a heck of a lot easier for menstruating people to predict when their period is on its way, identify trends in their cycle, and to keep track of their overall health.
"There are many benefits to using a period tracking app, like noticing patterns in your sex drive or emotions," Anna Druet, a researcher and the Science and Education Manager at the reproductive health app Clue, tells Bustle. "However, a key benefit is that tracking your period helps you feel in control of your menstrual health, and learn what’s normal for you. It can also help you notice when something changes, and see a doctor when there is something that may need to be addressed."
According to Planned Parenthood, the typical menstrual cycle lasts between 25 to 30 days, and the average person has menstrual bleeding for two to seven days. Though small changes to your menstrual cycle from month to month are totally normal, your period is considered irregular if bleeding last longer than eight days, if you miss a period, or if your period starts earlier or later than expected. Irregular periods can be brought on by something as simple as stress, or could indicate that you have a reproductive health disease like polycystic ovarian syndrome, reported SELF.
Even if you experience irregularities in your period, Druet explains a period tracking app can still be useful in determining if your irregular periods are cause for concern. "Menstrual cycles are dynamic. They can vary for many reasons and in many ways. These variations are usually normal and healthy. You might find that your [menstrual] cycles are temporarily out-of-range, lasting only one or two cycles," she says. "If your cycle becomes (or is always) outside of typical ranges [of variation], the information you gather with a period tracker like Clue may provide you and a healthcare professional with information that could help in the diagnosis and management of a medical condition, like PCOS or a thyroid problem, or identify a change like menopause or pregnancy."
Maybe you've tried period tracking before, but found the interface to be not super inclusive, or felt like you weren't learning that much about your period. We've rounded up eight inclusive, accurate period tracking apps that people swear by, that will give you insight into your menstrual cycle.
1. Spot On
The period tracking app Spot On was developed by — drumroll — Planned Parenthood, so you probs automatically know it's amazing. The app tracks your cycle, preferred birth control method, mood, and physical symptoms so you can gain a deeper understanding of how your time of the month affects your wellness. Also, according to Planned Parenthood's site, Spot On "doesn’t make any assumptions about your gender, sexual orientation, or reproductive goals." Super inclusive and super helpful for the win.
2. Ovia Fertility
Though the app Ovia is geared towards people who want to know when they're most fertile so they can conceive, it extensively tracks your cycle, mood, and symptoms related to your period. You can set the app to "Not Trying To Conceive" mode, so it's less fertility-focused. Moreover, according to Ovia's site, the app provides "predictions and support for irregular periods," which is super helpful.
The Clue app not only tracks your menstrual cycle, but allows you to make the app more personalized through reminders. According to the apps' site, you can customize a set of reminders for when your period is late, ovulation, breast self-exams, when to ingest, insert, or stop using your birth control, when you are in the monthly range for PMS symptoms, and more. Moreover, Clue's online site has a ton of articles from experts about an array of reproductive health issues and information about your period.
MyFlo is a period-tracking app designed by Alisa Vitti, a renowned nutritionist and reproductive health and hormone expert. Like other period apps, MyFlo tracks your menstrual cycle and symptoms, but also offers advice on how to help ease symptoms (for example, workouts you should avoid if you feel bloated). Another cool feature of the app is that it allows your partner — with your permission — to know where you're at in your cycle.
The Life period-tracker app is pretty standard — tracking your cycle, symptoms, and mood. The premium version of the app, however, allows you to "track sex, fertility, weight, nutrition, fitness, sleep, medication, health, and even keep a diary." Meaning, Life will help not only give you an idea of how you cycle affects you, but provides an extensive overview of your overall health and wellness, all in one location.
Eve, an app created by the Glow ovulation calendar, is a scientific, data-backed app that can give you the lowdown on your period, birth control, fertility, and sex. The all-encompassing app can log all the deets about your cycle and sex life, and then give you an idea of your reproductive health trends.
7. Period Tracker Lite
Period Tracker Lite is a simple (and free) period tracking app that allows you to track symptoms — including indigestion, libido, and more — during your menstrual cycle with cute icons. The app also lets users to keep track of mood changes, take notes, and log your period so you can have an idea of how long your average menstrual cycle is.
8. Aunt Flo
The period tracking app Aunt Flo doesn't try to sugarcoat how crappy some period or PMS symptoms can be, and TBH, the app's bluntness is pretty hilarious. It is a perfect app for someone who wants a minimal, but accurate way to track their menstrual cycle. Moreover, you proceeds from purchasing the app go towards providing menstrual products for those in need, which is an amazing benefit to using this app!
"If your cycles are very regular, normally fluctuating, or if they are clinically irregular — it’s still very useful to have a record of your cycles over time," says Druet. Of course, period tracking apps are not a substitute for consulting your OB/GYN or regular physician if you notice abnormal changes in your menstrual cycle. However, period tracking apps are a great tool to help you feel more in tune with your body, and can help you improve your overall wellness. And with so many options to choose from, you'll be in good hands no matter what you decide to download.