What's the best period tracker app for you? In a world with literally millions of apps, it can be tough to know which period tracker suits your needs. Are you looking for an application on your phone or a period tracker online? Do you want to track ovulation, PMS symptoms, sexual health, or all of the above? How accurate is a period tracker app, anyway?
Take a breath, ladies. We’re weighed the pros and cons of many, many of the applications out there. Here’s what we’ve found. Keep in mind that as we try more applications, we will keep adding to this list.
What Is a Period Tracker App, Anyway?
For those new to the high-tech world of apps and menstrual cups — say goodbye to calendars and tampons — a period tracker app helps you keep track of your menstrual cycle.
The average woman menstruates every 28 days, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. But variations between 24 and 38 days is completely normal. On top of that, women typically menstruate between 3 and 8 days, though the average length is 5 days.
To make matters more complicated, your menstrual cycle can vary depending on factors such as stress, diet, exercise, age, and genetics. Who can keep track of all that?
Why Use an Application to Track Menstruation?
Enter your iPhone. There are lot of applications that make tracking your menstrual cycle super easy. But the capabilities don't stop there.
There’s a lot else want to know about our flow— and many apps to help. For starters, how bad will my cramps be, and when should I expect them? Will I have a lighter or heavier flow this month? Should I expect a three day or an eight-day period?
The best period tracker apps make it easy to keep track of when you’ll menstruate, when to expect PMS symptoms and how long (and how heavy) your flow will be.
Tracking Ovulation and Health Using a Period Tracker
Though there are special ovulation calculators and calendars out there, some women use a period tracker app for that purpose. Women who aren’t trying to get pregnant will check in to see when they’re least fertile; Others hoping to become pregnant will chronicle when they’re ovulating.
Beyond pregnancy, your menstrual cycle can tell you a lot about your health. Abnormalities could be an indication of potential health problems. If this is the case, please check with a physician.
Wondering, can you get pregnant on your period? Yes, though it is less likely than at other stages.
How Accurate Is a Period Tracker App?
If all women’s bodies are different, how can these applications be accurate in the first place?
Many factors can impact whether the application you’re using is actually helpful. Accurate and consistent use will impact the applications’ usefulness for you. Most applications have complex algorithms and access to a whole lot of data on women's health. This helps them be more accurate.
Beyond that, there is some concern that even the best period tracker app options product psychosomatic effects.
Psychosomatic means "relating to a physical problem caused by emotional anxiety and not by illness, infection, or injury,” per the Cambridge Dictionary. In other words, reading a list of potential PMS symptoms may, in fact, cause them.
Many women find online period trackers and applications to be an extremely helpful approach to coping with menstruation or planning a pregnancy. Others content themselves with the old-fashioned calendar approach.
Are These Applications Sharing Your Information?
It has recently come to light that some period tracker apps are sharing your data with advertisers. According to nonprofit Privacy International, the Clue period tracker app “contacts Facebook as soon as the app is opened, but no longer shares your Google advertising ID.” This follow up is from February 2019, following an initial report published in December 2018.
In response, Clue period tracker told the organization, “Clue uses the SDK to provide certain service features such as a login to the Clue app with Facebook credentials which means we do share usage information containing the meta-data of the app-usage with Facebook. We don’t share any personal data of our users with Facebook.”
Privacy International also tested period tracker My Calendar, which they concluded did not communicate information to Facebook.
As is true with all apps, it’s up to the user to decide how much data they are willing to share with advertisers. Keep in mind that not all of the best period tracker apps on the market share this deeply personal information. It is the user’s responsibility to research privacy app policies, as these are subject to change.
The 4 Best Period Tracker Apps in 2019
What sets the best period trackers apart from the rest? For some women, price is crucial. For others, additional features such as PMS symptom trackers and pregnancy calculators are a must. Here are the four best period tracker apps in 2019, all of which are free.
Flo Period Tracker, Ovulation & Fertility Calendar
Why We Like It: Flo does it all. Not only does their easy-to-use interface record your menstrual cycle, but they offer mini-courses on relieving cramps, getting better sleep and much more.
Looking to get pregnant? Flo offers a fertility calendar so you know when exactly you’re ovulating. It’s also easy to record PMS symptoms, calculate your due date and even predict irregular periods, making this one of the best period tracker app options out there.
Why We Like It: This is one of the best period tracker apps when it comes to transparency. “Glad to know that BBC & Privacy International have verified our app doesn’t share any data with Facebook or other parties, we’ll keep it up,” reads the application’s description.
This calendar is geared towards helping women conceive. With that in mind, it can alert you about your chances of pregnancy (what they call a “fertility window”) and gives you a place to record intimacy. It also has a medication reminder feature for supplements and birth control.
Period Tracker by GP Apps
Why We Like It: Want to know your average cycle length? Looking for an easy period tracker online to chart your PMS symptoms (think headaches, weight gain, insomnia, bloating and so much more)? Then check out this application by GP.
For the visual learners among us, it also offers clear charts that help you understand your symptoms and cycle. Want to share your data with a physician? You can export all this data into an email before you visit the doctor.
Why We Like It: A modern application for sex-positive women, Eve has an elegant interface with beautiful charts and software to identify your body’s patterns. It also has fun features such as a mood tracker and sex quizzes.
Eve is also fully integrable with the Health App so you can keep track of your water intake, exercise, sleep and menstrual health at the same time. It also doubles as a sex-positive community where you can ask questions and learn from other women using the application.
The Best Period Tracker Apps Keep Evolving
Whether you're looking to conceive (or not), track PMS symptoms or reach out to a community of sex-positive women just like you, there's an application for that. As we keep discovering more websites and period tracker apps, we'll continue to add to this list.
Have a suggestion? Message us on Facebook or Instagram @myevercup.