Tracking when your period's coming — or not — could be frustrating. But luckily, there are a ton of period-tracking apps that can help you with fertility, as well as your overall sexual and reproductive health. Whether you want to get pregnant soon or down the line, these apps can help you determine when the best time is to try, as well as what's really going on with your body. And who wouldn't want to know that?
"Period tracking can be very powerful and is empowering," Leslie Heyer, Founder and President of Cycle Technologies, that created the Dot app, tells Bustle. "Period trackers give women a better sense of what's going on with their bodies, and help them know when their periods are likely to come next.And with new technologies and approaches, I think we're finding that it also gives us a lot of actionable information." The more you know about your body and reproductive health, the better.
"The majority of women will have regular monthly periods lasting a normal four to five days," Dr. Sherry A. Ross, women's health expert and author ofshe-ology. The Definitive Guide to Women's Intimate Health, tells Bustle. "There are women who are not so lucky who have irregular periods with erratic bleeding, so period-tracking apps are especially helpful for women who have no idea when and for how long [your period] will stay. Your healthcare provider will especially find it useful to look at a period tracker over a period of three to six months to see what is really happening with your hormones. Clue and Glow are two of my favorite period-tracking apps."
That said, here are seven period-tracking apps that can help you determine your fertility, and help you, overall, when it comes to tracking your monthly menstrual cycles.
Dot helps you plan or prevent pregnancy based on the lengths of your menstrual cycles. The app uses a new family planning method called Dynamic Optimal Timing (Dot), and it works by tracking your period start dates. It's also able to tell you your individual conception risks for each day of your cycle — if you are at low-, medium-, or high-risk for pregnancy. And since it's algorithm-based, the more you use Dot, the more it gets to know you and your body.
Even if you don't want to get pregnant at the moment, you can still use the app just to learn more about you and your conception risks. You can also share your cycle data with others, like your doctor. On top of which, the app can help predict your periods for the next six months, as well as keep track of your period symptoms, associated moods, and frequency of sex.
"Specifically, while it can be used as a tracker and for accurate period predictions, it can also be used for pregnancy prevention and planning," Heyer says. "The app uses an advanced algorithm to identify a woman's pregnancy risks and gives her that information in such a way that she can use it to meet her reproductive goals. It can also see patterns in a user's cycles and identify potential health issues that could affect fertility."
The app is free, but you can pay a one-time fee of $2.99 to get Dot Pro, meaning you get extra features (like syncing your Dot data to your phone's calendar and notifying your partner about key cycle dates).
Spot On is powered by Planned Parenthood, which already gives it legit credibility. The next coolest thing about the app is, not only does it allow you to track your period, but also your birth control method that affects it. Whether you're on the pill or have an IUD, the app takes that into consideration when it comes to your periods and fertility. So if you're on birth control, this app has a leg up on others due to taking your method into consideration. Spot On can help you predict your period and when you're likely to be fertile, and you'll also get tips and guidance from the app. It'll also help you keep track of your symptoms, like fatigue and cramps, as well as your activities, like sex and exercise. And since the app is via Planned Parenthood, you'll also have access to all their resources and FAQs regarding sexual and reproductive health. Plus, you can also visit a local Planned Parenthood anytime for added guidance. Another bonus? The app is free.
Pink Pad is not limited to being a period and fertility tracker, but is also a social health network for women, so you have a built-in community to talk to — which definitely helps you feel less alone if you're having an issue you'd like to discuss with other women who may be experiencing the same issue(s). It has the bona fide period and fertility tracking features you'd want in an app — including an ovulation calendar, as well as the ability to track your symptoms, moods, weight, temperature, etc. — and it also lets you sync your calendar to your device's calendar, so you can see your predicted period and fertile days there, too.
The app also gives you tools to help you plan day-to-day activities and vacations. Plus, you can set up a discreet reminder that your period's coming. But the best part about the app? The fact that there's a women's health community to discuss your concerns, from fertility to health ones, and everything in between. Sure, your friends are great, but sometimes it's better to confide in others who are going through the exact same thing you're going through. As for cost, Pink Pad is free.
Clue is a period-tracking and ovulation app that is gender-neutral. "We promise to never use flowers, butterflies, euphemisms or pink — ever," the app states. "Track and get just the health information you need." Aside from tracking your period and ovulation, with Clue, you can also track your health trends, such as health logs, exercise frequency, moods, menstrual flow heaviness, your menstrual products, and cervical fluid. In addition to viewing past periods, PMS, and fertility data, you can also get predictions for your next three cycles. Like other apps, Clue, too, gets to know you the more you use it. Clue is free, though with Clue Premium, which is $6.99 a month and less per month with the more months you purchase, you get added features, like PMS forecasts.
No round-up about period tracker apps is complete without adding one called Period Tracker, aka P Tracker. And, just like its name suggests, it tracks your period, as well as a whole lot more. You can track your symptoms, too, such as bloating, and then label them as mild, moderate, or severe. You can also monitor medications you're taking, as well as write-in notes — about anything from cramps to spotting. Period Tracker is also very easy to use. You just press a button when you start your period each month, and then the app takes it from there, keeping track of your dates and calculating your last three cycles' dates to predict the date of your next period. You can view it all on your calendar within the app. Plus, on your device's home screen, you'll see your predicted ovulation, eight-day "fertile window," and your cycle day.
Period Tracker is free, but if you use the Deluxe feature for $1.99, you get more features — for instance, if you get pregnant, you can start tracking the weeks of your pregnancy versus your periods.
Another ovulation app and fertility tracker to try is Glow. Not only will you learn more about your fertility, whether or not you're trying to get pregnant right now, but you'll also be able to keep track of your symptoms, mood, sex, and medications. Not only does it help predict fertility, but it also helps those undergoing fertility treatments like IVF or IUI, which is a big deal. You'll also receive health and fertility insights, and the period tracker gets to know you more over time, i.e., the more you use the app. The app will also act as your personal assistant when it comes to your sexual health, reminding you of medications and contraception. And another hugebonus is the community aspect offering support. Other perks are being able to sync your health profile, i.e., fertility data and ovulation days, to the cloud, the ability to email yourself a PDF of your ovulation results and other health info, as well as your partner being able to see your results, too.
In addition to analyzing past periods and cycles, Glow's five-day and monthly calendar views will show you your next fertile window, ovulation day, and upcoming period. There's also another Glow app, Glow Nurture, which is Glow's pregnancy app.
Glow itself is free to use. However, if you want to upgrade to Glow Premium for $7.99 month-to-month, you'll receive additional perks, such as Comparative Insights — comparing your findings with millions of women — and private messaging new friends from the app. Note: The price goes down to $3.99 a month if you sign up for one year, and $59.99 for a lifetime membership.
If you're more of an emoji person, you'll love Eveby Glow, the period tracker that speaks emoji. It's a period tracker and sex app in one, so aside from learning more about your health, you'll also learn more about your sexual health. Like other period trackers, Eve predicts your next period and pregnancy chances, as well as tracks your moods and related symptoms. There's also an interactive staircase feature that allows you to see your past cycles in a unique way. Plus, you can see what your next fertile window will be, in addition to the ovulation day and upcoming period. Sex-wise, you can take daily sex quizzes via the app. Eve is also compatible with the Health App, so you can track even more health-related topics, such as your sleep, steps, etc.
Eve is free, though you can opt for a paid subscription if you wish. For $7.99 a month, you'll be a Premium member and get extra features, such as Comparative Insights — where you can see if a health issue you're having is normal compared to other women — and private messaging.
There you have it — seven period-tracking apps that do a whole lot more than just track your period. And since all of the above are free, there's no harm in trying one out. After all, it's for your health, the very best reason of all to download and use one.