Did someone say period apps? Hell yes. Of all the annoying aspects of being a woman, getting your period has to be one of the worst. It’s a pain (it can be literally painful), it can put a damper on your social life, it makes you feel bloated and crabby, and sometimes, if you’re not paying attention, it comes without warning. Getting your monthly friend is a regular hassle that happens every 4 weeks (ish) and even though you know it’s going to happen, it’s still an unpleasant surprise when it first hits. And while it might seem like one more thing to remember, keeping track of your menstrual cycle is beneficial for a number of reasons. According to Marjan Attaran, MD, an obstetrician-gynecologist at the Cleveland Clinic, in an article for Everyday Health, “knowing your cycle length can be helpful for many reasons. For women who are trying to conceive, or for women who are trying to avoid pregnancy, understanding the rhythm of their menstruation can help.”
While we can’t exactly make the inconvenience of your period go away, we can help you if you struggle to keep track of when you’re going to get your period. After all, no one likes going to their OB-GYN and being asked “when was your last menstrual cycle” and then staring into space because you actually have no clue. #embarrassing But guess what? As with most aspects of your life, if you have a problem, there’s an app for that. Here are 5 period apps that can help simplify your life and minimize the inconvenience of tracking your period.
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1. Period Diary This app looks like what you would imagine a period tracker app to look like. It’s pink, it comes with flowers, and it’s oh-so-girly. Which is OK considering you’re inputting information about your period. But it’s so much more than that—the app also helps you track your ovulation, your body weight, temperature and symptoms so you can do everything from evaluate your fertility or just prepare for your next period. It’s easy to use, straightforward, and it gets the job done.
2. Clue This app is aesthetically really nice to look at, or at least, as nice as any program where you are thinking about and talking about your period can be. It’s easy to use and actually fun to work with. And it’s not pink, which is a perk if you’re anti pink. This app is more about scientific information so you can track your fertility and stay on top of your female and reproductive health. It will help you get to know your body by documenting everything from your sexual activity to how your body feels, when your period strikes, how bad the PMS is and what your cycle is like. By keeping track of all this crucial information (that you usually forget) the program can then provide educational information and insight into your next period and whether or not your cycle is normal.
3. My Cycles If you want to get right to work tracking your actual period timing, and your fertility and ovulation, and you don’t care as much about the way you feel, your PMS or your monthly mood-swings then this app is for you. You can always input your emotions throughout your cycle, but as the name implies, the actually chart on the app shows your cycle so you can estimate when your next cycle will start, or not if you’re trying to get pregnant. You can also get a snapshot at the next 12 months to see where your period will fall so you can plan your trips and activities accordingly and set up reminders as needed.
4. My Period Tracker This app is one of the simpler options for tracking your period. All you need to do is turn it “on” (or open it) at the start of your period and then begin logging notes about how you feel, your mood, symptoms, flow etc. You can also use the app to ask other women for advice, take notes for future doctor’s appointments, chart your body’s habits and calculate the dates for your next period.
5. Virtual Nurse (Birth Control) This app is powered by The Harvard Medical School, so you can trust what you learn and know that you are in good hands. It’s less of a period tracker and more of a birth control guide and resource to ask all of your menstrual questions at the tap of a button. The app asks a series of questions to help assess if your condition is serious and you need to seek medical attention, or if you are experiencing something common and normal regarding your reproductive health. You can ask about the flow of your period, the birth control you are using, any other period-related symptoms and more. Think of it as having a trusted nurse at your fingertips so you can ask all the questions you are too embarrassed to ask anywhere else. It’s a great app to use in combination with another period tracker, but the only downside is it’s only available for Android devices currently.