Whether you’re on birth control or not, your period has a mind of its own, and if I’ve learned anything from studying the female reproductive system, it’s that if the going ain't flowing, your cycle can either take its sweet time, or drop by unexpectedly. Luckily, technology is making it all too easy to learn how to track your period cycle because, duh, there are multiple apps for that, and you can download as many as you please if you want to be extra for optimal accuracy. The truth is, ladies, unless you’re diligently tracking when it comes and goes each month, it’s easy to forget these details month after month, and seeing as how you’re most likely attached to your phone anyway, these options are super helpful.
Raise your hand (or, you know, just silently agree) if this scenario sounds all too familiar: You're sitting down with your OBGYN mid-checkup, and they ask about your last cycle. You should definitely know this, but cannot for the life of you remember when your last period stopped, let alone when it started. The bouts of cramping and bloating are all a blur among visions of term papers and extracurriculars, so you end up tapping into your iPhone calendar for a mental refresh. Unfortunately, the best you can offer is a guesstimate.
Personally, the second my period subsides, I forget about it. At the same time, though, my type A personality keeps close tabs on my cycle: I have it down to the exact day I’m due to bleed, and when PMS symptoms will start kicking in (no joke, I start experiencing stomach cramps every Wednesday before my period like clockwork). For some women, though, their menstrual cycles are hardly by the book, which is where tracking apps come in. Here are a few of the best period tracking apps to download, so you can start keeping tabs on your menstrual cycle now.
Clue prides itself on being one of the only period tracker apps that's loaded with scientific data based off of real facts, in addition to details about your individual cycle. Plus, according to Apple, it's been rated the top free period and ovulation tracker app by the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, so that gives them a decent amount of bragging rights.
Here's how it works: The more information you input into the app, the smarter it gets. Each time you log on, take note of details like how heavy your flow is, PMS symptoms, and even the feminine products you use. The more in-depth you get, the more scientific information Clue will provide you with in regards to your menstrual cycle, like patterns it picks up on, fertility predictions, and when your next period is due to arrive.
Period Tracker Deluxe is super fancy in terms of features, but it's actually really simple to use. An ideal pick for females who like to get down to the tiniest of details, PTD does it all, from tracking your PMS symptoms, to providing an open forum for women to discuss anything and everything, such as hormonal acne, period insomnia, pregnancy, and more.
Every month, users will press a "start" button on the first day of their period, and continue to log how they're feeling throughout the cycle. From these details, the app is able to calculate when your next period should begin, and when you'll be most fertile, so you can plan accordingly.
If, like me, you live for apps that allow for personal customization, Life Period Tracker is the app for you, my friend.
The base model of the app is pretty standard, and will allow you to track your period, predict your ovulation, symptoms, get cycle reminders, and the like. Bump your account up to premium, however, and you'll really get down to the nitty-gritty, with the option to track your sexual activity, nutrition, activity levels, and what medications you're taking. It even includes a diary feature, so you can journal through each cycle.
And because these details are super personal, Life Period Tracker makes sure to do everything in its power to maintain your privacy. According to the app's description, it won't ask for your email, or share your data with other companies. Your cycle is sacred, so you can trust that Life Period Tracker will treat it as such.
Maybe you're just interested in the basics, and less interested in all the bells and whistles that many apps tend to add on. My Period Calendar is as straightforward as it gets (even its product description on the Apple store is only a sentence long).
The app will break down when you're most likely to get your period, according to the information you input, and you can keep track of things like your mood swings, symptoms, and more with a handy notes feature.
I don't know about you, but I'm super into symbols and stickers that make organization aesthetically pleasing. Day After's period tracker is great for this, with a ton of images you can drop into your daily log to represent any PMS symptoms or changes you experience throughout your cycle.
There are three main features of the app: your own personal diary, where you can insert photos and jot down notes about anything (period-related or not); a calendar to keep an eye on when your next period should arrive, so you can plan life according to your flow; and obviously, a tracker that's based on an algorithm that goes off of your individual information.
I genuinely get the jollys when I notice patterns in my period, and can spot changes that need to be addressed. But not everyone pays as close attention as I do (I'm just detail-oriented that way), so it's really helpful that apps like Touchable Period Cycle can handle that information for you.
Rather than listing your symptoms, this smartphone app takes your info day by day, so you can pinpoint when you might see these same issues resurface next month. It's very detailed, but easy to use, and the more information you provide, the better you'll come to know the ins and outs of your cycle.