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Do you know what moment I absolutely hate? That inevitable part of any doctor’s appointment when they ask me the dreaded question: “When was your last period?” I expect to give out personal information, but I want it to be info I actually know!
As a PCOS patient, the likelihood that I can rattle off the dates of my previous period at any given moment is slim-to-none. My periods are so irregular, and it drives me crazy.
Yet somehow, despite knowing this topic is bound to come up, I always forget to have my answer prepared ahead of time. I’m left mumbling about irregularity and possible dates while the doctor looks at me as if I have two heads and zero clues about my reproductive system.
Thank goodness for period tracking apps that I can open so I have the exact data my doctor needs at the drop of a hat. And, you know, so I can understand my cycle, know my fertile days, or even get pill reminders for certain meds.
Thanks to the technological powerhouses that seem to run our world, there are several useful period apps women can use to keep track of their menstrual cycles and fertility.
Why is Finding the Best Period Apps Beneficial?
Before you jump into finding a period tracker online or start your search for the best free period tracker app, it’s a good idea to educate yourself on the benefits of tracking your period in the first place.
If you’re sitting there wondering, “Why should I track my period?”, there are a few great benefits (including some that are quite surprising!)
(1) They Can Help Plan or Prevent Pregnancies
So, you’re not a birth control user, and you find condoms annoying – it might be time to start tracking your periods. If you want a baby, you can learn how to monitor your cycle. If you don’t want a baby, you can learn when not to have sex. Ovulation apps can help!
Tracking your periods can be used as a part of natural family planning and can help you pinpoint when you’re ovulating each month.
*Editorial note: We do NOT recommend period tracking as your sole means of birth control. We see many benefits to period tracking, but highly recommend additional methods of birth control if you’re tracking to avoid getting pregnant.
The average fertility window during any given month is approximately six days long. This window occurs before, during, and after ovulation.
By using period tracking apps, you’ll have a better idea when you will be ovulating so you know to either avoid doing the deed, or when to jump on it if you’re trying to conceive.
(2) They Can Help You Identify Potential Health Problems
When you start using one of the hundreds of different period apps available, they can help point out issues with your cycle, like irregularity or heavier-than-normal menstrual cycles. Either of these things, along with other “period problems” might indicate a more significant issue.
By using period tracking apps, you can better identify possible problems, such as PCOS, thyroid issues, and more, that need to be discussed with your healthcare providers.
(3) They Can Help Improve Your Sleep Cycles
Did you know that right before and after your period, your body temperature will experience a spike, and you’ll get less REM sleep than usual?
What this means is that you probably won’t feel as rested as usual.
By using a period tracker, you can identify when you’ll approach a phase of your cycle that can impact sleep. And take steps to help improve your sleep, such as limiting caffeine and not exercising too close to bedtime.
Find more information on creating good sleep habits and what to do if you can’t sleep due to anxiety or other causes.
Are Period Apps Accurate?
While a lot of time and planning has gone into creating period tracking apps, it’s essential to remember that 100% accuracy is not guaranteed.
These apps can help closely predict things like when you’ll ovulate or when your period will start, but it’s not an exact science.
For the best results, it’s crucial to find an app that’s carefully tailored to your unique needs. You should also keep in mind that outside factors like illness or extra stress can throw off your menstrual cycle.
The longer you use a period tracking app, the more accurate it will become. But if you’re using it to actively try to conceive, we recommend learning about the best ways to track ovulation.
What are the Top 10 Period Tracking Apps?
It’s hard to choose a specific collection of the “best period apps” available.
After all, each individual period tracker (there are online and mobile apps) has been created to meet a different set of needs.
This being said, our team at Undefining Motherhood has come up with 10 of our favorite apps.
Rather than listing them one after the other, however, we’ve opted to break them down based on the groups of people they benefit.
(1) Best Period Tracker App that’s Free: Flo
Trust me; I get it. You understand the benefits of tracking your period but aren’t interested in spending money to do so.
Allow me to introduce you to Flo!
Not only is Flo one of our top picks for the best period apps available, but it also doesn’t cost you a dime!
This period app has all the bells and whistles you need to keep better track of your menstrual cycles. In fact, it’s been voted the ‘#1 Most Used Period Tracking App by Active Users’ in the United States.
It boasts a wide range of features, such as:
- Ovulation & period calendars
- Daily health insights
- Convenient graphs
- Community chat forums
- Plus, many more!
Are you currently pregnant or hoping to be? Flo also serves as a pregnancy tracking app when the time comes.
(2) Best Period App for Irregular Periods: Period Tracker
I wish there were a more poignant way to put this, but as someone who’s struggled with irregular periods most of their life, I’m here to tell you–they suck.
Never knowing when it’s going to come, when it’s going to go, or when it’s going to tease you into finally leaving your feminine products at home and pop by for a surprise visit, is more than frustrating.
Thankfully, however, there’s a period app for irregular periods, too – Period Tracker!
This intuitive app will use your collected data over time to help you predict when your period might arrive.
Not only will it use the start and finish dates of your previous periods, but it will also take any symptoms you might be experiencing into consideration, such as:
- Breast Pain
- Mood Changes
(3) Best Period Tracker for Tweens: Spot On
Created by the wonderful people at Planned Parenthood, Spot On is an ideal choice for teens and tweens who are looking for trustworthy period apps.
Its colorful design and user-friendly interface make it the perfect choice for any girl looking for an introduction to tracking her menstrual cycles.
An added bonus: it provides easy-access and contact information for local Planned Parenthood clinics!
(4) Best Period Tracker App for Perimenopause: mySysters
When it comes to finding the best period tracker app for perimenopause patients, you’re in luck! mySysters is a specialized period tracking app specifically created for premenopausal women.
Not only is it an excellent way to track your periods during the perimenopause phase of your life, it’s also an excellent place for support.
It’s also marketed as a social app for women and includes various chat rooms that are highly beneficial for support and community while experiencing perimenopause.
Want to learn more about what to expect during perimenopause? Check out helpful information from our friend Karen at Well Balanced Women, a perimenopausal health coach who tackles issues like the top perimenopause questions.
(5) Best Fertility App for Trying to Conceive: Ovia Fertility
Despite what the fire and brimstone discussions in our middle school health class might have instilled in us, for some, getting pregnant isn’t all that easy.
Now, don’t get me wrong; there are plenty of women who have sex once and BANG! Nine months later, they’re leaving the hospital with their own little bundle of joy.
For many of us, however, conceiving a child takes time and a little ingenuity. This site is full of women who have experienced infertility, so we don’t take getting pregnant lightly here.
That’s where Ovia Fertility comes in!
Not only is this one of the top-rated period tracking apps available, but it’s also a leading fertility and family planning app for hopeful parents.
It features a collection of helpful fertility articles, ovulation predictions, and an anonymous support forum that’s a great additional source of information.
(6) Best Period App for Women with PCOS: Clue
Featured in popular magazines and websites like Cosmopolitan and Buzzfeed, Clue is another great period tracking app that doesn’t cost you a thing!
Compared to many other period apps, Clue boasts a minimalist design and doesn’t put a lot of focus on a woman’s desire, or lack thereof, to get pregnant.
It uses a simple blue, green, and red color scheme and is popular for its ability to help track PMS symptoms, in addition to your period and ovulation cycles.
One of the most significant benefits of Clue, however, is its ability to help educate and support women who could be struggling with PCOS. It can even help users identify whether they’re at risk for this condition.
(7) Best Period Tracker Online: Always Period Calculator
Are you looking for a simple way to track your period online?
If the answer is yes, Always has a simple period calculator that can provide great information and tracking capabilities to help you better understand your menstrual cycles.
3 of the Most Popular Apps of 2022
While we’ve outlined our favorite apps for specific purposes, there are some that people just love in general. We wouldn’t say they’re best for any one specific person, but we want to include them because people love them, and they might be best for you!
If you’re in the market for more essential period tracker apps that have earned high ratings from users, definitely check out these three as you make final decisions about which app to use!
Want to better track your mood, sexual activity, and birth control usage? Let Glow provide you with the help you need!
This app even includes an additional subscription plan that provides access to customized graphs, articles, and much more.
Eve uses an innovative metaface to help users track their future periods and look back at their menstrual history. This user-friendly app is also considered to be the ‘sexpert’ amongst all the period tracking apps on the market.
Are you looking for a simple, but effective, basic period and ovulation tracker app? Then Cycles might be the best choice for you!
Take Back Control of Your Body with Trusted Period Apps
Thanks to technology like period tracking apps and ovulation trackers, modern women have taken back well-deserved control of their bodies.
Whether it’s to benefit sleep schedules, practice family planning, or enhance our sexual appetites, a period tracker online can bring an impressive collection of benefits to your day-to-day life.
Don’t get stuck fumbling for answers the next time your doctor asks about your last period.
Using one of the best period apps of 2020, you’ll have all the information you need, right in the palm of your hand.
What are your favorite period apps?
Kristen Bergeron is a freelance writer from Florida. In addition to writing, she is a wife, mother of two beautiful girls, Hadley and Scarlett, and a part-time photographer. After overcoming infertility and having two successful IVF cycles, she’s made it a personal goal to help educate men and women on the realities of fertility struggles. She is passionate about supporting fellow women who are trying to navigate the complicated world of conception, pregnancy, and learning to be the best mothers we can be.