5 Period Apps You Should Start Using Now

When I started my period at age 11, I remember writing a furtive little X on the kitchen calendar each month to make sure I didn’t have an embarrassing accident. Getting a surprise period in middle school and ruining my super cool jeans capris with the flower embroidery on the pockets was too horrifying to imagine. Luckily around this time I also got an iPod Touch and became the envy of my friends. My period AND an iPod touch? I was a cool middle schooler. And with this iPod touch I also discovered the world of period tracking apps. Gone were the days when I would quietly sneak into the kitchen to draw my X and get the knowing looks from my mother and gone were the days of carrying around pads all the time in case I got a surprise in the middle of language arts class. The app I used had a little flower graphic that would slowly bloom as the month went on and would finally open up on the day your period was supposed to start. So many pairs of gaucho pants saved.

Luckily, today I use my birth control packet to track (and sometimes skip) my periods, but I can’t stress enough the importance of tracking one’s period. Other than saving you from some potentially embarrassing situations (while period blood shouldn’t be embarrassing, it still isn’t fun to bleed in public), it can also save you from a lot of other things, namely pregnancy and some potentially life-altering conditions.

In terms of pregnancy, of course one of the first signs is a missed period. While a missed period can also be related to stress or something else, tracking your period can help you determine when to get a pregnancy test if you’re sexually active. Furthermore, some couples like to use the fertility-awareness method as birth control where the individual with the uterus actively tracks their cycle to determine when they’re most and least fertile. While this method isn’t quite as effective as others and the only way to prevent pregnancy and STIs is the usage of a condom, if used correctly and perfectly this method can be rather effective and can certainly teach some great organizational and disciplinary skills. If you're trying to be pregnant, knowing where you are in your cycle can help you know just when to get it on with your partner. 

Having an awareness of what is typical for your circle can also help you track if something is wrong. If you haven’t had a period in a while or your period is heavier and longer than usual, that may be a sign that there’s something not right. Even for individuals who are not sexually active or are sexually active with a partner unlikely to get them pregnant, period tracking can help ensure better reproductive health and safety. Even though I use birth control, using an app helps me track abnormalities in my cycle.

So, if you’re still got your iPod Touch or you’ve moved on to the big leagues—an iPhone—here are some excellent period apps to track your period with:

Clue

Thank god for inconspicuous free apps. It starts you off with some preliminary questions about your cycle to get a feel for what’s typical for you and then tracks the rest for you. In the app you can track your pain, your emotions, your sex life, sleep schedule—even your hair. It also lets you know when you should expect to experience PMS if you’re prone to it as well as ovulation. The design is pleasing as well, clean and modern and not overwhelmingly pink.

Life

Another app that sounds like a board game, Life is similar to Clue in functionality, keeping detailed charts of your period, ovulation and accompanying symptoms. You have to upgrade to the premium version, however, in order to access some features like the fertility tracker with temperature tracker as well as the personal diary.

Period Tracker Lite

This app is another great one. It looks far less medical and serious than Clue and Life with cute flower animations and a calendar that can be color-coded by what’s going on in your cycle. Again, it functions much like the other apps, but includes fun images to track your symptoms like cute little faces that show your mood and an overgrowing cupcake to track bloating (speaking of cupcakes, you can also track cravings using lollipops!).

Period Diary

Another cute one, Period Diary features that blooming flower I mentioned earlier (though not the same app). You can also change the background of the app. Not feeling flowers today? No problem, just change the background to outer space! The app also appears as "P.D." on your phone, so no one has to know you’re using it and functions much like the other period apps, minus a few more of the advanced features.

Eve

If you’ve got an Apple watch, this one is for you because you can sync it up on both! This app is a lot more focused on sex and sexuality, factoring one’s sex life heavily into the report. If you’re sexually active and don’t mind clicking a photo of a banana or peach to signify your sex life, this app might be for you! Especially if you’re concerned about pregnancy, are experiencing some abnormalities in your sex life, or just need an app to congratulate you on getting some, download this app to track your period AND sexy times. 

 

Photo Credit:1,  2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7