So now that we’re clear on why you should care about your period even if you’re not trying to get pregnant, it’s time to well, care about your period.
Don’t worry – there’s an app for that. It’s probably no surprise that I have an entire folder of apps labeled “Periods” on my phone. But like pretty much everything in the world, not all apps are created equal. Here are the apps that I recommend for tracking your reproductive health and improving your body literacy.
I started using Kindara three years ago when I first ditched hormonal birth control and began researching the Fertility Awareness Method (FAM). While I’ve used other apps over the years Kindara is my all time favourite.
The app isn’t fancy; it’s simple and easy to use but what makes it a winner in my books are the incredible resources available to users through the Knowledge Base, Chart Gallery and their blog. I think I’ve learned just as much about FAM from this app as I did from Taking Charge of Your Fertility.
I’ve also been using Kindara’s basal body thermometer, Wink, for a few weeks now, which has made using the app even easier. Watch for a full Wink review soon!
Best for: FAM tracking (trying to conceive or trying to avoid)
So many period tracking apps have obnoxiously feminine branding touches, but Clue is not pink. The bold interface is very visual and makes tracking your cycles super simple. Visual clues for logging period flow or cervical mucus can be very helpful when you’re first starting to pay attention to your cycle signs and are trying to determine what the hell the difference between “sticky” and “creamy” is. (Feel u girl)
What I like Clue best for is tracking physical and emotional symptoms. All the basics are there like cramps, headaches, moods and energy levels, but you can also completely customize what you’re tracking. They have a long list of options that includes skin, digestion, cravings, partying and sleep, just to name a few, and you can also add your own. You can also use Clue to track your temperature if you wish.
Best for: tracking menstrual cycles, particularly if you suffer from PMS symptoms
After you’ve tracked a few of your cycles you’ll start to see patterns in your energy levels and even your moods. This is because of the three main reproductive hormones – estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone – that tend to follow the same pattern cycle after cycle. You may be surprised to learn that hormonal fluctuations can also affect spending habits, romance, even your memory.
The Hormone Horoscope app can help you navigate the four distinct phases of your cycle by giving you some amazing insight into these fluctuations and how to best optimize the timing of your cycle. For example estrogen peaks around ovulation, which can make you feel happier, mentally sharper and more social while you may tend to turn inward, choosing to stick closer to home as you get closer to your premenstrual phase.
This is definitely not a replacement for a tracking app like Clue or Kindara, but it is a great way to deepen your understanding of menstrual cycles and increase your body literacy. Plus it is so much fun! I also highly recommend following @hormonology on Twitter for more interesting tidbits!
Best for: Understanding hormones and how your menstrual cycle affects all facets of your life
What apps do you use for tracking cycles?