Today we set out to find out the best period tracker apps.
Period tracker apps have become a HUGE business in the the last few years and with the 2016 iOS Health App update adding menstrual cycle data tracking, it seems like many tech companies are finally jumping on the cycle bandwagon.
In today’s post, I’ll be breaking down my top 4 favorite cycle tracking apps and giving you the pros and cons of each one. (Stay tuned for which app I use on a daily basis to keep track of my own cycle….)
When I first starting using an app to track my cycle, it was around 2008/2009 and I used an app called MyDays. It was very simple, but at the time I wasn’t really looking for anything complex — just a place where I could record the day I started my period. I had very irregular cycles at the time and would sometimes go months without a period, so MyDays was useful to scan whenever I suddenly realized it had been a pretty long time since my last period.
I’ve since moved on from MyDays to something a little more sophisticated and user-friendly (you’ll see which one below…), once I started recording my basal body temperature in the morning. When I made the switch, I migrated all of my day from MyDays to my new period tracking app (which was a long and very tedious job!)
Free Period Tracker Apps
Say hello to Clue | Clue period tracking app is available for both iOS iPhone and Android.
Clue period tracking app is a Berlin-based startup, lead by Danish CEO Ida Tin. The app uses a sophisticated algorithm that tracks your ovulation and attempts to predict your fertility window and next upcoming period.
What I like about it:
Clue is actually the app that I use most frequently to chart my own cycle. I love the clean and minimalist interface, especially the circular cycle window that shows you a visual of your fertile window and when you might have to watch out for PMS symptoms. Here’s what it looks like…
Clue also has a really impressive amount of factors that you can track on a daily basis — from cervical fluid to mood to physical symptoms, sex, exercise and more, it’s pretty extensive.
Some of the other things I really like about Clue include:
- The company’s commitment to menstrual research. On their blog, they share research that they’re able to conduct using anonymous user data
- If you sign up for Clue Insights, you’ll be emailed insights about your period
Downsides of using Clue:
Really the only downside that I could come up with is that at the time of writing this, Clue’s algorithm doesn’t factor in cervical mucus data and I wish that it did. There also isn’t a robust community feature like you’ll find with Glow or Kindara, which isn’t a deal-breaker for me at all. Lastly, if you are TTC (trying to conceive), you might prefer Glow’s suite of apps that transition you from charting your cycle to tracking your pregnancy and beyond instead of Clue.
Say hello to Glow | Glow period tracking app is available for both iOS iPhone and Android.
Glow period tracking app is a Silicon Valley-based business through-and-through, lead by Executive Chairman Max Levchin (founder of Paypal.) There’s obviously big money to be made in fertility + period software and the male-dominated executive team does make me question the “for women, by women” slogan that comes up when I navigate to the website.
What I like about it:
Here’s what I like about the Glow period tracker app.
- There is a huge community aspect to this app that allows you to connect with other women
- If you are TTC (trying to conceive) you can easily “graduate” to Glow’s sister apps Glow Nurture and then Glow Baby. There’s even an app Eve by Glow specifically for sex + your period. It’s clear that Glow has a lot of money and expertise to invest in their technology and it shows in their suite of apps
- I’ve used both Glow and Eve and really enjoyed receiving the daily tips (and millennial-friendly gifs) to guide me along my cycle. (See the fist-bumping Obamas Cycle Scope image below for a little taste of what I mean.)
Downsides of using Glow or Eve:
Like most big-data companies, I’m wary of sharing personal information and details. This article from Tech Crunch in 2016 highlights some serious privacy flaws in Glow, specifically around sharing your data with another person and participating in the forums.
Free Period Tracker Apps with Paid Accessories
Say hello to Kindara | Kindara period tracking app is available for both iOS iPhone and Android.
Kindara is similar to most of the other heavy-hitter period-tracking apps on the market in that A. you enter your data and B. it attempts to predict your fertile time of the month and anticipates when you’ll get your next period. What’s different about Kindara is Wink, the thermometer that is designed to sync with the Kindara app. Here’s how it works: in the morning you take you temperature with Wink and it will give a little vibrate when it’s read the temp. Then Wink syncs up with the Kindara app instantly to record your temperature.
What I like about it:
Here’s what I like about the Kindara period tracker app + Wink thermometer duo:
- While I haven’t personally used the Wink thermometer, the design is minimalist, sleek and classy. I’m loving the all-black and the digital display.
- Purchase Wink in the USA and domestic shipping is free
- The simplicity of waking up, popping Wink in your mouth and having the data sync effortlessly will help more women transition to cycling charting / fertility awareness method with ease
- Fans of traditional pen and paper Fertility Awareness Method tracking will appreciate the chart interface that is similarly laid out and easy to understand (see example below.)
Downsides of using Kindara:
As much as I love my iPhone, I’m an analogue kind of gal. It appears to me that in order to sync Wink to the Kindara app I’d need to have my iPhone turned on and switched to wifi mode. I generally have a no-phones-in-the-bedroom rule and don’t usually switch my phone on until I’m sipping my bulletproof decaf coffee. I think for me personally, I’ll stick with my simple basal thermometer I bought from Amazon for $10.
Kindara | Purchase Wink thermometer here for $129
Say hello to Daysy | Daysy period tracking app is available for both iOS iPhone and Android.
Similar to Kindara, the Daysy app and thermometer (another one of those German designs!) works by taking your temperature for 30 seconds every morning as soon as you wake up. The Daysy thermometer then syncs up with the app on your phone et voila your data is tracked for the day. If you want to record other signs and symptoms like cervical fluid, cervical position and mood, you can add these manually within the app.
What I like about it:
Here’s what I like about the Daysy period tracker app + thermometer duo:
- The Daysy feels very user-friendly to me and I think it will really help women who are looking for an easy, nearly fool-proof way to chart their cycle
- Daysy’s program relies on the Lady-Comp algorithm, which has a proven track record of over 28 years.
- While I haven’t personally used the Daysy thermometer, the design is sweetly unique with a bulbous head that lights up colorfully to tell you whether you’re fertile or not. Here is the key to interpreting the colors:
Red = fertile
Red days are when to plan for a baby.
Red blinking = ovulation day
Green = infertile
Green days will not lead to pregnancy.
Yellow = learning phase/cycle fluctuations
Daysy needs to learn more about you. If preventing pregnancy, treat as red days.
- The colors on the app correspond to the color on the Daysy thermometer (see the screenshot below for an example.) Green days mean that there is a high likelihood that you are NOT fertile. Depending on your goal, red days either mean “let make a baby” or “let’s use a condom, baby”
Downsides of using Daysy:
Just like Kindara, for those of you who switch off wifi or go to bed without your phone in the room it could be difficult to sync your data easily. Also, there are some women who might say nein, danke to the €290 price tag.
Daysy | Purchase Daysy thermometer here for €290 (approx $313 as of 3/21/2017)
Now it’s your turn to join the conversation! Have you tried any of the period tracking apps above? Which one is your go-to favorite? Join the private Feminine Flow facebook group to participate in the discussion.
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