How many times has your period caught you by surprise? At least once we can say for sure. How about missing a period and not remembering the date of your last cycle? Happens to the best of us. And while we can’t guarantee that it won’t happen again, downloading a period tracker app reduces the chances greatly. You may think it incredulous to have a glorified calendar on your phone just to track your period but period tracker apps offer several other benefits that can help you understand your menstrual health better. How? Let’s dive right into it.
What is a period tracker app?
First and foremost, a period tracker app records your menstrual cycle, specifically menstruation, which lasts between 2-6 days. All you need to do is input the dates and the app does everything else. From learning the patterns of your period and giving you estimates of ovulation to approximately planning the different phases of your menstrual cycle.
Of course, all of this can be achieved by you with the help of a physical calendar but a period tracking app acts almost like an assistant who reminds you of your monthly period start date or gives you a heads up about any ovulation-related pain that you may be unaware of. Furthermore, period tracking apps also share intel on fertility, are customized solely for you, and have an avenue for you to record your mood, physical symptoms, emotional distress, and more. You can also keep a tab of any health issues that you’re facing related to a hormonal imbalance.
Why is tracking your menstrual cycle important?
A period tracking app is sensitive to the fact that your period isn’t just a 6-day event but rather a part of a menstrual cycle that takes place throughout the month. Hence, it keeps a track of your overall menstrual health and helps regulate it better. Tracking is extremely necessary as major irregularities in your menstrual cycle can be a sign of hormonal imbalance, thyroid or hematologic issues, something that can go easily unrecognized.
Moreover, period tracking apps aren’t just about recognizing red flags. It can give you insight into which phase of your period cycle you’re in and when your body needs rest or exercise. Knowing where you are in your menstrual cycle allows you to plan your productivity, communication, and energy exertion better. Sometimes we fail to realize how important downtime is during some phases of the cycle and a period tracking app can remind you to just take a pause and unwind.
Let’s take a look at 3 ways in which a period tracking app can change your life.
1. It gives you control
Periods may seem unpredictable but with tracking, you can make your life way easier. The average menstrual cycle does last about 28 days but each woman’s cycle is unique. You can learn what your ‘normal’ is. You can have a sense of control in terms of being prepared for your start date or when the flow is heavier.
2. It helps map fertility
Your menstrual cycle is connected to your fertility. Knowing the days when you’re fertile and when you’re ovulating can give you control over your reproductive decisions. Whether you wish to start a family or want to avoid pregnancy, tracking your period can help you decide your future in a better manner.
3. It helps manage your mood
It’s totally normal to experience mood swings during different phases of your menstrual cycle. But unregulated mood swings can lead to conflict and arguments with your partner, friend, or family members. Tracking your moods and energy levels can help you understand how and why you feel the way you do during different times in your cycle. Another reason why you could be experiencing a change in moods is due to hormonal changes. There are also several other factors like lack of sleep, an unbalanced diet, and unwarranted stress that can affect your mood. A period tracking app can help you manage all these irregularities that could honestly not even be connected to your period. So, try and look at the bigger picture here.
Which period tracking apps should you use?
1. Period Tracker – Period Calendar By Simple Design
Apart from having the most obvious name of them all, this app by Simple Design is not only aesthetically pleasing but also extremely user-friendly. If you’re new to period tracking, this one is an easy option you can pick. It will help you track your period, weight loss or gain and any other period-related symptoms you’re experiencing. The app breaks down your body in head, body, cervix, belly, and emotional selections to keep a better track of your physical and emotional wellbeing. It takes the guesswork out of your health care professional’s hands as it arms you with all the information needed to understand any issue.
One of the most popular and widely-used period trackers available, Flo is great for you to log your period and anticipate unexpected things like which day your bleeding could begin. It also has over 70 symptoms for you to choose from; from bloating, cramping and mood changes to sleep quality and more. Flo also offers a community of other app-users who you can chat with regarding sexual and reproductive health issues, period pain, and more. You can also access several quizzes, articles, and insights to learn more about your menstrual health.
With Clue, you can predict your cycle for up to three months in the future. An easy-to-use interface and several useful features like a prediction for cramps, moods, and physical symptom tracking as well as several articles, videos, and a podcast called Hormonal that talks about women’s health and wellbeing and how hormones impact our bodies. Apart from that, the app also incorporates gender-inclusive language in support of anyone who experiences menstruation. This adds a wonderful gold star to this app’s repertoire as it celebrates the uniqueness of everyone.