Women track their periods (menstrual cycle) for a variety of reasons — to be prepared and knowing when to expect their period, understand their body's reactions to different phases of their cycle, planning a pregnancy and have informed conversations with healthcare providers (doctors often ask when was your last period). Keeping track of your periods can be done by simply remembering (which isn't always easy), keeping a paper diary and marking the calendar, or with the use of period tracking smart phone apps.
|Period Tracker Flo
|Period Tracker Clue
Period-tracking apps - how to choose?
There are a variety of period tracking apps available on the app stores. Knowing which to choose can be difficult. A study evaluating smartphone menstrual cycle tracking apps used a 15-point scoring system to assess the apps.1 Examples of the criteria considered in the scoring system include:
- accuracy: the ability to predict the next menstrual cycle based on averages of past cycled and not a default (often 28-day) cycle length
- comprehensiveness: fertility tracking for women trying to conceive, contains information on contraception or pregnancy prevention, fertility medication tracking
- password protection
- professional involvement
- citation of scientific literature
- access to technical support
- connectivity: internet not required
- advertisements not present
- interplatform availability
- navigation ease
- other features
- social media
- medical disclaimer
- health education
- data backup
- e-mail or export data
- spanish language
- custom reminder
- pregnancy mode
- track flow amount
- track symptoms
- track intercourse
- alert for next menses
- alert for fertility
- average cycle length.
The following websites have more information on period tracking apps.
Menstrual cycle tracking Practical apps
- Moglia ML, Nguyen HV, Chyjek K, et al. Evaluation of Smartphone Menstrual Cycle Tracking Applications Using an Adapted APPLICATIONS Scoring System. Obstet Gynecol. 2016 Jun;127(6):1153-60
- Lee NB, Kang JH, Agapie E, et al. Examining Menstrual Tracking to Inform the Design of Personal Informatics Tools. Proc SIGCHI Conf Hum Factor Comput Syst. 2017 May 2;2017:6876-6888.
Disclaimer: Health Navigator’s app library is a free consumer service to help you decide whether a health app would be suitable for you. Our review process is independent. We have no relationship with the app developers or companies and no responsibility for the service they provide. This means that if you have an issue with one of the apps we have reviewed, you will need to contact the app developer or company directly.