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Progressive period care
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March 29, 2021
If you're a menstruating person, there's a high probability you've experienced one or more of these: an unexpectedly early period, a period that feels heavier than usual, one that's gone AWOL altogether, a heavier bleed than the month before, or maybe even some irregular spotting in between... the list goes on (and on). All these symptoms are common and may be considered 'normal', but normal is a spectrum and it can be really difficult to know what's 'normal' for you and your cycle unless you have something to compare it to.
But first: why should we track our periods? Here are some things to consider:
Okay so back to our fave period tracker apps...
We've done a ton of homework and penned our cheat notes here so that you can get a good handle on what's going on down/in there. There's no shortage when it comes to period tracking apps - just type ‘period tracker’ in the search bar of the app store, or Google (or wherever you search for apps) and you’ll be inundated with a heap of them. Some are geared more towards fertility and pregnancy (i.e. monitoring your temperature and exactly when you ovulate) and some do both (periods and fertility windows) and so the app you choose will depend on what you’re ideally wanting it to do for you.
A little note about how we made our selections...
We looked for:
Here are the apps that made [our] cut (in no particular order)...
If you've ever looked into period tracker apps, you likely would've come across this one. It's had 54,000 reviews on the App store (though they claim to have a whopping 150 million users).
Why we love it
It has been developed in collaboration with 80+ health professionals and really covers so many aspects of our intimate health and wellness, beyond just period/menstrual cycle management management. It has a real real community vibe (lots of Q and As, discussion forums and tips and tricks shared by other users and medical professionals), is user friendly and intuitive (it asks you some questions upfront to help you set up your account and tailor your profile to your needs and even considers things like your sleep patterns and mental wellness - which can have an impact your menstrual cycle!). It sends you lil' reminders throughout the month based on your preferences, which can be a good reminder that your period is on the way (and to stock up on period care!). If you want a straight period tracker this might be considered a bit OTT, but if you're after a holistic approach then it's a winner.
There actually is a free version, but the app is a little cheeky in that it prompts you to sign up to a paid subscription during the profile sign up process (and sporadically when you open the app). You do get a 30 day free trial, but if you don't want to trigger the paid version, simply mark the X in the top left corner of the screen - it takes you back to the free version where you can access your profile. There is also a (paid) Premium version.
Why we liked it
If you just want to track your period, ovulation and your fertile days, the free version is great - it's simple to use and does exactly what you need it to. It also syncs up with your phone's Health app.
Why it's not our fave
If you want to unlock any of the health-related content, or for a more in-depth analysis and patterns of your data over time, you need to upgrade to the paid version.
Free for basic period tracking, $9.99 billed monthly or $39.99 billed annually (with a 7-day free trial) for any of the upgrades, like health content and symptom and pattern predictions.
So, they reckon they've got "150 million trusted users", but the app only 4,800 App store reviews, so whilst we're not entirely sure about the accuracy of those stats, this app did actually live up to the hype!
Much like the other apps on our list, this tracker gives you the option upfront to track your cycle, your pregnancy, or asks if you're trying to conceive. For the purpose of our research, we chose to track our period, but we thought the upfront options were a good way to customise your experience.
Why we love it
It's simple to use with cutesy graphics and the free version offers a HEAP of features with a big focus on self-care: pelvic floor exercise tips/techniques, facial care, ways to relieve cramps, meditations, how to do a breast check and even a discussion forum with other users.
The period tracker itself is quite comprehensive and provides you with an analysis of your cycle based on the symptoms you input (from your mood, to how much sleep you've had, to the consistency of your discharge!).
What could be improved
This one is hard to fault, to be honest! If anything, the ads on the home-screen are a bit of a let-down. The paid version is ad free. That all said, the free features are SO GOOD that we'd almost put up with the 'lose belly fat fast!' ads *cringe*.
Free for basic period tracking with some great extra features and tips (see above). Otherwise the paid version is $65.99/year with a 7-day free trial (it's not entirely clear what the paid version unlocks but it seems like the big carrot is that it's ad free.
The initial sign up questions seemed a bit jarring and not super friendly (you have two options to choose from: "Trying to conceive" or "Avoiding pregnancy", which both seemed very absolute, followed by a series of questions asking what contraception you're using, etc. For the purpose of this post, we chose 'Avoiding pregnancy') - but once you get past this, this app is a WEALTH of info and really valuable. As it turns out, it's become a big fave here at MoxieHQ!
Why we love it
This app is really comprehensive in terms of the intimate health info it provides - there's a TON of it in the free version: blog posts, links to relevant articles (constantly updated - looks a bit like a social media feed) by other media publications, meditations, polls, videos, product recommendations and reviews, a basic analysis of your cycle and loads more. The more we looked, the more we discovered.
It's a really interactive app and there's lots to do and learn beyond a basic period tracker calendar. It's simple to use and gives you a daily prediction, by %, of how likely you are to fall pregnant.
This is probably one of the best apps if you're looking for a free version that is content and information rich.
The free version is amazing (sans ads!) and the paid version is $12.99/mth for 3 months, $2.74/month yearly (usually $6.58/mth) and a one-time payment of $62.99 for a Lifetime subscription - which we think is really good value. The paid version offers a more advanced cycle analysis and metrics, health summaries by menstrual stage, comparative insights (with other users), cycle patterns, a chat forum and access to some of their other apps. The paid version is also ad free.
With 15,000 reviews on the app store and a community of 8 million women (according to the creators), we can see why this one's popular...
Why we like it
The interface is REALLY cute and probably aesthetically the nicest of those we reviewed. It's really clean and easy to navigate, A bit like 'Glow', it promotes a more holistic approach to personal wellness by providing support for physical exercise, nutrition tips, mindfulness and articles on general health. Though from what we can gather from the topic headers, 'Health & Beauty' is more facial exercises and DIY bath bomb recipes with no real info around intimate health, periods, pregnancy, etc.
What could be improved
The free version literally only allows you to log your period and symptoms, with some very topline info on when you are most likely or unlikely to conceive. All the other features can be unlocked with a paid version (around $10 per month) but with no free examples of the quality of the content, it's probably not one we'd sign up to in a hurry, THAT SAID... we did sign up to the paid version and our honest opinion was that the articles weren't as good as those available in GLOW.
$9.99 per month (cancel any time) or $106.99 yearly (with the first 7 days free).
Whilst Ovia is the most fertility-focused (rather than period-focused) of all the apps we looked at, we couldn't not include it because it's REALLY sophisticated.
Why we like it
The more you log your data, the more useful information it provides you with over time; like cycle trends, your fertility window and a fertility score (i.e. likelihood of becoming pregnant within a certain window). There's a ton of useful and easy to digest info on here about all things relating to fertility, infertility and everything in between, as well as an interactive community area, where users can ask and answer each other's questions.
The best part? It's all FREE!
There's no right or wrong 'how to' way when it comes to tracking your menstrual cycle; really - you just need to find what works best for you. Your period, your body, your choice!
Want period peace-of-mind? We've got just the thing. Get prepped and never get caught without period ammo ever again...
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