6 Benefits Of And Apps For Period Monitoring
You’ve got a busy life, and even if you’re relatively organized, your period can sometimes sneak up on you. That’s doubly true if you have an irregular cycle or one that’s particularly short or long. You could keep track by putting a little red “P” in your Google calendar once a month. But with so many free and affordable period tracking apps out there, why not try something more advanced? Here are some of the benefits of period trackers and some of the best options.
1. Prepare For Your Period
One of the main reasons many people turn to a period tracker app is just to prepare for the big day. Sure, you can always carry tampons, pads, or a menstrual cup in your bag. But a reliable tracker app provides a little reminder that can help you be extra prepared and hopefully avoid accidents. These apps can also be useful in planning period-free vacations, hikes, beach days, and romantic rendezvous.
Unfortunately, some of these apps don’t work as well — or at all — if your cycle is irregular. That’s because many simply rely on metrics like historical period data to make predictions. Wearables with apps like the Oura ring and Apple Watch, that measure basal body temperature, may be more accurate for people with irregular cycles. If your irregular periods bother you, consider using these tools along with a birth control pill like junel fe to regulate your cycle.
2. Plan Or Prevent Pregnancy
Period trackers are also useful in predicting when you’re ovulating, whether you’re trying to conceive or avoid a pregnancy. Based on the dates of your periods, or on other data points, they can estimate when you’re most and least fertile. If you’re trying for a pregnancy, they can tell you the best times to have intercourse. For those preventing pregnancy, they can help you decide when to use a backup birth control method.
Fertility apps like Ovia track periods for people who want to get pregnant, and they are sometimes covered by health insurance. Meanwhile, apps like Eve by Glow, let you track recent sexual activity in the app. This information is used as one more data point in determining the likelihood of a pregnancy (whether desired or not). A note of caution: if you have an abortion, your period tracker data could be used against you in a court of law.
3. Keep Tabs On Potential Health Issues
Your period and related symptoms can provide important clues about anything else that might be going on in your body. Irregular, painful, or heavy periods could point to conditions like polycystic ovary syndrome, uterine fibroids, or endometriosis. In some cases, missed periods can point to more serious illnesses, including thyroid issues, liver dysfunction, diabetes, or even cancer.
Apps like MyFlo can help you keep track of new, unexpected, or unusual symptoms that come along with your period. Some of these apps also make recommendations about diet or lifestyle changes to ease mild issues like cramping or bloating. But if you are having new or acute symptoms, it’s important to speak to a healthcare provider to rule out anything serious.
4. Make Sense Of Your Moods
Many menstruating people struggle with the huge lifts and dips in mood that coincide with their hormone cycles. A period tracker can help you make sense of why you feel the way you do, and when. If you’re wondering why you’re crying out of nowhere or suddenly mad at your partner, a period app could help. Knowing your period is on the way might stop you from picking a fight or obsessing about why you feel so low.
Tracking hormonal fluctuations in your moods could help you prevent conflict or avoid making important decisions when you’re not at your best. One app, called Cycle, even lets you share your tracking info with your partner, ostensibly to help them understand how you’re feeling. While this could be very helpful, it’s also easy to see ways this might be used against you in the hands of the wrong person. Be careful when sharing your personal information.
5. Analyze Your Sex Drive
Period apps can also help you notice patterns in your libido (or lack thereof). As your hormones change throughout the month, you may notice a much higher or lower drive. Paying attention to these changes can help you plan your romantic life accordingly. Tracking these patterns also means you’ll notice sooner if something seems off and could point to a health issue.
Eve by Glow and Libi are two popular apps for keeping track of your sex drive and sexual activity. Eve by Glow even includes options for tracking penis-free sexual activity, including same-sex and solo play. Libi can compare your libido against other variables like stress and exercise, to see how they impact your sex drive.
6. Train And Feed Your Body Better
Every menstruating person knows their body performs differently at different points throughout their cycle. Some times of the month, you feel almost superhuman at the squat rack, adding unexpected extra plates onto your barbell. Other days or weeks, you can barely drag yourself off the couch, let alone onto the elliptical machine.
Optimizing your workouts and nutrition around your cycle can take advantage of these, err, periods of peak performance. They can help you decide what kinds of workouts to do when, and how to best support them with nutrition. Femble offers personalized, AI-based dietary, movement, and mood-care recommendations. Wild.AI offers nutrition advice as well, but is geared around optimizing your exercise routine to make the most of your cycle.
Data Is Beautiful
In a world where we use data to analyze absolutely everything, it’s only natural to track your cycle, too. Personalized recommendation engines study your habits to serve you better streaming content or tastier meal kit options. Likewise, period apps can study your symptoms and moods to serve you tips for better health. The more you — and your devices — understand about your habits, the better you can life-hack your way to overall wellness.