10 Fertility- and Period-Tracking Apps: Pros and Cons
Robin Elise Weiss, Ph.D. | Feb 1, 2018
Having data at your fingertips in the form of an app can help you either avoid pregnancy or prepare to conceive. But with so many fertility- and period-tracking apps available, how do you find the one that will work best with your lifestyle, your preferences, and your health needs? Read on to learn about the strengths and weaknesses of some of the apps available to you.
Cycles - Period Tracker
The Cycles - Period Tracker app is easy to use and can help you track a variety of data. It includes your cycle lengths and dates, both in projection mode and in the historical view. You can even see up to two cycles in one screen at a time. This app works well, even if you have irregular cycles, and adapts to your specific details, like cycle length. You can even invite your partner to view your data as well, which can be handy!
Spot On Period Tracker
The Spot On Period Tracker from Planned Parenthood allows you to track not only dates of your cycle, but moods, sleep, and symptoms. This is helpful even if you’re not trying to get pregnant. It will also send you reminders if your period is late. In addition to helping you track your periods, you can also manage your birth control, including long-acting reversible contraceptives. These options make it a good choice for younger women who may be new to the period-tracking lifestyle.
Eve offers a calendar or dial view for tracking your cycles. This app is best for people who are period tracking and not fertility tracking, though it does tell you your risk of pregnancy. It also has sex quizzes and a “Cyclescope,” which is like a horoscope for your cycle. This app’s lively emojis can make period tracking a fun experience.
The cycle visual when you open the Clue app is straightforward. It’s a simple circular graph indicating where you are in your cycle, when your period was, and when your fertile window is likely to be. You are also prompted for today’s data. Additionally, you have the option to switch to calendar view. Clue lets you track about 20 different variables, though not basal body temperature (BBT) information.
This app offers some creative visuals with your data and many tracking variables. These variables include the basics, but also ovulation testing (including the brand or type of testing), pregnancy testing, your weight, and a medication list. There are also fast facts and polls available if you scroll down on the front screen, along with links to information, alerts, and their fertility community. There are free and premium versions of Glow available.
The Natural Cycles app is an app that is actually certified as birth control in Europe. It takes your BBT data and helps you calculate your fertile days so you know when to avoid sex or use a backup birth control method. One study found that those who used these types of apps were less likely to get pregnant than those using a traditional method of natural family planning. This app has an easy-to-use interface, and there is even a Plan a Pregnancy mode if you decide you want to try to conceive.
The opening screen of Ovia offers a quick tour of your data, including your fertility score: a number, 1-10, that indicates a low to high probability of conception. It also tells you how many days there are until your fertile window, and how many days there are until you should take a pregnancy test. The app also has a fertility forecast, allowing you to plan ahead. It gives detail about the menstrual cycle, including the phases, which may help indicate fertile windows and potential problems.
The Groove app is a combination period and fertility tracker (with the paid Pro mode). The design is not pink and feminine looking, like many other apps out there, which some people may prefer. Its interface is easy to use, and it can track plenty of data for free. You can even add some customizable fields. The free mode does track all of your bleeding, sexual activity, and more, in relation to your cycle. The paid mode adds educational components about your cycles and natural family planning.
The Flo app is designed to be a period tracker or a fertility tracker. Flo uses artificial intelligence to predict your cycle lengths and fertile days. It can send you reminders about things like cycle due dates and fertile days. You can tap “quick categories” to add symptoms and mood tracking as well as exercise. Some users complain about being unable to override predictions, like if your period starts early. This app works with the Apple Watch and connects to the Apple Health App.
Period Tracker - Journal
The Period Tracker - Journal app is designed to be a one-stop shop, in that it is a period and fertility tracker and has a pregnancy mode. There are many things you can track, like cycles, moods, exercise, and medication. Some users complain it’s easy to accidentally tap on things, but otherwise the interface gets high marks for beauty and ease of use. The app gives visual reminders of important data, and it comes with the bonus of community forms and compatibility with the Apple Health app.
Period tracking versus fertility tracking
Tracking your period with an app is a rather new concept for many women who are not trying to get pregnant. Unlike period tracking, fertility tracking is about optimizing your chances of pregnancy. Some of these apps are more geared toward one than the other. Eve and Glow are from the same company, so those are good choices if you want to switch back and forth based on your needs. The Natural Cycles App is another option if you want to switch between types of tracking. Happy tracking!