While visiting their healthcare provider, women of various ages will often encounter two seemingly simple questions: "when was your last period?" and "are your periods fairly regular?" While these are routine questions, women may not have a readily available answer. Being able to answer these questions is important because they give healthcare providers a lot of information and may alert them to possible health issues such as hormone imbalances.
Some women keep track of their period by using a daily planner, journal, or calendar. At a basic level, period tracking apps can make the process of monitoring period dates so much easier! Period tracking apps can easily provide users with estimates about when to expect their next period and their average menstrual cycle length. Women can also track mood changes, vaginal discharge, breast tenderness, and other symptoms associated with the menstrual cycle.
More complex functions of period tracking apps allow users to monitor detailed information about the menstrual cycle; which can be helpful to women who are trying to avoid pregnancy or for those trying to become pregnant. Users can chart their basal body temperature, vaginal discharge, and cervical position. Although the app is not a substitute for contraceptives, it serves as a useful tool for those using natural fertility awareness methods.
Period tracking apps not only help women become more familiarized with their menstrual cycle, they can also be a valuable educational tool; helping to foster enhanced body awareness, encourage positive body perceptions, and even offer communities of support.
Whether your goal is to simply keep track of when you get your period or you are actively trying to conceive, I encourage you to try-out one of the many period tracking apps out there! Here is a list of period tracking apps to get you started!
- Period Tracker (Android)
- Period Tracker Lite (free)
- iPeriod Tracker (free)