Anyone who has experienced a period knows that the whole affair can be tricky, which is why finding the best period tracker apps is a worthy pursuit. Even if your cycle is regular, it probably comes with a host of fun things like mood changes, acne, nipple soreness, and other exciting and delightful symptoms. If you’re someone who deals with a reproductive issue like endometriosis, fibroids, or polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), understanding your cycle as much as possible has major benefits. And of course, if you’re trying to get pregnant or trying to avoid pregnancy at all costs, knowing information like when you ovulate can help you on your journey. In short: if you are a menstruating human being, then a period tracking apps can probably make things a little easier.
Most period tracker apps have standard in-app purchases that might give you expanded analytics, but even using the free features to track your cycle can be incredibly helpful and empowering. The problem is that there are so many apps available, and it’s hard to know which ones are worth your time. So we asked Alyssa Dweck, M.D., a gynecologist in New York City and author of The Complete A to Z for Your V, to give us some of her picks for best period tracker apps.
Flo is one of the more popular period apps available. You can log your period and use it to anticipate things like when your bleeding will typically begin. The app also boasts over 70 symptoms—including bloating, cramping, mood changes, and sleep quality—that you can pinpoint as part of your cycle. Plus, there’s a community of other people you can chat with about sexual and reproductive health issues, and there are tons of quizzes, articles, and insights you can browse to learn more about your body.
These are standout features, but many app reviewers remarked that you can turn this app into a pregnancy tracker if you log that you are pregnant or miss your period. There’s also a consensus that the free features are worthwhile without paying for a premium membership.
2. Eve by Glow
In many cases, period tracker apps may be trying to talk to folks hoping to get pregnant the same way they communicate with those trying to avoid pregnancy. Weird, right? Well, Eve (made by the same developers who created Glow, listed below) focuses on users who aren’t trying to get pregnant right now. The app features a lot of the standard period tracking features along with encouraging daily updates reminding you to track your symptoms, but it emphasizes monitoring your period as it relates to your sex life. You can also sync your Eve information to your iPhone Health app. There’s also an active community where app users can ask questions and share stories.
Reviewers say Eve is clearly a sex-positive app, but developers could expand language and features to be more gender-inclusive.
Created by the same company behind the Eve app, Glow is a period tracker designed for people who want to track symptoms and ovulation with a focus on fertility, pregnancy, and postpartum. The interface is colorful, and you can track lots of symptoms, including pregnancy-related changes in your body. Like other apps, you can track things like discharge, weight, sleep quality, and basal body temperature. You can also track your postpartum mood, which is incredibly useful. Much like the Eve app, this information can easily sync with your iPhone Health app.
Reviewers seem to enjoy the ability to log symptoms, but many have said that one of the more recent updates created a cumbersome user experience.
Clue has a great, easy-to-use interface and is widely popular among Dr. Dweck’s patients. According to the developers, you can predict your cycle for up to three months in the future (which is on par with many other apps). Many reviewers also enjoy the sexual and reproductive health content available on the app, which includes a podcast called Hormonal, that explores how hormones impact bodies and the world around us.
Additionally, the app uses gender-inclusive language to ensure that it supports anyone who menstruates. One reviewer mentioned that the strength of this app is that it doesn’t pretend that all periods are the same. And, like many of the other popular period apps, this information can be synced with your iPhone Health app.
5. Spot On
Spot On was developed by Planned Parenthood, so there’s a strong emphasis on accuracy and empowerment beyond just tracking your periods. You can chat with sex educators to discuss questions about your body and the symptoms you’re experiencing. There’s a host of features around birth control methods, and there’s even an IUD tracker that reminds you when it’s time to remove your IUD.
For reference, hormonal IUDs are recommended for use for three to six years, depending on the brand, and copper IUDs are recommended for up to 10 years, so no one would blame you for getting your dates a bit confused. Additionally, reviewers mention that this app is free (no premium features here) and that you can export the information easily.
6. Your phone’s note-taking app
Though Dr. Dweck does extol the virtues of reaching for a period tracker, she says that any method is helpful if it keeps you up to date with your cycle. “I think that, as a practitioner, there’s always that five-minute period when people are searching through their written calendar [saying] ‘I wonder when I got my period,’” Dr. Dweck explains, adding that having all of your information in one place on your phone can be incredibly helpful.
If you’re not quite ready to commit to tracking symptoms and looking at charts, she recommends you start by simply opening up your phones note-taking app and cataloging your symptoms each day, along with any other details you find interesting.
You might also track the start and end dates of your period in the doc. Though this is a pretty lo-fi way to track your cycle, it does give you information you can use to get a better sense of your own body.
Get it: Free; iOS and if you have an Android phone, your note-taking app will vary depending on your manufacturer
For people who are trying to conceive, Ovia has a host of standard period tracking symptoms (the ability to track mood, sexual activity, lifestyle habits, etc.), but the app also gives you fertility predictions and “daily fertility scores,” which allow you to remain tuned in to your ovulation throughout your family planning journey.
Reviewers have remarked that this app “grew with them,” transitioning easily from a period app to a fertility tracking tool. Others have called out that, during their fertility window, the app provides helpful advice and insights to help them make the most of that time
8. Natural Cycles
Before we get into this app’s strengths as a period tracker, it is important to note that Natural Cycles is an FDA-approved birth control app. Tracking your ovulation (whether with an app or some other way) as a primary form of preventing pregnancy is known as a fertility awareness method. But this isn’t without its risks. Fertility awareness methods have a typical use failure rate between two and 23 percent, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states. So, using a fertility awareness method like Natural Cycles without a backup birth control method (like condoms) can be risky, even when you’re tracking diligently.
That said, Natural Cycles is a decent choice for tracking your cycle, Dr. Dweck says. The app comes with a thermometer that allows you to take your basal body temperature, and you can record your moods, habits, and symptoms in the app. With all of this information, the app predicts your ovulation window.
9. Period Tracker
The Period Tracker app lets you track your period, predicts your ovulation window, and allows you to monitor symptoms like physical changes and mood. It has an easy-to-use interface, and if you use oral contraceptives, there’s a pill reminder function that helps you remember to take your birth control. (You can also use that function to remember to take other medications, according to the developers.) Additionally, you can track intimacy, food, sleep, and basically anything else. The app also syncs with Apple Health apps.
Reviewers mention that this tracker does a fantastic job for free—and that you can really do a lot without taking advantage of the in-app purchases.
Life allows you to log mental and physical health symptoms, sexual experiences, your actual period, and nutrition choices—all things that your menstrual cycle may influence.
The app has built-in irregular cycle support (it defines an irregular cycle as less than 21 days or over 36 days, but you can adjust it based on your own needs). Though Dr. Dweck didn’t call this app out by name, she did mention the importance of tracking how regular your periods are, especially for people who have conditions like PCOS. “This is basically a hormone imbalance where ovulation occurs infrequently and sometimes not at all, and periods can be all over the place,” Dr. Dweck explains.“These apps can be quite helpful because it’s been tough to track such irregularity.”
Reviewers say that the premium features, including the journaling function, allow you to really hone in on the ways your moods change throughout your cycle.
Get it: Free to download (in-app purchases available); iOS