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As anyone who has ever gone off birth control (or never been on birth control) knows, tracking your period is both a necessity and a giant pain in the butt. The hormones in birth control pills are conveniently dosed so that you know you’ll get yours every three weeks or so. And with IUDs and continuous birth control, you don’t even get them.
When you aren’t on anything, though, your period can seem to have a mind of its own; coming at the exact same time, showing up a week late or a week early. You can only ruin so many pairs of underwear before you get fed up and start cursing your uterus.
Which is where period tracking apps come in—by logging your monthly cycle, you can pinpoint things like when you are ovulating (key for anyone trying to get pregnant), how long since your last period, and if you’re experiencing any abnormalities you need to talk to your gynecologist about. Tracking your period can also help you learn to listen to your body and identify the signs that tell you your period is on its way.
Thankfully, there are lots of great apps out there to help you out, whether you’re trying to get pregnant, transitioning off birth control, or getting your period for the first time. Here, we’ve rounded up the best period tracking apps to help you find the one most suited to your needs.
The 7 Best Period Tracking Apps of 2020
Best Overall: Eve by Glow
This one earned the title of best overall because it’s so much more than just a period tracker. Eve is an app that also lets you keep tabs on your sexual health, all in an unexpectedly fun emoji format. In addition to monitoring your cycle, it can keep track of your sexual encounters, if you used protection or not, your sex drive, moods, period symptoms, and if you are ovulating.
It also has an extremely easy-to-use interface that is visually-driven and makes it simple to record your past periods to determine patterns and helps you time your next one. It also has a nifty Forecast feature that predicts the likelihood of common period symptoms you might experience each day, from cramps and constipation to breast tenderness.
The app is free to download, but there is also a Premium version for about $8 a month that gives you access to comparative insights from other women (for all your "is this normal?" musings), private messaging, and additional informational content.
Best for Trying to Get Pregnant: Ovia
When you’re ready to have a baby, it’s not always as simple as it would seem to get pregnant. Many women have to try for months or even years before they can become pregnant.
For those women, there’s Ovia: a fertility tracking app that keeps track of your period in addition to exactly when you are ovulating, cervical fluid, cervical position, basal body temperature, and other key factors that can affect fertility. It helps pinpoint the times when you are most fertile and can help you track data to bring with you to your doctor if you find you are having problems conceiving.
It also has tons of informative articles, important stats, facts, and helpful tips to guide you on your journey to pregnancy. If you’re looking to have a baby or just thinking about it, Ovia is a great (and free) app because it allows you to keep tabs on your period until you’re ready to start trying. Plus, it also lets you seamlessly switch over to fertility tracking by keeping all of your info in one app.
Best for Irregular Periods: MyFLO
If your period is late, happening too frequently, or not appearing at all, it can be stressful because you don’t really know what’s going on. “Is this normal?” is always running through your head and you can find yourself wondering everything from “am I pregnant?” to “am I starting menopause?”
For a one-time fee of around $2, MyFLO helps you track and identify those random symptoms and analyzes the health implications. Instead of going down the WebMD rabbit hole, MyFlo will explain what those weird cravings mean and why you might be experiencing them, plus possible lifestyle and health changes you can make to manage them. It also gives you a thorough look into what is happening to your body at each stage of your cycle.
If you have PCOS, fibroids, or endometriosis or are going through perimenopause, MyFLO is one of the only apps that address these conditions and provides comprehensive information to help you better manage your symptoms. It also offers “functional medicine programs” with diet, exercise, and supplement suggestions to aid you in managing and decreasing the symptoms you are suffering from in each phase of your cycle.
Best for First-Timers: Period Tracker Period Calendar
Getting your period for the first time can be a very confusing, sometimes scary experience. Sex education does not prepare you for what it’s actually like to experience that milestone.
Period Tracker Period Calendar is the perfect app for girls who are about to hit puberty or have just started menstruating. It’s a bit cutesy in design (read: lots of pink and flowers), but it’s extremely user-friendly and informative. It also allows you to keep track of health stats, a great way to teach teens healthy habits without being preachy.
The calendar makes it super-simple to track past and current periods to help better determine when your next one is due. It also lets you log your symptoms, which can be helpful for girls who are just learning what to expect from their period.
And, as a bonus, it will also remind you to take your birth control pill, which is a handy feature for those that are new to the pill. It's also not a bad feature for those of us who have been on it for a while but still manage to forget it every now and then.
With the app, you can get unlimited access to all features for around $10 per month and $40 per year.
Best for the Newly Birth-Control Free: Clue
If you’ve decided to ditch birth control—either because you’re looking to get pregnant or you are just sick of being on artificial hormones—it can be a giant pain as your body readjusts to your natural cycle.
With birth control, you know exactly when your period is coming, so you can prepare for it. Once you stop, your body has to readjust, and it takes some time before you get to your new “normal.” Those who were on continuous birth control may suddenly start to experience all of those symptoms that you may have been missing because you were skipping your period (hello period breakouts).
That's where Clue comes in: This app is beloved by gynos and users alike because it trains you to identify the signals your body is giving you that your period is on its way. It tracks pretty much anything and everything that happens during your cycle, from breakouts and migraines to the heaviness of your flow.
It can also help you find patterns in your cycle and predict your next three cycles. Pretty impressive and exceedingly helpful, especially if you’re just starting to reacquaint yourself with Aunt Flo. The app costs around $1 per month.
Best for Data: Glow
If you want to know everything that’s happening with your period and can’t resist a good chart, then Glow is the app for you. It does pretty much all of the things—tracking your period and ovulation, helping with family planning, monitoring your sexual activity, and logging over 40 different data points including stress levels, sex drive, body aches, insomnia, nausea, hot flashes, and bloating.
The more you use it, the more data it collects and the more accurate it gets with predicting your cycles and what you can expect. It also compares your stats with other Glow users in your age group, allowing you to see where you fall on the index and to note if there is anything unusual going on you need to let your doctor know about.
All that information allows Glow to create more customized predictions, from how likely you are to get pregnant on certain days to when your next three cycles will probably start. Plus, it tells you what kind of symptoms you can expect on which days. It’s information overload in the best possible way.
Get the app for around $8 per month or about $48 per year.
Best for Couples: Cycles
This might sound kind of odd—an app that you can link up to and share with a romantic partner—but those types of programs can be exceptionally helpful in creating healthier communication in a relationship.
Including your partner lets them be a part of your reproductive health and to understand better what’s happening with you and your body. Healthy relationships are based on open communication, so why shouldn’t that extend to your cycle?
It’s also a great way to have your partner be more involved with family planning and understanding your fertility in order to be more educated on why certain things are happening and what that means for your pregnancy goals.
Cycles lets you track your ovulation, common symptoms, most fertile days, and general health and well-being, plus it can help predict when your future cycles are so that you can plan accordingly. Also, it’s a ridiculously intuitive app that looks sleek, sophisticated, and modern (no flowers or hot pink hearts here).
The app is free, but the premium version is around $30 per year.
How We Chose the Best Period Tracking Apps
We handpicked the best period tracking apps from a rigorous range of criteria, including usability, design, features, user reviews, cost, and purpose (i.e. for solely your cycle vs. pregnancy planning).
We selected MyFLO for its standout features that help identify symptoms and health implications that can lead to an irregular flow. For those who want to monitor their symptoms closely, a data-centric app like Glow is a top pick. Though sharing an app with a partner might be unconventional, Cycles is perfect for couples who are planning to get pregnant.