a Very Thorough review of period trackers

Rachel Besenyei

Rachel Besenyei

And the Allbodies team

Ten years ago, if you wanted to track your cycle, all you had was a pen and paper.  Today, however, there are period and fertility tracking apps galore! Even Apple has launched a period tracking function in their Health app. Granted, this was five years later than Apple Health’s initial debut, during which they claimed the app would allow users to “monitor all of the metrics you’re most interested in.”  The menstrual cycle didn’t make their initial list. Shocker. 

Since, these days, a search for period trackers via the App Store produces an overwhelming number of options, it’s hard to know either where to begin or which features would best suit your unique needs, particularly when one study showed that 95% of the free period tracker apps are inaccurate (1).

Some apps call themselves “fertility trackers;” others, “natural contraceptives;” and yet others, “period trackers.” Some use language that makes it seem like if you menstruate, your job is to procreate. Most are not queer or trans friendly. Some don’t work for certain cycle lengths. Some use your data in ways you may be unaware of. 

In this article, we’ve dug into a few of the most popular period tracker apps to help point you in the right direction. It’s worth noting that this is just a review of these apps’ product benefits, community insights, and any notable functionalities.  This is not a comparison of app efficacy or effectiveness.


What They Call Themselves

Period and Cycle Tracker

For the most part, this app feels less about trying to get pregnant or avoid pregnancy, and more about tracking your cycle, though there is a focus on the fertile window. You can turn off that function via settings, for those who are not fertility focused.  For those who are, you can opt-in to tracking your temps and cervical fluid.

What we like About It
What We Don't Love
Who Can't Use It

There doesn’t seem to be anybody who can’t use it, although users with short and/or irregular periods have had difficulty when it comes to the predictive fertile window function. Remember, this is an app making predictions solely on the info you supply around bleeding and your symptoms, so if you are trying to get pregnant or avoid pregnancy, this may not be the best app for you.

What They Do With the Data

Their website states that “when you track in Clue, you contribute to an unprecedented data set that is forwarding the understanding of female health in a new frontier of health research.”  The data collected from the app is aggregated into big data sets, which are then shared with health researchers at partner universities (we don’t know what the financial exchange is or isn’t here).  Clue states that they will never sell your data or use it to serve you personalized ads.  You can read their full privacy policy HERE

Anything else You Should Know?

While you get most of the functionality from the free version, you can also choose to “support Clue’s research” by paying $4.99 per month, or $39.99 per year, or a slightly lower price of $24.99 for 6 months for increased functionality.


What They Call Themselves

Period Tracker, Ovulation and Fertility Calendar

When you use this app you can pick your path:

What We Like About It
What We Don't love about It
Who Can't Use It

There doesn’t seem to be anybody who can’t use it.  But remember, this is an app making predictions solely on the info you supply about bleeding and your symptoms.  So particularly if you experience irregular periods, and/or are trying to get pregnant or avoid pregnancy, this is likely not the best app for you.

What They Do with The Data

Flo has come under pressure for sharing data with Facebook, but they claim that they are now changing their policies to ensure this doesn’t happen. It’s not entirely clear how they are doing so.

Anything else Your Should Know?

Flo is the #1 most downloaded health app in the App Store. The free version covers most of the period tracking functionalities needed.  The premium version allows for more personalized insights, health reports to share with your doctors, and pattern detections. Flo Premium costs $9.99 per month, or $49.99 for the year.


What They Call Themselves

Ovulation and Fertility Tracker.

This app is generally geared towards cis-women trying either to get pregnant or to avoid pregnancy.

What We Like about It
What We Don't Love

The aesthetic could use a makeover, and the graph format may not be as useful for those less familiar with FAM.

Who Can't Use It

While there are specific recommendations for those with irregular cycles and for those with PCOS, there doesn’t seem to be anyone they say can’t use it.

If you are on hormonal birth control, this may not be the best app for you as temperature and cervical fluid can be altered by synthetic hormones, as well as stop you from ovulating altogether

What They Do With The Data

They do share with third parties (like Facebook) as well as use for marketing purposes. More here

Anything Else You Should know?

Kindara costs $4.99 per month to use (or $39.99 for the year).  You need a BBT thermometer for use (these are less than $10, and can be found on Amazon or at any drug store).  That said, they are coming out with a new intra-vaginal tool to help you get the most precise temperature possible sometime this year!


What they call themselves

Companion App to the Daysy Fertility tracker. 

Daysy is actually more about the Daysy device itself than the companion app.  The app is meant to be a tool to support the Daysy fertility tracking device, not the other way around.  You can use the device without tracking on the app if you want to. 

Daysy is specifically geared toward helping cis-women find their fertile window. 

They do not call themselves contraception.

What we Like About it
What we don't love
Who Can't Use It
What they do with the data

Unlike most of the other apps, Daysy doesn’t sell it.  And, if you only use their device (without the app), your data doesn’t enter their servers at all (meaning, it’s not even stored in their system). As their site states, “As a basic principle, no personal customer data is stored without explicit consent. Any data that we store for you occurs as a result of your direct action…A transfer of the mentioned data to third parties will not take place at any time.

Anything else you should know?

In full transparency, Daysy was a partner of ours! But they did not contribute financially to this article in any way, shape, or form. 

There has recently been some controversy over the Daysy device. We poured a lot of time and energy into learning all about it.  See our statement on why we partnered with them HERE

Because this tracker is entirely reliant on the user taking their temperature with the Daysy device, there are strict guidelines for who should and should not use the device, and even what lifestyle factors will affect the data Daysy gives. It is important that you follow these guidelines if you use their device!

The Daysy device costs $299

Natural Cycles

What The Call Themselves

FDA-Cleared and Non-hormonal birth control. 

There are two tracks: 

The ideal user is described as, “A woman who is planning to have children at some point, and who would like a break from hormonal contraception before trying.” So, if you are not trying to do either of these, this app is probably not the right choice for you.

What We Like About it

It is based on the Fertility Awareness Method, meaning that, in order to use the app, you need to record your basal body temperature and cervical fluids daily. 

What We Don't Love

Because this is an app that utilizes FAM, and markets itself as birth control, it is interesting that there isn’t more emphasis on tracking cervical fluid.

Who Can't Use It
What They Do With the Data

They do use your data for marketing purposes, but you can opt-out.  They do use your data to help with research at partnering universities and institutions, but the data is aggregated, so there is not any personally identifiable information.

Learn more HERE.

Anything Else You Should Know?

Glow + Eve

What They Call Themselves

Period, Fertility Tracker

There are four distinct apps within the Glow family: Glow, Nurture, Baby, and Eve.  Nurture and Baby focus on pregnancy and child development, so for the purposes of this article, we’ll be focusing on Glow and Eve. It is hard for us to tell exactly what the difference in function between the two are, as they seem to offer similar features, and to upgrade in one app is to upgrade in the other.

There are three tracks on the apps to choose from

What We Like About It

The way Eve uses charts and graphs is very easy to read, and provides information on all cycle-stages.

What We Don't Love
Who Can't Use It

Glow is not especially queer friendly, although they do allow you to note if you’re bisexual or gay. Okkkay? There are no user restrictions for this app.

What They Do With The Data

In 2016 it was reported that Glow stored data in such a way that it would be easy for hackers to access it, knowing only your email address. Since then, the Glow team has claimed to have done a security audit and improved the way in which data is stored; they also report that there is no evidence of a data breach.

However, Vice reports that Glow’s terms of service “builds-in the ability to share data with third parties, use data to inform users about products, keep data even after users have deleted the app, allow companies that have contracted Glow for targeted advertising to use embedded cookies to learn about its users, and in only some cases make that data anonymous.” (3) 


Anything Else You Should know?

If you can manage the interface and loads of in-app ads, there are some great community sharing opportunities within the app.

While you can download the apps for free, you really need to pay in order to get the full functions.  It costs $2.41 per month, or $59.99 for lifetime use.

Planned Parenthood's Spot On App

What they call themselves

Birth Control and Cycle Calendar. There are two tracks you can choose:

This app is much less focused on fertility.

What We Like About It
What We Don't Love
Who Can't Use It

While any body can use the app, this is definitely not the best app if you are more fertility-focused, interested in FAM, and/or wanting to better understand your cycle


What they call themselves

Unlike the other apps, MyFLO isn’t meant to be a fertility tracker, or even a traditional period tracker. It doesn’t allow for temperature charting or precise ovulation tracking.

Instead, MyFLO is a period tracking and hormone-balancing tool that teaches you how to take care of and tap into your body’s cyclical, biochemical, hormonal patterns. The app focuses on helping you balance your hormones overall, through functional nutrition and lifestyle adjustments.

What We love about It
What We Don't love
Who Can't Use It

There isn’t any body who can’t use this app! Though if you are specifically trying to get pregnant, you may want to use one that allows you to track your temperatures.  If you are on hormonal birth control, some of the cycle phase info may not be applicable.

What They Do With the Data

They make it clear that they are using the data to better support your experience using their app, but it’s a little confusing to us what else they do or don’t do with it.  You can read the full breakdown HERE.

Anything else You should know?

In full transparency, Floliving was a partner of ours! But they did not contribute financially to this article in any way, shape, or form.

The app costs $1.99.

Alisa Vitti, founder of MyFLO, has an entire platform dedicated to hormonal wellness via functional nutrition and lifestyle. It is truly one of the most extensive platforms on this topic we’ve seen.

Round-Up Of Thoughts

There are two camps of cycle trackers:

If your aim is simply to track your cycle, and/or you are on hormonal birth control, then the apps that only require you to track your period and symptoms may be enough.  We suggest you download a few to see which interface you like best. And, of course, use this info as a guide for where to start.  If you are interested in actually learning about your cycle and hormonal health, and are not on hormonal birth control, be sure to use an app that has a focus outside of solely menstruation and ovulation.  All of your cycle phases are equally important!

If you are fertility-focused, it is ESSENTIAL that you work with an app that is using your temperature and cervical fluid.  The apps mentioned above that do this are:

But note, that the Daysy device does not require you enter your fluid info.  You can if you choose to though on their app. 

If you experience irregular cycles, are coming off of hormonal birth control, are breast/chestfeeding, have diagnosed hormonal imbalances like thyroid issues or PCOS, and/or are on medications that affect your temperature, we recommend you get support with your tracking! 

In general, cycle tracking apps should be used to support you in taking power over your body, not take it away.  Technology isn’t perfect and it will never have access to all the knowledge and wisdom you possess.  So we can’t stress enough the importance of learning alongside your app, and of not relying on it entirely.  Use these apps and devices as tools so that you can build trust and comfort in your own expertise instead of relying on the technology as the expert. 

All content found on this Website, including: text, images, audio, or other formats, was created for informational purposes only. The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition

1. Moglia, Michelle L, Henry V Nguyen, Kathy Chyjek, Katherine T Chen, and Paula M Castaño. “Evaluation of Smartphone Menstrual Cycle Tracking Applications Using an Adapted APPLICATIONS Scoring System.” Obstetrics and gynecology. U.S. National Library of Medicine, June 2016.

2. Lomas, Natasha. “Natural Cycles Contraception App Told to Clarify Pregnancy Risks.” TechCrunch. TechCrunch, September 17, 2018.

3. Burke, Sarah. “Your Menstrual App Is Probably Selling Data About Your Body.” Vice, May 11, 2018.


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