No more surprises from Aunt Flo
Writer : Kaylee Llewellyn
If you’re anything like me on more than one occasion you’ve tried to backtrack when your last period as. I know I went out to dinner and that was when my friend was in town so it must’ve been 2 weeks ago. Nothing is worse than being at work looking for an emergency tampon or even worse - finding a very badly placed stain on your brand new pants that you definitely can’t pass off as Ketchup. Luckily there’s an answer to this problem - here is my honest review of 3 top-rated period apps for both iPhone and Android that you can use to avoid any surprise visits from Aunt Flo.
Before I get into the ins and outs of each app I tried out here are the criteria I used to rate each app.
Password protection - if you so choose can you lock the app with a password?
Does it tell you when you’re ovulating? There is a science to this so it’s very difficult to know for sure but I am looking to see if the app tells you which days you are most likely to be ovulating and fertile.
Does it remind you of an upcoming period? To take the pill? I find customizable reminders to be really important because if my app didn’t give me a nudge a few days before my period I would be caught off guard without tampons in my purse and some Advil at the ready.
Does it allow you to track period symptoms all the way through your cycle? If you have really bad cramping? Period is late?
Does the app allow you to export your data to a doctor? If you’re having any unusual symptoms it’s a good idea to get that checked out and it’s even better if that data is ready to go in a consumable format for your doctor to look over.
Backup? You don’t want to lose all of that data when you accidentally lose your phone to water.
Informative articles - does the app have a section where you can educate yourself about womxn’s health issues?
Is it free?
Ads - are there in-app ads?
Period Calendar: ★★★★☆
Android - https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.popularapp.periodcalendar
iPhone - https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/period-tracker-period-calendar/id896501514?mt=8
The app is semi-disguised and simply called “My Calendar” on your phone so it’s not obvious what it is. That way if you have familiar members with access to your phone it doesn’t scream for someone to go and browse through it.
This app has all the features in my criteria except for the “Blog” feature. What’s nice is that it doesn’t require you to have an account to backup your data or have access to the additional features such as inputting symptoms. I also really like that there are options to report bugs and request new features right in the app! There is a “Community” feature that I have never personally used but seems to be a great place for womxn to get advice on womxn’s health issues from other womxn. I think the biggest downside to this app are the in-app ads which is the reason for my 4 star overall review.
Flo - ★★★★☆
iPhone - https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/flo-period-ovulation-tracker/id1038369065
Android - https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=org.iggymedia.periodtracker
This app leaves me with mixed feelings. On one hand I love the Insights tab on the app that allows you to read articles and take quizzes that are informative and easy reads - it even suggests articles based on symptoms you input such as cramping or a late period. It also has a feature that allows you to integrate your pedometer or a Fitbit for more accurate predictions. It should also be noted that although there is a backup feature, you have to sign up for an acdount to have access to this feature. Everything I liked about this app is overshadowed by the fact that there is a hefty number of user agreements that you have to consent to before using the app. That includes your data being shared with Flo’s partners. Given that period data is very personal and not something you want floating out in the world I downgraded my rating for this app to 4 stars.
Period Tracker - ★★★☆☆
iPhone - https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/period-tracker-by-gp-apps/id330376830#?platform=iphone
Android - https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.period.tracker.lite
This app serves its purpose: to track your period. And it is free. Aside from that I don’t love the UI since it feels dated and I don’t love that the ability to keep track of your symptoms was only part of the paid app. It is easy to input your details, put on a passcode, and export data to a doctor but I can’t get over the in-app ads and the constant reminder to upgrade your account to the paid version.
I do really like the calendar view where on a given day you can see all of the notes you entered - right below the calendar. That way you know right away what your weight, exercise, and symptoms were like all in one view. This app also has a “Blog” with informative articles educating you about your period and women’s health in general. I really like this “Blog” - just a heads up that it does have ads.