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The best period tracker apps in 2021

Updated: Nov 18, 2021

The best period tracker apps in 2021

In this article, you will understand the benefits of using a period tracker and the best period tracker apps available on the market in 2021.

Using a period tracker or menstrual cycle tracker involves describing noting down and reviewing information about your:

  • Period (the time when you experience a vaginal bleed) and associated events or symptoms.


  • Menstrual cycle (which includes your period plus the days after your period between your next bleed. The period signals the start of your menstrual cycle) and associated events or symptoms.

Period tracking can be done using a menstrual cycle planner, by writing on pieces of paper, using a journal, a spreadsheet or mobile app; whatever suits you best.

Your Trusted Squad focuses on using Tech for Health, I will be focusing on Mobile apps in this article.

The main take-home message is that Period Tracking helps you understand your menstrual and reproductive health which is empowering. Period tracking alone isn’t quite enough; you will also require general knowledge about how the reproductive system works, the common issues and problems to look out for and how to manage them.

This article is intended for you if you menstruate or if you know people who menstruate.

Yes, it’s another article which everyone should read. Why is that?

For starters, periods almost affect everyone!

Periods affect you

· If you have them (of course!)

· If you have a partner who has periods.

· If you have a child who has periods. 

· If you live with someone who has periods.

Your child may be experiencing pain during menstruation or be confused as to what's happening with their body, your partner may have a heavy flow and want to avoid sex when they are bleeding, your lovely friend may have bled on the dining chair in your home (yes, these things happen).

Considering how many people have them, which is a considerable percentage of the population, it’s sad that people feel uncomfortable talking openly about them.

If you do not have periods, please share this article with someone you know who does.

A young lady sitting on the sofa writing in her journal

Over the last 15 years I have seen patients in sexual health clinics, family planning clinics, antenatal and postnatal, gynaecology clinics and wards and in General Practice. So many of the patients I’ve seen have been unaware of how their bodies work.

These people may include your friends, your children, your colleagues and many do not openly discuss any problems they may be experiencing.

So, please help them by encouraging them to use tools that can help them become better informed so they can understand their bodies better, use self-care appropriately and seek help when they need it.

Using a tablet device

Benefits of period tracking

Period and Menstrual cycle tracking can be used to:

1. Better understand your period, menstrual cycle and associated symptoms. Additionally, entering information into a menstrual calendar can help estimate when your next period is due.

2. To gain information on the reproductive aspects of your cycle. Period tracking can provide an estimate of the most ‘fertile’ time during your cycle. This estimated fertile time covers the number of days that you are most likely to ovulate and therefore have the higher chances of conception if you have sexual intercourse during this time.

Knowing your most fertile time of your menstrual cycle can be used to help guide people who are trying to conceive and become pregnant. This information can also be used to minimise risks of or prevent pregnancy e.g. for natural birth control methods or in calculations by healthcare professionals for choosing most appropriate emergency contraception etc.

Before you start; decide on the reason why you are tracking your period so that you can ensure you use the right type of period tracker and collect the right information

Reading a book

Why is tracking your menstrual cycle important?

By tracking your menstrual cycle, you will get to understand your own menstrual cycle. You will:

  • Understand what is normal for you e.g. The number of days of your menstrual cycle, the variability of the cycle length, symptoms you may experience regularly e.g. pain on day 1 of the cycle.

  • Be able to identify when things are different or unusual i.e. random changes, occasional changes or persistent changes that require attention and medical advice.

  • Be able to estimate when your next period is due to start. This can be useful knowledge for when you want to arrange trips, events, start contraception, know if you’ve missed a period and may be pregnant.

  • Share relevant information to a healthcare professional. If you consult with a doctor for a sexual or reproductive issue, because you are pregnant or because you have abdominal or pelvic pain they will ask for the date of ‘first day’ of your most recent period and will either calculate whether you could be pregnant or, if you are already pregnant, calculate the duration of your current pregnancy.

  • Identify if there is a problem at an earlier stage that you would have if you hadn’t been keeping a menstrual cycle diary. Knowing about your menstrual cycle PLUS having knowledge about the menstrual and reproductive cycle, which can be gained from books or podcasts, will help you manage your cycle and identify worrying or concerning symptoms that require consultation with your Doctor (Family Physician/GP, Family planning Doctor or Gynaecologist).

For this reason, I recommend* reading ‘The Gynae Geek’ by Dr Anita Mitra, for a really good, simple to read overview of, what she calls ‘Down there’ healthcare. In her book Dr Mitra covers anatomy of the female reproductive organs and genital region, how the menstrual cycle is regulated by hormones and information about periods, sexual health and fertility.

I also recommend* the book Fix your period by Nicole Jardim which is also easy to read. I would read this alongside or before you start tracking your menstrual cycle to get a good understanding of your menstrual cycle and how dietary and lifestyle changes can improve your menstrual health.

I have struggled with endometriosis for years and making lifestyle and dietary changes has helped my fatigue, pain and general wellbeing. I made these changes after consulting with a Functional Medicine Practitioner but most of these dietary and lifestyle changes are written in this book so starting with this first is a more affordable option.

Knowing and understanding how your own body works can be so empowering. It can give you confidence to speak up and get help especially when you know something is wrong.

I want to emphasise how helpful it is to have any symptoms and events you are experiencing documented on paper or via app especially if you are having concerns and want to get medical advice from a healthcare professional.

Unless you have superb memory, you won’t remember exactly how often last month you had the bloating symptom, the tiredness, the pain and the date your last period started/ended unless it’s noted down somewhere. You won’t be able to recall the patterns over months or even years.

Tracking your period should be done over a period of time. Depending on the reasons why you are doing it, the minimum period of time tracking will should be done over a 3 to 6 month period.

However tracking can become part of your routine lifestyle habits and can be done over a number of years.

In adolescents whose periods have just started, the menstrual cycle can take a number of years to develop a patter but it’s a good time to get started in the habit of tracking and exploring the body.

Keeping a menstrual cycle diary tracking in adolescence can help identify whether there are any problems that need to be reviewed by a healthcare professional.

To really understand your period and menstrual cycle it will take time. So, start slowly with small steps and build your confidence and knowledge.

Period pain - Sitting on bed with hands crossed across belly, head on knees and curled over in pain

Monitoring your menstrual cycle: Information you can collect

Tracking for Health

· Period start date – note the start of your period (the first day you experience a proper blood flow which is day 1 of your cycle)

· Period flow-is the flow light, moderate, heavy

· Each day that you that you bleed – this is the length of your period

· The length of your whole menstrual cycle- this covers the time from day 1 of your period right until the last day before your next period starts.

· Any additional bleeding outside of your period e.g. spotting before, at the end of, after your period, during the cycle

· Any additional symptoms during your menstrual cycle such as

  • Pain or cramping in your lower abdomen/pelvic area

  • Pain or cramping in the rest of your abdomen

  • Vomiting

  • Headaches