These days you don’t have to consult your diary or calendar to know when Aunt Flo is due to pay you a visit. You can get mobile alerts to notify you of her arrival date!
Yes, I am talking about menstrual tracking. Menstrual tracking apps have fast become an essential for many millennials. By the end of last year 200 million people had downloaded these apps!
A search for ‘menstrual tracking app’ will bring up a broad selection to choose from. You can choose to either go for a free app or pay for the app. It depends on what you are looking for. I know that a few of my friends have tried out a few to find which one works best for them.
More than just tracking dates
There is a common misconception that menstrual tracking is simply just ‘tracking dates’. Whilst this is a key part of it, modern apps can do much more to help your overall wellbeing.
We’ve compiled a short but useful list of what these apps* are capable of to highlight why you should track your menstrual cycle:
Regular vs irregular
By tracking your menstrual cycle, you can pick up on what’s regular in your cycle to spot any changes. It could be a pattern with missing dates or changes in PMS symptoms. If you spot irregularities or trends that are of concern then you can take these straight to a GP. Changes in your cycle can sometimes be a sign of an underlying health issue.
Many menstrual tracking apps allow you to input details about your cycle. You can store notes including details on your mood/feelings, heaviness and sex drive. This information is useful to help you understand your cycle and learn more about your personal menstrual cycle.
Fertility and pregnancy
Period tracking apps are also useful for estimating ovulation and identifying when you are most fertile. If you are planning to get pregnant then this is understandably a useful tool. Apps such as GLOW also allow you to input body temperature, alcohol intake and stress levels to help you monitor fertility.
On the other side of the coin, tracking fertility can also help you manage dates to avoid getting pregnant. With many apps, you can also set reminders of when to take your birth control pill!
Monitoring your hormones
Your hormones change throughout the monthly cycle. It can affect brain chemistry and mood therefore understanding these changes is great so you can effectively manage them. Menstrual tracking app My FLO tracker is all about your ‘hormonal clock.’ It helps you get in sync with your hormones to understand how it will impact factors such as energy levels. By understanding this information, you can then plan when’s the best time to exercise. This app is a perfect example of how menstrual tracking is more than just tracking dates. It could help you optimise health and even manage PMS symptoms!
Reminders and notifications
I’ve already mentioned how these apps can send alerts and notifications to highlight key dates in your cycle or important reminders. In addition to these, apps such as Tampon Timer can alert you to when you need to change your tampon, cup or pad! These reminders can help you maintain hygiene when on your period. This is crucial to avoid serious health risks such as TSS. You might not think that you require alerts but it’s easy to forget, especially if you have only just started menstruating.
Thinking of giving it a go?
This is just a summary of the benefits. There are so many apps on the market with a range of different benefits so I would recommend exploring what’s available. Just remember, these apps are only effective if you input quality, accurate data. It’s important to keep on top of your tracking, correctly logging dates etc.
A recent survey has questioned the reliability of menstrual tracking apps. I do believe that you should go with what works for you. I know plenty of friends who find these apps valuable. If you are curious, see if for yourself and who knows you might never look back!
We want to know if you have been tracking your period and what you think about it? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below or tweet us @totmorganic
*Please note these benefits are based on a broad range of menstrual tracking apps to provide an overview of what’s available. Unless an app is mentioned by name please be aware not all of apps contain these listed features.