Are you using period/ovulation apps? How helpful are they?

My Samsung Galaxy IIs died about a week ago. I wasn’t that upset about losing some of my contacts but I was upset about losing my period tracking app. I had no idea when I was going to start again.

I was using a free app that only allowed you to store three months at a time. It was great to help me remember when I would start next but with only three months of data for free it didn’t help me show my doctor trends – like my cycles getting shorter or spotting that wasn’t mid-cycle, which can be bad.

At one point I transferred some of the older data to a paper calendar, which I promptly lost.  And it doesn’t work as well on just your Google calendar because you have to hunt for it. The apps are usually color coded and make it easy to see when you’re ovulating or when your period should start.

So I’m on a new phone with a different operating system – iPhone so I can Face Time with Michael in Russia – and have a new app called Period Log. (Tells you exactly what it is.)

This one let’s you track, gives you your ovulation days, track flow, mood, symptoms, spotting and then other notes. I’m not sure how many months the free version lets you store so I may have the same issue.

I am sure women who are trying to get pregnant find the apps very convenient – as long as it will hold more than a few months data. I used to have paper charts to enter temperatures, fluid and cervical information.

I want my almost 13-year-old to load a tracker app onto her iPod. Her cycle is a little wacky, and I never know when she is going to start until she’s yelling at me.

Are you using one of these apps to track your cycle or to help you get pregnant? How did it work for the pregnancy? What about tracking the start of menopause if your cycle is wacky? Or if you’re a teen and your cycle is wacky? Would you pay for one of these apps or would you only use it if it were free?

28 comments Add your comment

Misty

February 25th, 2014
10:40 pm

Um, no. I use a calendar to keep track. You simply mark the calendar every time you or she starts and do the math! It’s not that hard to do. What ever happened to the old- fashioned way? To me, it speaks of laziness.

DB

February 25th, 2014
11:21 pm

Nope — not a problem anymore! (*doing a happy dance!*) Even then, I never really tracked it. My husband, however, knew to the day. Whenever I’d go off on a spurt of PMS-fueled temper, he’d look at his watch and then just say, “Uh-huh . . .” I was lucky — one year was very erratic, and then, *poof*, done.

@Misty; The thing that happened with the “old fashioned way” is that very few people HAVE calendars any more! They have their lives on their cell phones, and generally, it works pretty well. I can’t tell you the last time i hung up a calendar — I think it was 6/7 years ago.

MIsty

February 26th, 2014
12:57 am

@DB-

My husband generally knows as well :-) I guess it’s true that few people have calendars. I have one that I keep as I can’t afford all of the bells and whistles. But it’s really simple so does anyone really need apps?

Good Grief

February 26th, 2014
6:28 am

I have always been a visual and tactical kind of person. I love the technology that my iPhone, iPad and MacBook gives me. I have abandoned riipping out magazine pages and embraced Pinterest. But as far as calendars and reminder apps, I am an old school gal. Also still on the pill at 48 because I would be whacked out otherwise. I needed the pill when I was younger and I still need it now.

My leather agenda with week at a glance calendar is tried and true. I just believe as you age there are some things where the traditional route is still fine. If I planned my life electronically, the results would be disastrous.

Steve Dalia

February 26th, 2014
6:34 am

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motherjanegoose

February 26th, 2014
6:42 am

I am with DB…yippee!

I used an old fashioned basal thermometer to time pregnancies for summer break. Boy/Girl at the end of the school year….worked for me. I was on birth control pills all of the other times and then my period was regulated easily. I stayed on the pill all the way until I slipped into menopause at 50 No big deal for me.

PS…I have a purse calendar…the paper kind.

A

February 26th, 2014
7:41 am

Still on the pill too at age 44 and can time my periods down to the second. Even if I weren’t on the pill, I don’t think I’d stress about when my period was coming. I guess being on the pill for so long I may have forgotten that without it you need to keep track?

Kat

February 26th, 2014
8:06 am

I use the copy editor symbol for “insert period” on a paper calendar, and then just wait until I become overbearing and remember. I don’t see a need to know when this is going to happen, unless as you said, it’s for people who are trying to get pregnant.

Good Grief

February 26th, 2014
8:16 am

@ motherland & A

I have been on the pill since my teens. My Dr. then suggested it to my parents to keep my periods regular and my PMS in check. Even my DR. Today agrees with me staying on it as long as I can to get me through menopause. I had no idea they were really for birth control until it got to college, teens today are not that naive.

I am sure a period app would work fine if your menstrual cycle was just the concern. I would think if you are tracking ovulation for conception that I would want two methods. I still know a lot of younger gals trying to get pregnant that are having a really difficult time at it. They are using electronics and apps as well as paper, pencil and charts as their backup. When you are desperately trying to get pregnant and your biological clock is ticking away you’ll do whatever it takes.

For all you ladies...

February 26th, 2014
8:51 am

…who continue on the pill after you decide you want no more children, and your spouse says he would never get a big “V”, you are married to a wimp, no matter what you or he says.

I did it after our second child, at age 37 – my wife said she had had the kids so I could make sure we had no more. And, it was no big deal, in any connotation. Yes, I have heard mens’ “horror” stories, yet, still, that pain for about 2 days is nothing compared to the nine months of stuff you ladies went through (how many times?), plus the labor and delivery pains you endured (how many times?), or the difficulty / heartache some of you experienced, like motherjane and her VBAC complications.

Plus, from all I have read, though I admit I have not kept up with it much in the past 25 years, the pill, after a certain age for women, is not good for your health…

Good Grief

February 26th, 2014
9:33 am

@ For all you ….

My husband had a vasectomy thinking that I would get off the pill. I attempted to get off the pill in my late 30’s when I knew I was done having children, but I quicly realized that I REALLY needed them. For a large majority of healthy women the pill is fine. I asked my Ob Gyn last year why she had not suggested getting off them. She said as long as I am not having any problems with them that I would do well staying on them thru menopause. I have talked to a lot of gals my age that have decided to do anti depressants and hormone replacement but I know that is NOT for me. Different options exist because we’re all different. Re-examine your options every year, but if isn’t broke dont fix it! ;)

RJ

February 26th, 2014
9:40 am

I don’t keep track. I usually know. Well, sorta. With the last surprise pregnancy (with a pre-teen and teenager in the house), my husband was the one that told me he was sure I was pregnant because I was so late. I didn’t realize how late I was. Now that he’s finally gotten fixed as I’d asked him to for several years, I no longer worry about getting pregnant.

LJ

February 26th, 2014
9:45 am

I’ve been using fertility friend for years. I used it for charting temperatures, cervical mucus, etc. for a long time. Now I just use it for period/spotting, and I always have an idea of where I am. It can be used on the website or on the app, so there’s a bit more versatility there and you wouldn’t lose all your data if you lost the app.

TC

February 26th, 2014
10:20 am

I use a free iPhone app called Pink Pad. You can use it to track flow (light, medium or heavy), spotting, moods, symptoms, weight, basal body temperature, and when you were intimate. I usually know when my period is coming. I like having the records for when the doctor asks me the date of my last period. I never remember that!

MIsty

February 26th, 2014
10:41 am

After reading the article and commenting on it last night, my husband decided to have some fun and checked out one of the apps. I answered the questions and guess what? It was so off for March that it’s laughable.

WitchyWoman

February 26th, 2014
10:42 am

Still using a regular calendar here..cause I don’t plan to have anymore kids. I am like clockwork so I just count 28 days from the day I start and I have a pretty good idea which week in the next month I will be getting my “visitor: (LOL-man the PC names we think up). I’m off the pill since my husband had the Big V. I was on it strictly for birth control and saw not other need to keep taking it. I HAVE to take Thyroid medication and I just didn’t want to keep putting all the other hormones in my body. Other women start and keep taking it because it balances them in various ways and that is a good reason to stay on it if it helps.

iRun

February 26th, 2014
11:10 am

Oh, geeze…no, I don’t use anything to track my periods. For one, I had an endometrial ablation 4 years ago because I had polyps that made me bleed for 18 days a month. I also had a tubal ligation in the process since an ablated uterus cannot host a fetus and I wouldn’t want to go through an abortion. Let me make it clear…an ablated uterus cannot carry a fetus to term. It will naturally abort at some point. So, if I’d become pregnant after ablation I’d have aborted and saved the hassle. But, I avoided all of that by getting my “tubes tied”.

After the ablation I stopped bleeding altogether. I was still having PMS symptoms like breaking out and bloating, so I knew when I would normally have my period.

But, recently I’ve begun the menopause process. I’m only 40, so that’s young. But the whole polyps thing was wrapped up in wacked out hormones. So, there you go.

It’s like going through puberty. I’m flying into irrational rages. I’ve broken out and look like a pizza face. I either can’t sleep or I can’t stay awake. And I want to eat all the food.

Thanks, mother nature.

catmom

February 26th, 2014
12:33 pm

I have a nice paper planner with a leather cover and mark the days on the monthly calendar. My planner has monthly calendars for the preceding two years, so at any time I can glance at it and see if there are any issues. It’s quick and easy. I keep all of my appointments in there, and to me it’s much easier to keep track of that way.

And on another topic, what is this about having to know your daughter’s cycle? When I was a teenager, that was my business. My mom showed me how to mark the days on my calendar, and that was that. If I had a problem, I knew I could ask her. And when I was 13 or 14, my cycle was really unpredictable. I talked to my mom, and she took me to the doctor to get checked out. I remember also about that time being over at my aunt’s house, and she was pestering my cousin (also my age) about when she had started that month so she could “mark it on the calendar.” My cousin was embarrassed. There is no need for this helicopter menstrual monitoring. Leave your daughter alone, and let her know she can always come to you with questions.

A

February 26th, 2014
12:48 pm

On a related note, since this blog post starts out with the death of TWG’s phone and loss of contacts and apps. Aren’t you backing up and syncing your phone??? If you were doing this, then you could just fire up a new phone and voila, all your apps and contacts should reappear. Then this blog could be moot and we can all move on.

Becky

February 26th, 2014
12:49 pm

Nope, don’t use it and for the past 20 years haven’t had to worry about this..Never kept up with mine on a paper calendar either..I just knew when it was going to happen as I took pain pills for over 20 yrs, so that was all that I needed..

My granddaughter is 11 now and she has had her period since about 3 months after she turned 10, she doesn’t keep up with hers on a calendar either..Not sure why she needs to.. LIke catmom said, she knows that she can always come to me if she has any questions or concerns..

WitchyWoman

February 26th, 2014
1:04 pm

@ Becky and Catmom…I hope it isn’t just helicopter parenting, but more of a preparedness (sp?) type thing. There are often a few accidents when a young girl starts her cycle and many times it is because she is not aware of when it might be about that time. Keeping a calendar kind of helps in that it lets the girl know what week to be more on the look out. This does not prevent all accidents, but can sometimes prevent some really embarrassing moments at school not to mention staining of clothes.

Erin

February 26th, 2014
1:50 pm

Mine’s always been irregular and I can’t take the pill due to the type of breast cancer my mom had when I was a teenager, so I keep up with it on the small day planner I carry in my purse. It’s not hard to just mark the day it starts with a capital P written in red ink.

As for young girls, when I began mine, my mom insisted I keep track of things, which is actually great to get an idea when the next one might *start* but I didn’t realize the time it would take to *end* might be longer than I thought at first … which led to me being totally anti-white pants of any sort ever since. Even though I clearly know MUCH better now, that’s a traumatic thing for an 11-year-old to experience!

Techmom

February 26th, 2014
3:20 pm

Haven’t tracked my period since I was a teenager. Was on the pill from the time I was 18 until this past fall when I decided I’d try an IUD. The pill makes it easy, I always knew exactly when I would start. I have been pleased with Mirena so far… spotted for about 2 weeks and haven’t had a period since. I know it’s different for each person but I’ll take it!

catlady

February 26th, 2014
6:05 pm

Good grief: I don’t think it takes an app, or a calendar, but you need a man to get pregnant.

MIsty

February 26th, 2014
6:45 pm

@iRun- I feel for ya! I’m 36 and started mainly last year but starting having hot flashes/night sweats when I was 32. I take Estroven at night to help minimize them and to sleep. I also worked at a crisis pregnancy place and had a couple of women who came in who had had their tubes tied 10 years before. Always be careful and check!

@Teresa- teach her how to keep track of it. She’ll want to know especially as summer approaches!

catlady

February 26th, 2014
6:47 pm

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motherjanegoose

February 27th, 2014
7:13 am

Being on the pill was a choice for me. It regulated my periods and kept them manageable. My Gyno told me that if I stayed on too long it would prolong my periods and not send me into menopause, so when I was getting to that point she gave me a test to check and see if it was time. It was! That took about 3-4 months of irregular cycles …two short and one horrible and then poof it was finished. I was 50. I also use Estroven and love to get it at Costco when it is on sale.

Anton Chigurh

February 27th, 2014
1:57 pm

I do not track this information.