A period app can be a great tool for cycle tracking. Technology is amazing! Nowadays, there are many apps in the market, and they’re becoming more and more intelligent. For me, the main benefit of a period app is practicality. Compared to a journal or a pen & paper chart, it’s easier to record and access my info on my phone since I have it with me almost all the time.
However, there are two key things to consider when choosing a period app:
1) Your period app works based on predictions
Most apps work with algorithms that make predictions based on your past cycles. In other words, they estimate the date of your next ovulation (and therefore your next period) based on the ovulation day in your past cycles.
But remember: ovulation CANNOT BE PREDICTED. By charting your fertility signs, you can confirm it happened, but it’s impossible to predict when you will ovulate in the next cycle. This is especially important if you’re trying to avoid pregnancy (or get pregnant, for that matter).
Keep in mind that ovulation is quite sensitive. Stress and other factors can delay it (and therefore delay your period), and these are things your app can’t anticipate.
What to do about it:
- In some apps, it’s possible to disable ovulation, fertility window, and next period predictions. Check the settings, and if it’s possible, disable that option.Or even better: choose an app that doesn’t make predictions at all! Read your body is a great choice.
- Learn to identify your fertility signs to confirm when you have ovulated. Confirming ovulation will help you know in what phase of your cycle you are and objectively approximate the date of your next period —Empower yourself!
2) Your data is yours (or it should be)
Period apps collect millions of sensitive and private data from thousands of people worldwide, such as fertility biomarkers, sexual life, sleep routines, our most vulnerable moments in the cycle, etc.
The use of this information isn’t properly regulated yet. In 2020, a study by Privacy International shed light on how some period apps sell this information to third parties for marketing purposes.
What to do about it:
- Check your phone and app’s privacy settings and block access to specific data. In some apps, you can also choose not to receive customized advertising.
If you choose to use a period app, that’s great; just please don’t rely on it 100%. Learn to read your cycle biomarkers! Not only will that give you objective information about what’s happening in your cycle, but it will help you feel more connected to your body and yourself.
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