Fertility Apps: Period Trackers
Disclaimer: I am not being paid by any of the below apps or their competitors
Out of all of the apps I reviewed at the beginning of our journey to conceive, the single largest category is this one.
Period trackers are incredibly useful. They help you know when you had your period, a good guess of your fertile period, and when to expect your next period.
So, why do I not believe that these are the best for those who are trying to conceive? Well, as the researchers who literally wrote the book on fertility explain, the only way you can be sure that you ovulated is to experience a spike in your Basal Body Temperature (BBT).
All of the apps here track your ovulation by a positive LH test. And you know what? If you have a typical LH test to ovulation ratio, that's going to work out just fine for you. There are plenty of women who get pregnant only by using LH tests. I wanted to use the most reliable way possible to track my ovulation, so I wanted an ovulation detector. I also tend to ovulate 48-72 hours after my positive LH test.
For reference, my chart from last month would have a gap of 4 days difference in ovulation, and that's not great for reliability.
- Cost - The App and almost everything is free. You can become a Clue member for $12.99 CAD/month or $59.99 CAD/year.
- Perks for paying - Predictions for your symptoms. It's unclear what the further information would be, but it promises to "teach you about yourself" and "how to manage your symptoms.
- Interface - Non-Gendered. This is one of very few who isn't pink or purple. This is an excellent choice for women who aren't "girly" or who are non-cis-gendered. Defaults to a circle cycle. You can very easily look at your cycle on a calendar if that's easier.
- Entry Fields - Seriously everything. You can track Bleeding, menstrual collection method, cravings, digestion, cervical fluid, hair, pain, skin, stool, BBT, weight, emotions, energy, mental, motivation, sleep, social, appointment, exercise, meditation, party/drug use, sex, ailments, IUD, injection, medications, patch, pill, ring, tests, custom tags
- Necessity? You can choose which of the fields you want to include, so you can track what’s important for you and skip what’s not
- Ease of Entry - < 20 seconds to enter from entry screen. Open App > Press centre > Click section you want to record > Click the option you want > Click done.
- Ease to Read - Except for BBT, no charts. Calendar & circle just show squares for entries w/o definition - i.e. I can see that I took and LH test, but not its results. The BBT chart is just point markers. It doesn't show any temperatures along the way. However, this can make it easier to view your spikes.
- Best Thing - Clue is the ultimate in anonymity. Most wouldn’t know it’s a period tracker. It also uses anonymized data for studies like, “Do women’s cycles sync?”
- Most Annoying thing - Not seeing any definition in entries at a glance
- Privacy/HIPAA - According to the privacy statement, w/o an account, all data is stored on device. Syncs depend on syncing software (like Dropbox). Creating an account allows data to be accessed by Clue research team. They say they anonymize the data.
- It does not specify if it is HIPAA compliant, but this indicates it is not. This app is created in Germany, so there may be different laws.
- Overall - Full disclosure: Clue is what I used before we started TTC. Excellent for cycle tracking. Poor for information “at a glance”. Great that they are researching menstruation in ways no one has before.
- Cost - Free App. VIP membership costs $10.99/month, $66.99/year, $84.99/life (CAD, check USD)
- Perks for paying - Overlaying charts up to 3 months. Full analysis of symptoms in a glance. Additional articles. This membership crosses through all 4 Glow apps. A brief email interaction with Glow indicates that the premium membership comes with:
- Interface - During the time I first installed these apps (back in 2017), the Glow interface changed. In my opinion, it was for the better. The old interface used to have a button that opened up a list of tasks to check off. This usually resulted in marking a lot of no’s.
The new interface now allows simple one-tap entry of several items that can be easily customized to show what you will enter on a regular basis:
- Entry Fields - There are about 18 different fields and you can customize what's in your easy access log and add to the rest by opening up your expanded log.
- Ease of Entry - As I almost always enter one item at a time (BBT), this is really easy. You just enter what you want. If you're someone who enters her BBT, intercourse, test results, and symptoms all at once, you'll probably want to use the expanded log.
- Editing - If you want to edit today's data, it's a breeze. However, if you want to enter historical data be prepared for a journey. You have to manually choose each date individually, and when you save, it reverts back to today. Not recommended.
- Ease to Read - At a glance, it isn't great, but you can access your chart pretty easily and it has a ton of information.
- Best Thing - There are two really great things about Glow. First, it's one of the best-funded fertility apps out there. And their ever-evolving interface reflects that. Also, Glow has [arguably] the best community engagement of all of the fertility apps. There's a massive community on Glow, and they are of all different walks, from those TTC to those who ended up pregnant by accident to those who have children and don't want any more.
- Most Annoying thing - Beyond the fact that entering old data is excruciatingly slow (and when I started using Glow, I had a year's worth of data), Glow is actually a pretty great app. if it didn't base my ovulation date purely on dates and LH tests, I'd probably be using Glow.
- Cost - Like most of these, the app is free. There are two options for premium access: First, you can buy Wink, a Bluetooth connected Basal Body Thermometer. For $129 USD, you don't have to enter a temperature manually ever again. Second, they have a premium plan for $6.49 CAD/month or $49.99 CAD/year. (I know those are conflicting currencies, but they're how I can see them displayed).
- Perks for paying - The thermometer is pretty convenient. The Premium plan allows you to track custom information and your vaginal sensation.
- Interface - This is the only app I've found that lets you rank how much cervical mucus you have of each type.
- Entry Fields - Despite the plethora of cervical mucus tracking options, this is probably the most bare-bones period tracker out there. It only has spots for BBT, Sex, Menstruation, and tests you take. With the premium plan, you can set up whatever custom tracking options you'd like.
- Ease to Read - For all the BBT charts you'll see, this is probably the most thorough at-a-glance. I pulled a display off their site to show exactly how specific that can be.
- Best Thing - This is pretty basic, so it's hard to put a finger on the "best" thing there. Though this is the only app that will send out a notification to tell you to take an ovulation test, so there's that.
- Most Annoying thing - It's equally hard to find something annoying about something so simple.
- Overall - It's okay and it's simple to use. I did notice that you can now manually record a temperature shift for them, so this does bridge the gap between period trackers and ovulation detectors.
- Cost - I actually can't find a premium option for this app. I could be wrong, but I'm pretty sure it's always free.
- Interface - This is the most beautiful fertility app. It has 5 different views ranging from flowers to stars.
- Entry Fields - If you're looking for a full-service fertility app, this is yours! You can track all the basics plus sleep, weight, nutrition, exercise, blood pressure, and medications.
- Necessity - Since Ovia has a pregnancy counterpart, the weight, nutrition, exercise, and blood pressure are more necessary for that, but you do you.
- Ease of Entry - no more difficult than any other app. But there's just so much.
- Editing - Not the easiest to enter historical data into, but it's not too bad either. It defaults to the last edited field when you switch dates, so that makes it pretty easy.
- Ease to Read - There are two really easy parts to read on this app. When you open it, it will tell you how fertile you are and what phase of your cycle you're in. When you open the Fertility Chart (which takes a bit of looking), it maps your fertility score behind your BBTs.
- Best Thing - This is the only app that has an easy-to-read fertility score. It goes from 1-5. The higher the better.
- Most Annoying thing - Finding your fertility chart is pretty annoying, and navigating within one day is a chore.
Aggregate activity information. To improve our Services and our business, we collect aggregate information about users. This information gives us a broad, high-level understanding about how people use our Services (e.g., which articles our users like the most, how many times people share their baby's hand size, and which moods are most common at certain days of users' cycles). Aggregate data does not contain any information that could be used to contact you, identify you, or associate any health condition with you personally. Aggregate data may include number of clicks, browser type, browser language, referring / exit pages and URLs,other browser history, mobile device and platform, landing pages, pages viewed and the order of those pages, amount of time spent on particular pages, and the date and time.
- Overall - Very attractive. has some really unique features. Exhausting if you want to fill everything out.
Now, onto the main event - Ovulation detectors!