Do you often schedule your period to start, or do you have trouble getting pregnant? These digital cycle calendars can help
Pedometer, heart rate monitor, and now cycle apps. With a digital menstrual calendar, the monthly cycle can be easily tracked with the smartphone. But when and why do you need a cycling app?
We asked the gynecologist Dorle Rauschenbach from Hamburg whether it is possible to use contraception with cycle apps and to what extent the cycling calendar can help plan a pregnancy. Plus: the best cycle apps for you at a glance.
Table of Contents
What Are The Benefits Of Cycle Apps?
As the name suggests, cycle apps deal with your monthly cycle. In other words: With the help of your individual information, it is recorded when your process begins and ends, when you have your period and how long it lasts. Accordingly, fertile days can be calculated so that you can prevent or enable a pregnancy as you wish. Every woman should know this about her fertility.
In addition, a menstrual app can help you to get to know your body and to understand hormone-related emotional states better. “As a gynecologist and as a woman, I definitely think it makes sense to deal with your own cycle,” says Rauschenbach. After all, this has a significant impact on your life and your well-being.
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Which Cycle Apps Are There?
There are now so many cycle apps on the market that it is easy to lose track of them. That’s why we’ve tested and compared the most popular cycle apps for you. Here we go!
FLO – All-Rounder With The Premium Version
With more than 140 million downloads, Flo is the most popular period calendar app. It is convincing with its appealing and straightforward design and can be individually adapted to women with or without a pregnancy wish and women who are already pregnant. Even a chat function with which you – depending on your settings in the app – can share your experiences on the subject of contraception or pregnancy and view those of other women is offered here.
The paid premium version also lets you benefit from many other features. With the upgrade to the premium version, you also get access to recommendations for getting pregnant and tips for proper intimate hygiene or nutrition.
Costs: The standard version of the period calendar can be used free of charge. But if you are in the mood for more, after a test period of 30 days, you can buy the premium as mentioned above for 2.75 euros per month for a year or 6.49 euros for a single month.
Clue – By Women For Women
Women’s power makes it possible: Developed by a female start-up company in Berlin, this cycle app scores with its simple layout and individual setting options. The type of contraception is asked right at the beginning. Numerous options are listed, from mini pills to implants and IUDs – so you shouldn’t have any problem finding your contraceptive. You can even note mood swings and pain at Clue. The fact is the more information you provide, the more precisely your monthly cycle can be traced.
Costs: There is also a different version here, which can be purchased for the comparatively low price of 0.99 euros per month or 9.99 euros for a year. However, the app is excellent to use for free without any extras and perfectly fulfills the purpose of a cycle calendar.
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MyNFP – The Devil Is In The Details
Probably the most detailed cycle app from our test is MyNFP: In addition to the standard information such as the first day of your last period, you can even enter the consistency of your cervical mucus, the hardness of your cervix, and possible chest symptoms. You also have the option of recording your morning body temperature (basal temperature, you can measure it with a basal thermometer ) so that the day of your ovulation can be determined as precisely as possible. Because on the day after ovulation, the body’s morning temperature rises by at least 0.2 ° C and remains correspondingly high until the beginning of the next period.
By the way: Stiftung Warentests gave those cycle apps the best that calculates the monthly cycle based on basal temperature and cervical mucus consistency. These should enable the most precise calculations of all apps on the market.
Costs: After a 30-day test period, this period calendar can only be used for a fee. A 3-month term for 9.99 euros and one year for 29.99 euros are available. As a special offer, you can continue to use the app for a lifetime for a one-time fee of € 99.00 – so this is worth considering for long-term users.
Follow The Ovy Cycle In Pairs
The ovulation calculator Ovy also relies primarily on the basal temperature to calculate the cycle. The digital thermometer, linked to the cycling calendar via Bluetooth, allows you to track your morning temperature on your mobile phone conveniently. The app has a user-friendly design and is available free of charge in both the Apple Store and Google Play. The special: Ovy makes it possible for you to share your cycle data with a partner. This can be a tremendous additional function, especially for getting pregnant, as you can consciously take time for togetherness on fertile days.
Costs: For a one-off of 79.90 euros, you can buy the required thermometer here and use the app free of charge for one year. Ovy also offers an entirely free version, whereby the possibility of morning temperature measurement is no longer available. Without the thermometer, the app costs EUR 3.99 per month or EUR 34.99 per year after a 30-day test phase – the test phase can be canceled here daily.
Period Tracker – Colorful And Functional
The Period Tracker app is a real eye-catcher with a playful cat design or a colorful floral background. It contains functions such as ovulation prediction, period calculation, and the option of recording sexually active days and symptomatic complaints. Even the severity of these symptoms can be noted on the period tracker. If you prefer it colorful, the app is just right for you.
Costs: If you don’t want to miss out on additional design options and the ability to note your symptoms or your basal temperature, this cycling app costs you 10.49 euros per year. Otherwise, it is also available free of charge in the App Store and Play Store.
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Who Are Cycle Apps Suitable For?
They are suitable for all women who want to follow their cycle, but not necessarily. “If a woman has her bleeding once a month, everything is actually okay,” says Rauschenbach. In this case, there is no need for cycle tracks. Nonetheless, it can be helpful if you know when your next period is coming and are prepared accordingly after a quick tap on the phone. After all, there is nothing more annoying than getting your days on the go and being unprepared.
Even if you take the pill and have a regular menstrual period, a cycling app is not necessary. You will not ovulate, and your period usually takes place after you have used up your pill blister and before you start your new one – so it is relatively easy to keep track of things.
How Good Is A Cycling App At PMS?
Important point. There are cases when a cycling app can be a natural relief. For example, a digital menstrual calendar can be helpful for a quarter of all women with severe premenstrual syndrome (PMS). In the week before their period starts, PMS causes severe symptoms such as abdominal pain, headache, and mood swings for women.
With a quick look at the app, affected women can easily trace their symptoms back to the PMS. Many women who want to become pregnant also find a cycling app helpful – but a cycle calendar should be used cautiously for pregnancy prevention. You will find out why now.
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Do Cycle Apps Offer Safe Contraception?
Rather no. “As a natural method of contraception, every woman can watch her cycle in order to save additional hormones. But she pays for this by the fact that there is no complete safety,” warns Rauschenbach. Even with the most precise information, a cycling app can often not accurately determine the day of your ovulation. Because numerous factors, such as stress or illness, can quickly influence your cycle and cause ovulation to occur prematurely or late. This is how you prevent hormones without hormones.
The so-called Pearl Index – a scientifically recognized order of magnitude that indicates the safety of various contraceptives – is 9.0 for the calendar method. This means that 9 out of 100 women who use contraception using menstrual cycle apps or conventional menstrual calendars will become pregnant in the year. For comparison: “The Pearl Index is still in first place for the pill (0.1-0.9) and the IUD (0.16),” said Rauschenbach.
Whether you want to take the risk of hormone-free contraception is up to you alone. Additional contraception with a condom and the like gives you better protection against getting pregnant even without hormones. Two things are better than one.
Are Cycle Apps Useful When Trying To Get Pregnant?
It’s a question of attitude. “The nicest thing is actually to take off the pill, not to worry too much and then get pregnant after a while. The spirit of the times seems to be that women don’t want to leave nature their 3 or 4 months, but from the beginning approach the matter in a very head-controlled manner, “says gynecologist Rauschenbach,” It can take around 6 months before pregnancy can even occur after years of taking pills. ” Every woman should know this about ovulation. But of course, some women also have long-term difficulties getting pregnant. In this case, it can be worthwhile to monitor your cycle with an app to identify fertile days better and increase the chance of pregnancy.
Tip: If you have problems getting pregnant, a visit to the gynecologist can be worthwhile. “We can use urine tests to see whether women are ovulating at all,” says Rauschenbach. The ovulation tests, which you can also buy in the pharmacy or here online, react to an increase in the LH hormone in the urine, promoting ovulation in women. This is where cycle apps reach their limits.
A cycling app can help pack tampons and the like in good time before starting your period, know the fertile days ahead of time, or better understand cycle-related complaints. But under no circumstances does it replace a doctor and can only estimate your ovulation but not predict it with 100 percent certainty.