How I Successfully Use Period Tracking Apps For Birth Control
Finding Natural Flow
Six years ago, I stopped taking birth control. This propelled me on a journey, one in which I learned about my body’s natural fluctuations and its connection to the earth. I found myself asking questions and talking with other women to learn more about my body. These conversations helped me in incorporating holistic methods to connect with my cycle.
One of my favorite cycle-tracking methods is using the moon to show when my period is going to start or when I am ovulating. This practice is more often studied through ancient Eastern traditions. The idea is that the moon’s 29-day lunar cycle is directly connected to a menstruating person’s 28-day cycle. By considering how our cycles potentially sync to this mysterious and glorious natural satellite, I’ve grown to view my period as sacred instead of an annoyance or something to ignore.
Aside from working with the moon, my use of period tracking apps has been essential for gaining a deeper understanding of my flow. Many apps are designed to help us learn about our bodies, cycles, and fertility windows. These apps are modern educational tools to empower menstruating people so that we can better understand our bodies.
How Period Tracking Apps Help Us Understand Our Flow
Using period tracking apps can help deepen everyday awareness of the body. Creating a sense of empowerment and control, they teach us how to show up for our bodies as we move through the phases of our cycle. The key to successful tracking is to treat the apps the same way you would birth control pills: Make it a habit to input your information every day.
Once you start recording your flow, the fluctuations become more apparent, especially if the changes occur in a particular month based on your daily log. For instance, one month, I could be feeling energized and inspired during my week of ovulation. Then the next month, if I notice I’m feeling tired or lacking energy during ovulation, I can look for what I might need to adjust—food, sleep, or hormone balancing (like seed cycling), for example.
Using Period Tracking Apps for Birth Control
My partner and I have always used protection during sex and maintained open communication. When I was on hormonal birth control, I often talked with him about my cycle and experience each month. Since stopping, I’ve continued to share with him the natural methods I am exploring.
This open communication has been especially important for monitoring my fertility. As of now, my partner and I are not trying to conceive, and I rely heavily on my apps to inform me of when I am most fertile. Again, I look to my apps every day to make sure I know exactly when my fertility window is. When I’m ovulating, my partner and I take extra precautions. The slight cramping that comes with ovulation also helps to inform me.
My favorite apps also have a space to input the more intimate details about sex. This is especially helpful for anyone trying to get pregnant. Some of the best apps include information about sexual positions, cervical mucus, and the physical symptoms to watch for when trying to conceive.
My Favorite Period Tracking Apps
There are many tracking apps with different formats and interfaces. As a great place to start, we created this list to offer an in-depth look into some of our favorites.
The first-ever period app I downloaded was Glow. Originally recommended to me by a friend, it has been my period confidant for years. I love the minimalist design and in-depth symptom tracking. The app also functions as a social space to connect with and learn from others.
Another app I’ve incorporated into my tracking routine is MyFlo, created by Alisa Vitti. This one is educational and explains the four phases of a cycle: follicular, ovulation, luteal, and menstrual. It offers holistic recommendations for nourishing each phase and supporting your flow with food and lifestyle. It’s an ideal app for helping to address hormone imbalance and integrative health.
It may take trying a few different apps before you find the right fit for your lifestyle, especially if you experience irregular flows or unpredictable menstruation patterns. Tracking apps can offer added support in the journey towards harmony in the body. If you have concerns about your cycle, use apps to collect data that you can then bring to your doctor to address concerns. Of course, for many, hormonal birth control may be necessary for regulating underlying conditions.
Our cycles should not be a burden but a beautiful blessing that we get to walk hand-in-hand with each month. Tracking can be a much-needed road map, guiding us into a deeper understanding of our bodies and finding a rhythm each month.
We’d love to hear what methods or apps have helped you connect with your cycle—feel free to share in the comments below!
Courtney Jay Higgins is the Associate Editor at The Good Trade. She is also a Yoga Instructor, vegetarian, wellness and fashion enthusiast. Originally from Colorado, her soul found California when she came to get her degree in Visual Communications at the Fashion Institute Of Design & Merchandising. She has a background in telling a story through writing, creative direction and content creation. Check out her blog and Instagram for her unique perspective on the mergence of fashion and spirituality.