Tracking your cycle is not a new concept. Yet SO many women aren’t doing it! We can learn a lot about your hormones and fertility when you track your cycle properly.
When it comes to tracking you have three options:
My preference: the app. It makes it easy to review with your healthcare practitioner and keeps everything in one place. There are probably hundreds of apps you can download for free that will serve your purpose. When it comes to picking the right one, make sure they can do these three things:
There are way more things we can track, but when it comes to the basics that’s really all you need.
Kindara is by far a fan favourite both personally and in my clinic. This is the one I have personally used since 2015 and what I credit to my quick conception with my son. Kindara’s interface is both pretty, but not overly girly, and user-friendly. You can simply track your period, or go more into detail with features like BBT, mucous, and symptoms. Kindara also lets you track LH tests, pregnancy tests, sex (both protected and unprotected) plus much more. It’s robust without being overwhelming. The company has also released a BBT thermometer, Wink, that bluetooth’s with your phone and automatically inputs your temperature to your chart. Fancy, but not necessary.
2. Fertility Friend
Fertility Friend is a common one in the TTC community. It does all the same functions as Kindara. A feature FF has up on Kindara is the ability to email your chart to your practitioner. As a Naturopathic Doctor working in fertility, I find this very useful.
Side note: Kindara doesn’t leave you hanging. You can download your chart as a PDF and email it that way. Just one more step.
Flo is a common one used by my patients. You can actually choose how you want to use the app when you sign up – you can just track your cycle or you can leverage your fertile days – which makes this a good option for those not trying to get pregnant as well. Flo will also send you notifications to remind you were you’re at and what to expect in regards to your cycle. It’s a pretty and user-friendly interface. I also really like Flo’s symptom tracking options – you can track sex and sex drive, mood, a variety of PMS/menstrual symptoms, discharge, and more. Plus if you don’t see a symptom, they include a notes section like the others. The only downside with Flo is there’s no way to chart your BBT if that’s something you’re doing for fertility.
Now, all this being said I’m going to make a really large and important statement here.
Did you hear me?
This is super important if you’re trying to conceive and not working with a fertility practitioner. For example, Flo gives you a 10-day fertile window. This is just simply not the case. So while it’s important to track your cycle, if you all you are doing is tracking your period start and end dates then you will not have an accurate idea of when you’re ovulating.
I will also add that if you are tracking your cervical mucus, which is king when it comes to determining ovulation and fertile days, remember your app still won’t change when it tells you you’re ovulating. So logging these dates and seeing a trend in your charts is what truly makes cycle tracking a robust tool to improve fertility.
Now that you are armed with a few months of cycle information, it’s time to source out a healthcare practitioner who is well versed in fertility and can interpret your charts for you!
If you’d like to learn more on how HHA can help assist you on your fertility journey, click here.