Tracking your period is an art and a science rooted in women learning to listen to the signs their bodies were giving them indicating when they were fertile and when they can expect to start menstruating. Modern technology assisted in streamlining the process but the underlying principles haven’t changed at all.

The very first period tracker
An anthropology professor at Cambridge University showed her class a photo of a bone with 28 incisions carved in it. “This is often considered to be man’s first attempt at a calendar” she explained. She then said “My question to you is this – what man needs to mark 28 days? I would suggest to you that this is a woman’s first attempt at a calendar.”

The Ishango Bone is rumored to be the first period tracker. Period trackers aren’t a particularly new concept, however, with the digitization of our lives, these trackers now have an algorithm generated platform to make our lives easier.

Period trackers aim to make understanding your period, preparing for it and understanding your body easier. They help identify any irregularities, imbalances etc. making the overall experience of menstruation much smoother by giving you a sense of control.

When period tracking apps were first introduced they took the health-tech industry by a storm.

The first question that is raised is on accuracy, are they really reliable?
The answer is that if you have a regular ovulatory circle and are habitually updating the app, the tracker will be 99% reliable for you, according to Women’s Health Magazine.

So, which app should you use?

There are so many different apps on the market and while each has its own algorithm, the results primarily depend on how regularly the user updates the app with their dates, symptoms etc. The Apple and Android App Stores are full of period trackers that women from all over the world use, the most popular ones are:

1. Clue
Clue’s modern interface and multiple options to customise what you can track make it a favorite for doctors and regular users.

2. Flo
Flo is perhaps one of the most popular period tracking apps worldwide and one of the most popular in Pakistan for tracking periods.
Flo uses all your information and turns it into inforgraphics to see trends. It also has a pregnancy tracker because you have the option to record sexually active days in the app.

3. Period Tracker Period Calendar

Period Tracker Period Calendar is the top reviewed Period Tracker on Google. The reason being that this app is simple, straight forward and easy to navigate throug.

Here’s what I found out…

In a short, quantitative research that I conducted for this article, 67 women based in Islamabad, Pakistan were asked if they used period tracking apps. 63% participants said that they did, 21 out of these 41 participants said that they used Flo. The second most used app is Clue.

Participants also mentioned that tracking their cycle makes them feel like they are in control i.e. preparing for their period mentally and physically makes them feel less helpless in front of their period.

Tracking your cycle allows you to understand the patterns of your menstrual cycle, helps you follow your ovulation, informs you about the changes in your mood which can help you manage them better and it increases your awareness of your overall health. While there are some amazing apps available to track your cycle, you can always use a calendar or keep a diary to chart your period as well, so start tracking NOW!