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How to track your period

Know when your next period is coming and how to predict PMS, ovulation, and other symptoms.

At a basic level, tracking your period can remind you when your next period is coming.

But there’s more to your menstrual cycle than just your period: tracking every day can help you understand all the cyclical symptoms that you experience, from PMS to acne to headaches and more.

(If you're new here: we're Clue, a menstrual cycle tracking app and online resource about menstrual and reproductive health. We’re biased, but we think Clue is the best period tracking app.)

Should I track my period?

Tracking your period can help you understand the patterns of symptoms that you experience throughout your menstrual cycle—from pain, to cravings, to sex drive. Tracking can give you a better idea of when you are fertile, which may be helpful if you’re trying to become pregnant.

The basics: How to get started tracking your period

In this article we’ll talk about the features in the Clue app, but you can use this info with almost any tracking app.

When you open your app, you’ll be asked a series of questions about your period and birth control type. Answer the questions as best you can, but don’t worry if you don’t remember the exact date of your last period. The Clue app will fine-tune your predictions as you continue to track.

If you want to change your birth control options in the future, you can do so by going to your profile in the Clue menu.

Track your period, PMS, cravings, and more in the Clue app.

  • Download the Clue app on the App Store
  • Download the Clue app on the Play Store
an image of 3 mobile screens of the Clue app

How to enter your period in Clue:

  1. Tap the green + button

  2. Choose light, medium, or heavy bleeding to track your period

Spotting is used to indicate bleeding that happens outside of your period.

The cycle view of the Clue app, showing the green + button, and the period tracking screen of the Clue app.

How to calculate when your next period is due

You can view your past and future period dates in the Clue calendar. Past periods are shown as red squares, and your next 3 periods are shown as light red squares.

The calendar view of the Clue app, showing past periods and predicted dates for the next period.

Track other symptoms in Clue

  1. After you’ve tracked bleeding, swipe left to track other symptoms, like pain, emotions, or sleep.

  2. You can add extra tracking options by tapping the grey circle with a + inside at the end of the tracking screen, or by going to the Menu and tapping “Tracking options”.

  3. For anything you want to track that is not covered by Clue’s existing tracking categories, use Custom Tags.

The exercise tracking screen of the Clue app, and the Tracking Options menu.

Keep your data safe by creating an account

When you have a Clue account and you are logged in, your data is stored safely on our EU-based servers. You’ll be able to re-login from any device. This means you can easily recover everything you’ve tracked in Clue if you get a new phone, or if your phone is lost or broken.

Beyond the basics: learn about your menstrual cycle

Set a reminder so you’ll never forget to track

To set yourself a daily reminder to track in Clue, go to the Menu, then tap Reminders. You can customize your reminders with your own text and emojis! 🙂 You can also set reminders for when your period or PMS is coming up.

Add your past periods in Clue

You can add past periods and other symptoms by going to the calendar view and tapping any day in the past.

Understand where you are in your menstrual cycle

Clue’s home screen shows you an overview of your current menstrual cycle. The cycle begins with the first day of your period (day one of your menstrual cycle).

View detailed information about your periods and menstrual cycle

When your healthcare provider asks, “When was your last period?” you can simply grab your phone and tap on the calendar icon to show them your last periods in the calendar. You can also see a list of your past cycles, and your cycle averages by going to the Analysis screen (the icon for Analysis looks like a little line graph).

The calendar in the Clue app showing past period dates, and the analysis view of the Clue app showing detailed information about previous menstrual cycles.

On the right side of the screen, you can see a summary of how long your cycles have been. Period days for each cycle are shown in red, the estimated ovulation day is indicated with a star, and if you’ve tracked PMS those days are shown in blue.

This section of the Clue app also shows your typical cycle length (the number of days between the first day of your period and the day before your next period starts), your typical period length (the number of days of bleeding each cycle), and the typical cycle length variation (a measure of your cycle’s changes from one cycle to the next.)

Next level: Gain a deeper understanding of your menstrual cycle and fertility

Track every day to discover patterns in your symptoms

If you simply track your period in Clue, you will be able to view your cycle averages and future period predictions, but when you track every day of your menstrual cycle, you can gain a whole new understanding of your body. Daily tracking can help you to find out whether the symptoms you experience are related to your individual cycle—from headaches, to greasy hair or high sex drive.  

Trying to conceive? Check your ovulation day

The days leading up to, including, and immediately after ovulation are the days in your cycle when it is possible to get pregnant. In Clue, the predicted day of ovulation is shown indicated with a star.

Please note that Clue is currently not designed to be a contraceptive. If avoiding pregnancy is important to you, you should never rely on the predicted ovulation day for birth control. Your body is not a clock, and you will not always ovulate at the same time each cycle. The predicted ovulation day is just an estimate and may never be your actual ovulation day. Use birth control to avoid pregnancy.

If you are currently taking hormonal birth control and have entered it in your profile in the Clue app, then your ovulation day will not be displayed. If you're taking hormonal birth control and haven't entered it, please do that now, so Clue can give you the best tracking experience possible.

Please note: Clue monitors your cycle using the latest research from our academic and clinical collaborators and our guidelines do not replace the advice of a healthcare provider.

an illustration of the Clue flower
an illustration of the Clue flower

Live in sync with your cycle and download the Clue app today.

An image of a white person's hand holding a smartphone with Clue's cycle view visible.

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Next level period tracking: 5 more tips for tracking your period in Clue

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an illustration of the Clue flower
an illustration of the Clue flower

Live in sync with your cycle and download the Clue app today.