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.
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How to enter your period in Clue:
Tap the green + button
Choose light, medium, or heavy bleeding to track your period
Spotting is used to indicate bleeding that happens outside of your period.
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.
Track other symptoms in Clue
After you’ve tracked bleeding, swipe left to track other symptoms, like pain, emotions, or sleep.
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”.
For anything you want to track that is not covered by Clue’s existing tracking categories, use Custom Tags.
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, PMS or fertile window 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).
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 in blue, and if you’ve tracked PMS those days are shown in green.
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 fertile window
The fertile window is comprised of the days leading up to, including, and immediately after ovulation. These are the days in your cycle when it is possible to get pregnant. In Clue the fertile window is shown in blue, with the predicted day of ovulation is shown indicated with a blue star.
Please note that Clue is currently not designed to be a contraceptive. If avoiding pregnancy is important to you, you shouldn’t rely on Clue for birth control. The “fertile window” that appears in Clue may align with your own actual fertile window often, sometimes, or never.
If you are currently taking hormonal birth control and have entered it in your profile in the Clue app, then your fertile window will not be displayed.
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.