There are few things more terrifying in life than finding out you are pregnant when you don’t want to be, or testing negative month after month when you do want to be pregnant. There is certainly a reason babies are referred to as “bundles of joy”; but the fact of the matter is that they are a ton of work and require lots of money, and it’s serious business when you are entirely responsible for someone’s life. On the other hand, if you always envisioned yourself as a parent, it can be devastating to find out it might not be in the cards for you. Either way, you might have some control by tracking your fertility and using that information to plan accordingly.
Luckily, fertility app options have been fruitful and multiplied. Just as no two human bodies are the same, each fertility app varies in terms of features and effectiveness. Descriptions of “beautiful menstruation charts” made me laugh, but it might be right up your alley. But let us do the work of sorting and showing you your best options, let the apps figure out when you are most fertile, and all that’s left for you to do is have fun doing the deed itself.
Mother nature has a way of letting you know when you’re most fertile, but she doesn’t send you a text. Fertility Friend makes it a little easier to identify and record the signs. The basic app is free, but it’s the premium membership ($45/year) that helps you track those nitty gritty fertility details, such as the amount of cervical fluid you are producing and basal body temperature, to give you an intercourse timing analysis. Out of all the apps, Fertility Friend has been in this game the longest, and has assisted in making 650,000 + pregnancies possible over 15 years.
What’s pretty awesome about this app is not only the fact that it has a free payment option, but that you also have the option of donating to a program that can be used for fertility treatments if you don’t see results in 10 months. Another feature that you won’t see in too many other apps is male fertility tracking, as it’s so often overlooked that it takes two to tango. You also get a daily health log, and Glow can sync to other apps like MyFitnessPal. Additionally, your data can be connected to that of your partner’s, and the app lends its support to women who choose to use intrauterine insemination, in vitro fertilization, or other fertility treatments. Although these features keep it in our list, it should be noted that Glow didn’t score very well on accuracy in a study published by the American Board of Family Medicine.
Download: Glow Ovulation and Fertility
Like some of the others, Kindara relies on cervical fluid levels and basal body temperature; but unlike the others, it syncs to an oral thermometer called Wink to help you determine your temperature accurately. The app then plugs these values, along with information about menstruation and frequency of intercourse, into a program that creates user-friendly charts. The app includes support for those who suffer from polycystic ovarian syndrome. Although Kindara did score well in terms of accuracy and use of modern fertility based methods, it should be noted that the app does not necessarily predict your fertility window. Instead, it records your observations for your use. Still, it can be considered one of the best fertility tracker apps, but only if you already know what you are doing—i.e. you already know how to read these charts.
Download: Kindara Fertility & Ovulation
5. Dot Fertility & Period Tracker
What makes this app outstanding is how easy it is to use. Simply plug in the start and end dates of your period to receive advice on how to get pregnant, prevent pregnancy, or to predict your period up to six months out in the future. Dot uses a new method called Dynamic Optimal Timing. Dot Pro allows you to send texts or emails to keep your partner in the loop.
Download: Dot Fertility & Period Tracker
6. Period Tracker
Waiting until you are starting your period in public is no way to live and can be potentially humiliating. Get a handle on both when your period will take place and when you will be the most fertile with Period Tracker. You can make the app look the way you want it to, with personalized fonts and themes. If you don’t want to bother with any of that, you can simply press a button at the beginning of your period each month, or you can document every symptom you are experiencing. It’s up to you.
Although I didn’t start using Ovia until after I was already pregnant, I looked forward to using the pregnancy companion app everyday thereafter. The fertility app does get detailed, asking you to document seemingly unrelated information, such as how you are sleeping and eating (although who doesn’t feel like scarfing down a hamburger and chocolate when you are PMSing?). It will even ask you questions about the position of your cervix, which can be a little awkward to try to assess. Despite its invasiveness, the app was developed by Harvard scientists and fertility experts, so you aren’t being asked strange questions for no reason. I really enjoyed the pregnancy app, and think that you might find this app to be one of the best fertility tracking apps.
Download: Ovia Fertility Tracker
9. Natural Cycles
This app boasts of 99.9% accuracy, basing its methods on biostatistic and your own temperature readings. The actual accuracy rate might be slightly less when it comes to predicting fertility; according to a study published by the American Board of Family Medicine, but it other studies (cited by the app’s pearl index of .5, which is the most common method used in clinical trials) and users indicate it does do well at contraception, and these go hand-in-hand. You can have Natural Cycles free for one month to get you hooked, but then it’s $6.90 per month. If you, like myself, don’t care for hormones or chemicals and the side effects that come with birth control, this app is an interesting alternative. And the flip side of the fertility based contraceptive coin is, well, fertility. The app has a Plan a Pregnancy mode.
Download: Natural Cycles
People have been using modern science for family planning quite successfully for many years (i.e., it’s not as common to have 10 kids in a family unless you just want to; or it’s a requirement of your religion to rely on something like the rhythm method, and your rhythm is just too good). So why not integrate modern technology? You should pick the app that’s right for you; however. Some apps, like Kindara, have excellent charting abilities; but unless you know how to interpret these charts, you might be better off with an app that does that part for you as well—like Lady Cycle. Ideally, you should only have to worry about having fun with the act of potential baby-making, and let the app do the rest.