Whether you’re interested in having a family one day but you’re holding off for now, you’re currently trying to get pregnant, or you’re not sure you ever want to have kids, your level of fertility is an important concern. And for women, all of these situations can require careful monitoring of the monthly menstrual cycle. But we’re not all programmed on the ideal, 28-day schedule, unless we’re taking some form of hormonal birth control. And this can make it hard to tell when ovulation is occurring, not to mention which days are a prime window to attempt (or avoid) conception. As most women are well aware, tracking on a regular calendar can be a bit iffy. So if you’re interested in family planning of one stripe or another, you might be looking for options that allow you more reliable tracking capabilities. And believe it or not, there’s a mobile application that could help.
Woman Calendar for the iPhone and iPad is touted as a “powerful fertility awareness tool”. While women have found ways to track their cycles for time immemorial as a method of either conceiving or avoiding pregnancy, this app seeks to hone the process in order to help users become more familiar with their particular bodily rhythms and ultimately, reach their fertility goals. Of course, this comprehensive menstrual tracker will set you back ten bucks, which is a lot more than competitors like Ovulator, Lily, or the freebie Menstrual Calendar. But it also provides you with sophisticated functionality that the others can’t hold a candle to. Here’s what you’ll get for the money.
You can start simply enough by using the calendar feature to track your monthly menstrual cycle. All you have to do is input the day your period starts. Then you can check any date on the calendar to see how far along you are in your cycle. In general, ovulation tends to occur between days 11 and 21, and since the body tends to release only one egg at a time, and it only lives about 12-24 hours after leaving the ovary, you generally have a pretty narrow window for pregnancy to occur, and it is impossible to pinpoint exactly when that might be. That said, knowing the days of your cycle is certainly a good place to start. But Woman Calendar gives you a lot more options to target ovulation.
You can also enter pertinent biological information including your basal body temperature (BBT) and weight, for example, and you can track conditions such as PMS, cramps, and cervical fluid, not to mention your sexual activities during a given cycle. If you know your date of ovulation you can add that, as well. All of this data can be useful in determining when you are most likely to ovulate, which can help you immensely whether you’re trying to start a family, you want to store eggs at a California cryobank, or you’re attempting to hold off without other forms of birth control (although the family planning, or fertility awareness method is by no means foolproof).
Once you’ve started to enter information you can view it on the calendar, via charts and graphs, or in a spreadsheet. And best of all, you can print and email reports for your doctor’s perusal. Woman Calendar won’t increase or decrease your fertility, and it certainly can’t guarantee pregnancy or stop you from conceiving. What it can do is give you valuable information that will allow you to become familiar with your menstrual norms, spot trends, and hopefully take control of your overall fertility so that you can practice the family planning method of your choice. The ease of use and peace of mind it can provide are well worth the ten bucks you’ll shell out for the download.