Now, I have been getting my period since the age of eleven. When I first got my period, my mum told me that so I knew when my next period was due, I had to count thirty days on the calendar from when my last period started and put an asterisk on the date my next period was due. This later transferred to me trying to work this out on my phone calendar, where I would set a reminder so I knew a few days in advance so I could prepare myself, such as by making sure I had enough sanitary pads and tampons to last and any foods I was craving so I didn't end up eating all of the food in the house. This was probably the biggest bain of my life. That was, until, I discovered the Flo app...
One of the first things you will be asked to do when you first get the app is to enter the dates of your last period from when it started to when it ended (obviously these dates don't have to be exact, but the more accurate you can be the better). This then allows the app to calculate when your next cycle is going to start, along with your ovulation dates if you are trying to get pregnant (or trying to avoid pregnancy - which obviously, in this case, you should use contraception). The app can calculate all future period and ovulation prediction dates, but not everyone's cycle will be the exact same length each time so each time your period starts, try and remember to log your period date (along with when it ends) to get a more accurate prediction.
Throughout your cycle, Flo gives you the option to track your weight, how long you have been sleeping, how much water you've drunk, whether you've had sex, what your mood is, your symptoms, whether you've had vaginal discharge, and anything else you may be experiencing. This can then allow the app, as long as you update this regularly, to see what you regularly experience while going through each menstrual cycle, particularly when on your period, so it can then track when any of these things you are experiencing changes. I will admit that I don't usually use this feature of the app as I completely forget to do so, but when I do use it, it is normally during the first two or three days of my period.
One feature of the app that I have only just realised is available, is that it lets you choose what your goal is between tracking your cycle, getting pregnant, and tracking your pregnancy. Obviously my goal is just to track my cycle as I have no intention of trying to get pregnant anytime soon and definitely do not need to track my non-existent pregnancy. I couldn't look at the getting pregnant goal as that would mean having to change my goal entirely which I didn't want to risk doing. However the tracking your pregnancy goal lets you see a countdown to your due date, get daily health insights and information on your baby's development, and track your weight, nutrition, and other lifestyle factors.
Another feature of the app is your health profile. This requires you to answer forty questions with multiple choice answers all about your menstrual cycle and your period, such as the things you experience around and during it. This allows the app to learn more about your cycle, therefore enabling them to tailor various features of the app to suit your needs. It also compares your answers to the answers of other app users, which enables you to see how similar your experiences with your menstrual cycle and period are to that of other people. This is something I have found very helpful when using the app and have noticed that whenever I log my period and the little chatbot comes up, they base some of the features in that chat from your answers in your health profile.
This feature of the app is a general overview of your cycle and period in the form of graphs. By continuously uploading your data about your period, it manages to find out an average, e.g. your average cycle/period length. Then, each time you enter your data, it can compare one cycle/period to your average. For example, my average cycle length is 32 days and apart from the one cycle that was 37 days long, my cycles are all fairly on average. My average period length is also 6 days and pretty much all of my period lengths have been 6 days, apart from the odd one or two where they are about a day out. Also on this feature, there is how many kilometres you walk during this cycle and what your mood is like for each cycle. I haven't included images of these as I don't use these features, but they're still really useful to have, particularly the one that tracks your mood.
So those are the features of the Flo app. I have been using this app for two or three years and I honestly couldn't be without it for the world. It is available for free on the App store and on Google Play, but you can upgrade to premium where more features will be available to you, but honestly, as someone who doesn't have premium, I don't think it's completely necessary for you to get it. If you have any other questions about this app then please feel free to contact me. My contact details are in the contacts tab at the top of the page, and that is for Twitter, Instagram, and my email. But you can also use that for absolutely anything else you would like to talk to me about. And if you do download the Flo app (if you don't already have it) then please let me know your thoughts and feelings on it in the comments below; whether you use it for tracking your period (like me), or if you use it to help you try and get pregnant or to track your pregnancy.
Love Beth xx