Not tonight, honey!

Trying to conceive? We review five apps that can help you track your menstrual cycle and predict the best days for baby-making.

Portrait of Tammy Strobel
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Trying to conceive? We review five apps that can help you track your menstrual cycle and predict the best days for baby-making.

It may be called the monthly cycle, but your body doesn’t always stick to the rules of regularity. Period-tracking apps can help predict your next menses, how far apart cycles may be, and warn you when your period is late. They can also help you monitor your emotions and energy levels in order to help you feel more in control of your body.


Free, from Apple App Store and Google Play

Glow gets straight to the point, asking whether you want to avoid pregnancy, conceive or need assistance with managing your fertility meds or IVF treatment. It’s not shy with its questions either, probing for details on your contraceptive method, how long you’ve been trying to conceive, whether you have children, and so on.

Plus, it wants all the details of your sex life: What position were you in when your husband last ejaculated? Did you have an orgasm? Did you check your cervical mucus (CM) by sticking a finger inside of you? Glow reveals your chances of conception in percentage form every day, gives tips on when to eat well, and pamper and indulge yourself.

It feels more like a health app than a period tracker, with its daily well-being and sex tips, a public forum, and a section for men so your husband can join you in the journey.


Good for those trying to get pregnant – it’s simple, easy to navigate, and I love how detailed it is.

Period Tracker Lite

Free, from Apple App Store and Google Play

Initially, I was uneasy with the uberfeminine interface – illustrated trees, butterflies and flowers are too twee for me. The other apps have clear signposting on how to set yourself up, but this can be confusing and leave you unsure of where to begin.

The calendar looks simple, but keying in basic information about intentions, height, weight, BMI, energy levels, moods, symptoms, and intimacy can be a hassle. Half of the screen is also left blank to write notes as you move through the month. In my case, I didn’t know what to write, and didn’t have the time.

Also, it would have been better for the app to tell me when I could be legitimately grumpy and why my skin was so blotchy, instead of me telling myself stuff.


Great if you have the dedication to explore the technology in order to get the best out of it.

My Days

Free, from Apple App Store and Google Play

There is too much emphasis on the design interface, with you being able to choose colours and gradients. Once you pass the shading and toning, you can get down to filling in your information, which is easy. Along with the usual questioning, My Days will ask you to gauge your percentage of happiness, plus everything else you may be feeling, from heartburn to the hiccups and nausea to headaches.

The chat room is very informative. Being able to back up data and send updates to Dropbox is helpful, too. Yet the tracker instantly reveals how long until your next period only when you're ovulating, and where you are in your cycle. I had to dig harder to discover more, which I didn’t always have time to do.


Reasonably helpful as a period tracker.

Kindara Fertility Tracker

Free, from Apple App Store and Google Play

This menstrual monitor gives you the option of four calendar designs and questions that are easily plotted on the screen after answering. You can even convert your cycle to a colour-coded graph afterwards. Once completed, you can get down to the nitty-gritty, including discovering that your basal temperature is everything.

The Kindara online community is a fantastic support group if you’re trying to conceive, as you can share your chart with fellow users. However, I didn’t really care about other users’ cervical mucus, although some participants definitely did, offering comments such as ‘Wow! You have a great shift on CD16.

And a nice luteal phase, too!’ This app sends notifications to check your breasts, and cervix positioning, fluid and temperature on a daily basis. Kindara founder Katy Bicknell also uploads self-help videos, making it a super interactive platform. It’s excellently executed, but the downside is that it could also become unnecessarily complicated.


Want to conceive? This is the perfect app, but be prepared to put in the hard work – and we don’t mean having sex!

Clue: Period & PMS Tracker

Free, from Apple App Store and Google Play

This is a good-looking app. For starters, there are no stereotypical sugary pink colours in sight. The design is clean and simple, which makes it straightforward to get to grips with. After keying in details regarding my previous period, fluid and pain levels, I could choose various formats to store the information, like on a calendar, in a circle or by timeline.

I chose the circle design. You can see your monthly pattern clearly, with the key part being the exact days you’re most fertile. The more input, the smarter the app becomes, so if you remember to fill in details about your mood, sex drive, energy levels and bedroom action, the more information it gives back, complete with medical and scientific references. After one cycle, it reminds you when your period is due.


Perfect for predicting your periods and knowing your body better without a science overload.

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How to increase your success rate

So, when is your body most fertile? Period-tracking apps may help take out the guesswork, but it’s good to understand these basic facts about your body, says Dr Christopher Ng, obstetrician and gynaecologist at GynaeMD Women’s & Rejuvenation Clinic.

OVULATION IS MOST LIKELY TO OCCUR at the midpoint of your menstrual cycle. If you have a consistent 28-day cycle, then ovulation is likely to begin around 14 days after the day your last period began. If you have a longer 32-day cycle, it is likely to begin around 18 days after your last period began.

WATCH FOR CERVICAL MUCUS CHANGES Just before ovulation, there’s an increase in clear, moist, vaginal secretions. These can resemble raw egg white. After ovulation, when the chances of becoming pregnant are slim, the discharge will become cloudy and sticky, or disappear entirely.

ONCE YOU OVULATE, the ovum can survive for around 24 hours, while sperm can survive for up to three days inside the womb. Your days of peak fertility are the day of ovulation and the two days prior to it. The more frequently you have sex during this fertile period, the better.

GET INTO POSITION There’s no scientific evidence to show that one sexual position is better than another. Just remember not to wash your vagina immediately after intercourse. Elevate your bum with pillows and lie on your back for 20 minutes. This gives the sperm ample time to swim from the upper vagina into the cervical canal and uterus. That’s why the missionary position (man on top) seems to be the most convenient.

TRY A SPERM-FRIENDLY VAGINAL LUBRICANT to prolong the survival of sperm. Since it also acts as a lubricant, it can help relieve the pain of intercourse due to vaginal dryness, a condition called dyspareunia.

LEAD A HEALTHY, RELAXED LIFESTYLE The best way is to start a family early when you and your spouse are both young. Stay fit and de-stress at the same time by exercising regularly. You should also have a balanced diet, take preconception vitamins along with folate, as well as avoid alcohol and smoking.