Do Ovulation Apps Really Work? – We’ve Got the Inside Scoop

Do Ovulation Apps Really Work? – We’ve Got the Inside Scoop

I know what you’re thinking.  You download an ovulation app and you wonder if it really works.  Can it track my period? Does it really know when I’m ovulating?  Whether you are trying to start a family or prevent an unplanned pregnancy, it’s a lot of faith to put into a little square on your smartphone.  So, what’s the deal? Are they false hype to drive sales? Or can you ACTUALLY track your cycles on your phone? The short answer: YES!

Every woman’s body is different, this we know! We are all different shapes and sizes, inside and out, and our bodies run different courses.  This is something to keep in mind when choosing an app to help you track your period and ovulation.  Not every app is for everyone.  These are the two apps I am most familiar with and can say, loud and proud, are effective: Clue and Natural Cycles.*


Clue was created by a husband and wife team: the husband, a neurologist, and the wife, an entrepreneur. It’s easy, it’s user-friendly, and it prides itself on tracking cycle-related side effects: cramps, skin changes, greasy hair, mood swings, and weight changes.*  By downloading this app and filling in the information, you can track all the happenings within your body during your cycle.* Think of it as an ovulation diary.  Once you complete one full cycle, your analysis will become more detailed.  The best part? It even takes into account if you are or are not on birth control.

Natural Cycles

Natural Cycles was created by the particle physicist Dr. Elina Berglund who worked on the Higgs Boson discovery at CERN. She wanted to create an app that could actually measure your basal body temperature and let you know when you’re ovulating.* Using a thermometer to take your temperature daily and the days since your last period, Natural Cycles can track ovulation and make accurate predictions about when you are fertile.* During ovulation, a woman’s body temperature increases a small but significant amount.  It takes around 1-3 cycles for the app to get to know you, so there will be more “red days” in the beginning, where you will need to use some form of protection or abstain from sexual intercourse.  On average, there will be about 10 red days a cycle.  Unfortunately, Natural Cycles can’t be used while on a contraceptive pill. However, it’s a great option for those women who aren’t or can’t use hormonal birth control and want to increase or decrease their odds of getting pregnant.*

So, yes, at least these two ovulation apps work.  I know there are a plethora out there, but these two are the ones I have up close and personal experience with.

Having said that, there are some other factors that come into play when tracking ovulation: it isn’t clear how long sperm can live in the human body, and irregular tracking of temperature or your sex life can skew results.  So, human error can definitely come into play. I also wholeheartedly encourage your partner to be involved in your tracking endeavors.  Menstruation and ovulation are nothing to be shy or ashamed of.  It’s important for all parties to be in the know.

I highly recommend Natural Cycles and Clue, not only because I know they are effective, but also because of each of the creators behind them.* Each app is different but the knowledge, research, and passion behind them are evident. Give them a try!

Greenbrae - Marin County OB-GYN and Aesthetics

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La Follette OB-GYN and Aesthetics offers women’s comprehensive obstetric and gynecological care including high-risk prenatal care, well women care exams with STD testing and birth control choices, as well as minimally invasive surgeries and popular non-invasive lasers such as MonaLisa Touch, SculpSure, and Icon.

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