PCOS: There’s An App For That – Update

It’s been two months since I started using four different fertility apps and I think now would be a good time to review them again.
Because of all the issues I had after losing Lily, my body hasn’t settled into any sort of cycle yet, and right now none of the trackers are able to make anything near reliable predictions, so I can’t give any sort of feedback on accuracy yet. These reviews are really more about ease of use and what insights I can gain from the data I have entered.

screenshot_2016-02-17-21-41-54.pngOvia Ovulation and Period
The Good
I still love the look of this app. I like that the data it can collect is not just fertility but also overall health and it even has the option of tracking food. While I like the Fertility Forecast and Fertility Score ideas at the top of the homepage, I hardly pay attention to them right now because there’s not much they can tell me based on my extremely wacky non-cycle.
The items that show up in my news feed have been very interesting. There are little tidbits and factoids and then recipes for healthy meals. There have also been longer articles about things like how having a miscarriage affects the next pregnancy physically and emotionally, irregular periods, the role of your doctor when trying to conceive, healthy living, and finances to name a few. My news feed has also directed me to information on PCOS a few times based on the data I have entered, and I have to say I like that because if I didn’t already have that diagnosis getting that info might be very helpful.

The Bad
I don’t like that I have to scroll through numbers to set my weight. I am a good bit heavier than the app’s default weight and it just makes me feel bad to have to keep scrolling and scrolling, so I’ve stopped using it.
The section called MyQ still baffles me, and I avoid it now because it was never made clear what it’s purpose is.

The Ugly
I know this app is still baffled by me. It believes that I have had two cycles now, and that they were both 18 days long. It is predicting my period will start in two days… but it predicted yesterday that my period would start two days from yesterday, and the day before that it predicted it would start today. It has retroactively changed it’s fertile window with each adjustment of it’s period prediction.

Clue – Period Tracker
I must confess, I didn’t even make it a month using this tracker. The more information I added and the more information I received from the other three trackers, the more useless Clue seemed. I could set reminders to track my BBT (basal body temperature), I could check off that I did my BBT in the morning, but I couldn’t actually input my BBT into this tracker, and according to all three of the other apps BBT is one of the best ways to see if ovulation has occurred.
After a month I deleted it from my phone.

screenshot_2016-02-17-21-45-04.pngFertility Friend Tracker
The Good
I feel like this app is working from a lot of data. I can’t explain it, but it feels to me like it’s an experienced older sister that knows a lot, and thinks she knows everything.
I like that on the same page you can see both the calendar and the BBT graph.
At the top left of the main screen is an icon of a thermometer. This makes it pretty easy to track my BBT early in the morning when I’m not awake.

The Bad
I still don’t like how data is collected. It was slightly customizable so it doesn’t take me as long, or make me as frustrated as when I first started, but it’s still a pain to track.
The app doesn’t offer a lot of insights now that my free trial of the VIP membership is over, but because of my very irregular “cycles” many of the VIP insights didn’t work for me anyways.
Between the calendar and the chart there is a little box that I have often confused for an ad. It’s actually where they hide their tidbits about fertility, tracking and trying to conceive. Every time I log in there’s a different tidbit that may link to an article. I rarely read them though because I keep mistaking them for ads and just scroll right by. And because it’s a different tidbit every time I log on, even if I see one I’d like to read, if I don’t do so right then and there, it’s gone.
The BBT chart shows coloured in circles when the app believes that the temp was entered properly. It shows empty circles when it believes the temp was entered improperly (like at the wrong time or something). I have been diligent about checking my temp at 6:30 every morning since I started tracking. I haven’t made any mistakes and I am annoyed at how many of my temperatures it puts an empty circle for.

The Ugly
Those empty circles are just one of the ways that this app lets me know it’s confused by me. It has been trying to predict my next period, and still shows a predicted start date of a week ago, and another predicted start date of tomorrow. This app believes I am still in my first cycle and that cycle is now 63 days long (I think if any of the apps is right about my current cycle, it might be this one). It gives me a fertile window and then takes that window away a few days after it would be done and moves it a week or two later.

Glow – Ovulation & Fertility
The Good
When I started this app was possibly my favourite. Now I’m not so sure. I still like how you input data. I like making sure I get 100% in every category whenever possible. I like when it gives me insights based on my data. I even like the surveys that sometimes pop up even though they aren’t always the most relevant.

The Bad
I think my biggest complaint about this app is the community. I have gotten alerts that some topic is getting a lot of traffic in the community and find that it is something I don’t want to take any part in: “help, I just caught my partner doing stuff with another woman!” “Is it normal to get excited when by your partner doing stuff with someone else?” No thanks. Really at this point in my fertility journey, there is no part of me that wants to be a part of that online community regardless of the topics of conversation.
This app also doesn’t give me as much information to peruse as the others. I’m also still underwhelmed by the calendar and the BBT graphing.

The Ugly
This app thinks I’m on my third cycle. It thinks that my first two were both 20 days long. It doesn’t let me track any sort of bleeding unless I edit my period to mark that blood as part of a period, even though it might not be a period; some women experience implantation bleeding… and some women bleed for a hella long time after a loss (like me). This app has told me every day since Sunday that I was going to start my period that day, and every day I have had to edit my period to say that it’s late, then it bumps the predicted start date ahead by two days then the next day says it’s supposed to start that day (last time I checked Friday wasn’t two days after Thursday).

So, right now I’m not seeing a clear winner out of these apps. I will keep with them for a bit longer and probably give another update.

In other news, I go back to my old fertility specialist on March 10th. There’s a long story about why we decided not to switch to someone more local, but that’s for another post.

2 thoughts on “PCOS: There’s An App For That – Update

  1. I wonder if you’d feel any different about these apps if you used their web pages (if they have one) as opposed to apps that try to cram everything into a mobile space. I’ve been using Fertilty Friend for a year now, and adore it. It doesn’t help me predict my period at all, because I have irregular periods (anywhere from 25 to 58 days long), there’s nothing the site can do to help that. BUT once my BBT rises, it has successfully every single time predicted when my period will start, thanks to a steady luteal phase that only varies by a day or two (10-13 days). I don’t bother with OPK or cervical fluid, I just keep track of BBT, spotting, and sex.

    I’m also puzzled by the blank circles on yours. You can set a default time on the web page so you don’t have to do that each day, mine is 4:30am since that’s around when I check. I haven’t had any problems with it giving me odd readings. I just fill in the BBT, and not the time.

    • I did look at the website options back in Januay, but I spend such an infrequent amount of time on the computer that I didn’t really get into the websites for the ones that have them. And by my memory the only one that offered a lot through the web page was Fertile Focus, which is the one you use.

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