period tracking app

What your Period Tracking Apps won’t tell you (and might tell others)

In 2022, with there being an app for pretty much everything, it is not a surprise that millions of menstruators use period tracking apps. Also often used by those who are trying to get pregnant, some apps also give you an approximate date of when you would be ovulating or what phase of your cycle you are on. Period tracking apps are helpful sources of information, no doubt about it! However, how confidential is the information that you share with your period tracking app? 

Often for the purpose of analyzing accurate information, period tracking apps ask their users to provide details of their menstrual cycle, sex life and to even disclose whether or not they are having unprotected sex. Not too long ago, one of the most downloaded period tracking apps that’s claimed to have over 100 million users was in the news. The app had been accused of sharing information about its user data with third-party vendors such as Facebook and Google.

How is this relevant to you? 

Period tracking apps could be collecting non-consensual information about you and sharing it with others. This could be information regarding the type of flow you have, frequency of your sexual intercourse encounters and even your masturbatory habits. The more details you share, the more vulnerable you could potentially become. If the option is enabled, your phone also has access to your location and therefore information on places you have recently visited. 

Period Tracking Apps: Keep or Delete?

While there is no correct answer to should you keep or delete your period tracking app, a useful step could be to go through their privacy policies thoroughly and make an informed decision for yourself. 

For many menstruators, period tracking apps are a boon and can help them prepare for their period (ensure they have access to sanitary care products and facilities). For many in India, a country in which over 80% of menstruators do not have access to proper sanitary care, having the ability to plan could mean protecting themselves from societal shaming. Knowing when to expect their periods could also help them plan their work/ studies accordingly and reduce the amount of missed opportunities they may face due to the unexpected onset of their periods.

So do you use a period tracking app? We would love to hear about how it has helped you or why you choose not to use one. Do DM us on Instagram with your views!

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