When the US Supreme Court overturned Roe vs. Wade on June 24th, a chorus of “delete your period tracking apps” chimed across social media. (Ironically, this advice seemed to have the opposite effect, with downloads of these apps actually doubling in the days post-Roe.)
You may be wondering: Why should I delete my teen's period tracking app?
Apparently, the disturbing reality is that the personal data collected by these period tracker apps can be subpoenaed by law enforcement and used to build criminal cases against people who pursue abortions in states where they are illegal. "Simply, do not trust what companies are doing with your data," Ann Cavoukian, founder of the International Council on Global Privacy and Security by Design, told the CBC.
Further reading: How to put in a tampon
Some critics have suggested that data collected by popular period tracking apps is far less likely to be used as incriminating evidence than one’s text messages and internet search history, so it’s hard to gauge just how much of a threat these period tracking apps (which we reviewed a few years back) actually represent. Either way, it’s completely understandable if you no longer feel comfortable giving away your teen's personal data to normal period trackers knowing it could potentially be used against you.
Due to these privacy concerns you may want to consider deleting your family's period app. However, there are still a ton of benefits to tracking your period.
Reasons to track your menstrual cycle
Being able to track your menstrual cycle can be an extremely useful tool for a number of reasons. One of the main reasons is because it can help your teen keep up with any changes that may occur during their cycle and whether or not these changes are normal. Tracking their period also helps to see if there is anything that can be done to reduce the pain and discomfort that comes with menstruation.
Not only does it help them keep track of past menstrual cycles and predict when their next period will start, but it also helps them prepare mentally and physically for what's coming next.
There are many tracking options, but we recommend using a printable calendar that has space for each day of the month so that they don't miss any days or make mistakes when filling out the information about their body's monthly cycle.
If they're ready to say goodbye to their period tracker app, or simply interested in a more analog way of getting to know their cycle, we’ve created a printable PDF tracker where they can record information on their cycle the old-fashioned way. In our opinion, it's the best period tracker out there :)
How does it work?
Simply download the tracker and they can begin recording every symptom they experience throughout the month. Once their period begins, they can record the flow intensity for each day. Over time, they'll start to recognize patterns in mood and symptoms, and be better prepared for what’s to come. It may turn out that the sudden sneak attack of the munchies wasn't so sudden after all.
Just remember, their first period and the first few years of having a menstrual cycle may be irregular in terms of length of cycle, intensity of flow, and how often they get their period. Periods occur irregularly over this period as the body adjusts. Read more about what to expect with their first period here.