Now that my menstrual cycle has gone a bit haywire, I’m in need of a good period-tracking app. The one I’m currently using has a calendar full of moons and stars, and the app’s icon is a cat wearing a bow tie, sitting on a crescent moon. The whole concept isn’t working for me—probably because I’m not a 14-year-old Japanese girl.
Yes, I realize that Japan is a hotbed of technological innovation, but leaving app design to a culture that’s responsible for both Hello Kitty and tentacle porn is a surefire way to end up with something so “cute” it’s basically inappropriate. If a cat in a bow tie is the first thing that comes to mind when you think of a bleeding womb, I’m not sure you should be in this business.
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It seems as if app developers need some help in this department, so here are five ideas for better period trackers. Which one of these apps sounds right for you?
1. Strawberry Passion Awareness
Inspired by the Fruitopia flavor of the mid-90s, this app is all about peace, love, and flowers. A ukulele version of “Over the Rainbow” begins two days before your scheduled period, as a reminder to “be in the moment” and “go with the flow.” (The socially-conscious among you may instead choose the seven-minute version of Bob Dylan’s “It’s Alright Ma (I’m Only Bleeding),” made available by special license.)
2. Red Right Return
Like the Lilly Pulitzer® pattern of the same name, Red Right Return has everything the upper-middle-class woman loves, including: classic elegance, garish patterns, and an expensive price tag. If you upgrade to the premium version (and of course, you will), you can sync up with and track the cycles of your sorority sisters. Whenever you lose your way in the sea of menstruation, let Red Right Return guide you home again.
Are you a bold, unapologetic menstruater? Then you’ll be “gushing” to your friends about this no-nonsense period tracker. Butcher’s knives appear on the seven calendar days leading up to your period as a fun way to let you know when you might be feeling stabby. The “MyGush” feature also lets you choose from among several alarms, including the music from the shower scene in Psycho, the music from the elevator scene in The Shining, and of course, the theme song from Jaws.
It’s spelled with an X, ’cause that’s how bitches spell it. Bitchtrax isn’t just an app; it’s a rock-and-roll experience. When you use Bitchtrax, you won’t be able to tell whether you’re menstruating or recording a hard rock album. Joan Jett and Pat Benatar will wish they weren’t menopausal when this app goes big. Did I mention the alarm tone is a sweet guitar riff? Bitchtraaaaax!
Wither is perfect for you late-thirties and early-forties women who are tracking your ovulation and hoping to conceive. Its calendar features the faces of happy infants on your fertile days, but when your monthly period arrives, their eyeballs turn into tiny X’s—as if by magic!—to signify the passing of yet another opportunity to procreate. Do you hear that “poof” sound? That’s your ovaries, coughing up dust.
Oh, never mind. It’s just your phone.