3. After you delete your app, ask the app provider to delete your data. Just because you’ve removed the app from your phone doesn’t mean the company has gotten rid of your records. In fact, California is the only state that legally requires them to delete your data. However, many companies are willing to delete it upon request. Here’s a helpful guide from The Washington Post on how you can do this.
Here’s how to safely track your period without an app.
1. Use a spreadsheet. It’s relatively easy to re-create the functions of a period tracker in a spreadsheet by listing the dates of your previous periods and calculating the average duration from the first day of one to the first day of the next. You can turn to one of the many templates already available online, such as the Period Tracker created by Aufrichtig and the Menstrual Calendar and Period Tracker created by Laura Cutler. If you enjoy the science-y aspect of period apps, the templates offer the ability to send reminders about upcoming periods, record symptoms, and track blood flow.
2. Use a digital calendar. If spreadsheets make you dizzy and your entire life is already on a digital calendar, try making your period a recurring event, suggests Emory University student Alexa Mohsenzadeh, who made a TikTok video demonstrating the process.
Mohsenjadeh says she doesn’t miss the apps. “I can tailor it to my needs and add notes about how I’m feeling and see if it correlates to my period,” she says. “You have to input it once.”
3. Go analog and use a notebook or paper planner. We’re a technology publication, but the safest way to keep your menstrual data from being accessed by others is to take it offline. You can invest in a paper planner or use a notebook to track your period and how you feel.
If that seems like too much work and you’re looking for a simple, no-nonsense template, try the free, printable menstrual cycle diary available from the University of British Columbia Menstruation and Ovulation Research Center.
4. If your state is unlikely to ban abortion, you should still be able to safely use a period-tracking app. Choosing one that has clear privacy settings and has publicly promised not to share user data with authorities is crucial. Quintin says Clue is a good choice because it adheres to EU privacy laws and has gone on the record promising not to share information with authorities.