Track your cycles

Since Molly wrote about the benefit to paying close attention to the rhythms of her cycle, I wanted to share some practical resources for getting started.

First, Taking Charge of Your Fertility is the best book I know on the subject. It can teach you how your cycle works, how to use evidence like basal body temperature and cervical fluid changes to get a really good understanding of your personal cycle, and how to implement that knowledge for birth control or pregnancy achievement.

To put this body information together wíth spiritual practice, there’s Lucy’s Integrated Moon Chart which “combines the biological and spiritual aspects of your cycle to give you a deeper understanding of your own rhythms, so that you can find balance within yourself.” This chart can help you see how the monthly cycle involves so much more than fertility. Also, the Pagan basal body temperature chart from Maiden to Mother lets you see how your cycle compares with the moon’s cycle.

You already know I like to turn to you all to generate collective knowledge. I asked about cycle tracking on Facebook and these were the apps you suggested: My Days, iPeriod, OvuView, and Monthly Cycles. I looked at them and, while I’m glad there are so many apps available, I was honestly disappointed. These could be useful for basic record-keeping, but most of the apps out there tend to be super-pink, sex- and menstrual-negative, and limited in the data they can collect.

So I was excited when a few days later I happened to get an email from Colin, the developer of Selene, “an iPhone app to help you chart your ovulatory cycles simply, powerfully and beautifully.” I like that the app isn’t pink, doesn’t assume trying to achieve pregnancy, and includes positive cycle “symptoms” so, for example, you can notice when in the month you’re feeling energetic.

I’ll ask here too: if you track your cycles, what tools do you find useful?

About Sarah Whedon

Sarah Whedon is founding editor of Pagan Families, the author of Birth on the Labyrinth Path: Sacred Embodiment in the Childbearing Year, and former Chair of the Department of Theology and Religious History at Cherry Hill Seminary. Sarah’s teaching, research, and advocacy work center around topics of spirituality, feminism, and reproduction. She makes her home in the Boston area with her partner and their children.

  • http://talkbirth.me Molly

    Monthly Cycles does have an option to change the background theme to different colors other than pink (just noticed mine is still on red/green with a Christmas stocking. Oops!), but yes, overall negative tone. The emotions section has some non-negative options though!

    I’m excited about this Selene one! Thanks! I got it.

    • Sarah Whedon

      I should have said that there are variations among the apps. My general critique still holds.

      Let us know what you think of Selene!

  • Rebecca

    I’ve enjoyed using http://ovaova.com/. You can choose if you’re tracking for pregnancy or not- and it’s not pink. It’s data-oriented which I like, with extra fields if you want to add more info. The only downside is that it’s not free.

    • Sarah Whedon

      Cool! I’ll check it out.

  • Sarah

    Taking Charge of Your Fertility has an online tool like the suggested chart in the book that I used to use. It’s data oriented, and non-negative, I think, but I haven’t used it in a while! http://www.tcoyf.com/charting.aspx


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