3. After you delete your app, ask the app provider to delete your data. Just because you deleted the app from your phone doesn’t mean the company deleted your data. In fact, California is the only state where they are legally required to delete your data. Still, many companies are willing to remove it upon request. Here’s a handy guide from the Washington Post that shows you how to do this.
Here’s how to track your period safely without an app.
1. Use a spreadsheet. It’s relatively easy to recreate the functions of a menstrual tracker in a spreadsheet by listing the dates of your last menstrual period and calculating the average length of time from the first day of one to the first day of the next. You can use one of the many templates already available online, such as the period tracker made by Aufrichtig and the Menstrual cycle calendar and menstrual tracker created by Laura Cutler. If you enjoy the scientific aspect of menstrual apps, templates allow you to send yourself reminders about upcoming periods, record symptoms, and track blood flow.
2. Use a digital calendar. If spreadsheets make you dizzy and have been on a digital calendar all your life, try making your period a recurring event, suggests Emory University student Alexa Mohsenzadeh, who TikTok video demonstrating the process†
Mohsenzadeh says she doesn’t miss any apps. “I can tailor this to my needs and add notes about how I’m feeling and see if it’s related to my period,” she says. “You only have to enter it once.”
3. Go analog and use a notebook or paper planner. We’re a technology publication, but the truth is, the safest way to keep your menstrual data from being accessible to others is to take it offline. You can invest in a paper planner or just use a notebook to keep track of your period and how you are feeling.
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 Center for Menstrual Cycle and Ovulation Research at the University of British Columbia.
4. If your state is unlikely to prohibit abortion, you may still be able to safely use a period-tracking app. The most important thing is to choose one that has clear privacy settings and has publicly pledged not to share user data with authorities. Quintin says Clue is a good option because it adheres to EU privacy laws and has been made public with a pledge not to share information with authorities.