How to track your menstrual cycle on a smartwatch

While modern smartwatches and fitness trackers have been around for nearly a decade, period tracking didn’t arrive until 2018. These integrations shared familiar features with your default time-tracking app — but one big difference was that instead of having to take your phone out of the case, you can view or enter data from your wrist. And because these features were part of a wearable platform, users could see in one place how their health trends correlated with their menstrual cycles.

Keeping track of your menstrual cycles digitally can be more convenient than pulling out a physical calendar or entering dates into a spreadsheet. But before you get started, there are a few things to keep in mind.

First and foremost, you should recognize that you are handing over sensitive health data — including data about your sexual activity — to a third party. It’s a smart idea to brush up on any wearable maker’s privacy policy and seriously consider whether you’re comfortable with the possible consequences and shortcomings of these characteristics.

Second, while you can use these features to guide fertility planning, you should never use them as your only method of contraception. The FDA has not approved any smartwatch period tracking feature for that purpose. (Although there have been two cycle-tracking apps.) They’re meant to help you track your own physical trends.

Not every portable platform natively supports period tracking. That said, here are some that do and how to get started.

You can record a large number of symptoms and other factors from the wrist.
Photography by Victoria Song / The Verge

Apple Watch

First, here you can find Apple’s Health app privacy policy and an extra support page about the company’s health records policy.

While you can absolutely download a third-party period tracking app on your Apple Watch, you can also choose to use Apple’s native option: Cycle Tracking. Cycle Tracking allows you to record your period, as well as symptoms, sexual activity and spotting. You can also record other factors that may affect your menstrual cycle, such as whether you are pregnant, breastfeeding, or using a contraceptive. You can also see a summary with a period forecast and cycle history.

You have the option to log your period information directly into the Health app if you wish. That’s because it’s a feature that’s available to everyone, not just Apple Watch owners. Certain things, such as indicating if you are pregnant, have to be done from your iPhone.

That said, it can be helpful to record your symptoms as they happen on your wrist so you don’t forget the details later. Cycle Tracking is one of the apps that comes preloaded on the Watch, so you don’t need to download it.

To record your period directly from the wrist:

  • Press the digital crown to take you to the grid or list view of your apps
  • Navigate to the Follow cycle app
  • At the top, you can swipe left or right to choose a day. The default is the current day.
  • To add data, press + next to the field of your choice. You can select: PeriodSymptomsSexual activityor spotting
  • In the individual menus, tap the data you want to log. (Eg Period > Had Power / No Power > Light Power / Medium Power / Heavy Power.)
  • Tap Finished in the upper right corner
  • Scroll down to see a summary of your Period forecastlast periodand Ongoing Factors

Image: Fitbit


Here’s Fitbit’s privacy policy, including its health data sharing policy.

Unlike the Apple Watch, Fitbit only allows you to view your period data from the wrist. You cannot log in directly with the watch or the tracker itself. However, you can check your cycles, symptoms, ovulation test results, sexual activity, fluids and whether you took the morning after pill in the phone app.

To view menstrual data on the wrist, you must first set up menstrual health tracking in the Fitbit app.

  • In the Fitbit app, press the Today tab
  • The Menstrual health tile should look like a pink drop.
  • If the tile is not there yet, press the edit button at the top right.
  • Scroll down and tap the Menstrual health tile to add it
  • You will then be asked to answer a few questions about your cycle due to the forecast and fertile window features.

Within the Menstrual Health tile, you can view your cycles in a calendar or trend view. In the calendar view, your forecast period dates are highlighted in pink. Your fertile window will be highlighted in blue. To log details, you can press the green + button at the bottom right. You may also occasionally be asked to confirm that your period data is correct. The Trends tab shows you your cycle history, along with some statistics about your average menstrual duration, average estimated ovulation, and average cycle length.

To view this data on your wrist:

  • Swipe up from the watch face
  • This should provide a summary dashboard with today’s stats
  • Scroll down to the Menstrual health tile. You should be able to see when your next forecast period is.


You can find Garmin’s privacy policy here

If you are an athlete, you may want to consider your period when setting up an exercise regime. While the Apple Watch and Fitbits offer fitness tracking, they target a more general audience. While Garmin caters to them too, it also offers a different level of data for hardcore athletes. For example, the app provides insight into which supplements can be helpful in stopping cramps.

Garmin also has a menstrual tracking feature.
Image: Garmin

The menstrual cycle map in the Garmin Connect app tells you what day of your period you are and what cycle phase you are in, and provides a prediction for when your next cycle will start. You can also take personal notes and record your flow, physical symptoms, mood, discharge, ovulation, sexual activity, and sex drive. You can also get menstrual and fertility predictions, as well as set period reminders.

You can record your period in the Garmin Connect app or on a compatible Garmin device. (You can see a list here.) Compatible Garmin trackers have a menstrual cycle tracking widget that allows you to monitor your cycle data and log symptoms.

When you pair your device with your smartphone, Garmin should help you set up several features, including menstrual tracking. If not, or you have to skip the tutorial and set it up later, here’s how to get started.

  • Open the Garmin Connect app
  • Press on the More bottom right tab
  • Select Health Statistics
  • Scroll down and select Menstrual cycle
  • Tap Get started and answer the prompts about your period – and that’s it!

To view and record symptoms from the wrist, you must have already followed the steps above.

  • First check if your device already has the Menstrual cycle tracking widget preinstalled.
  • If not, you can download the widget of the Garmin Connect IQ store.
  • The widget requires you to grant access to run in the background, send and receive information, push notifications and Garmin Connect fitness profile
  • You should now be able to navigate to the widget on your watch
  • Tap to open the widget
  • Here you can see where you are in your cycle and record physical symptoms

Garmin is unique in that it allows you to track pregnancy in a more in-depth way. For example, pregnant users can get information about their baby’s size and weight guidelines and record symptoms, blood glucose and baby movements. It also explains how pregnancy can affect Garmin’s other stats and training features.

To enable pregnancy tracking:

  • Open the Garmin Connect app
  • Press More bottom right tab
  • Select Settingsand then User Settings
  • Scroll down and tap Women’s Health
  • Tap Cycle Type: and select Pregnancy
  • From there, you’ll be prompted to select your due date, hydration goals, weight gain goals, and the option to pause your workout status


You can find Samsung’s privacy policy here

Samsung was late adding period tracking to its wearables and didn’t add the feature until 2020. With the Galaxy Watch 4, Samsung has also moved over to Google’s WearOS platform, which means you can access the Google Play Store. That gives you the option to download a third-party period app if you prefer. Samsung partnered with Glow for this feature, and it should be noted that: Consumer Reports found it serious privacy vulnerabilities with Glow’s app in 2016. The company has since said it has solved that problem, but it’s something to keep in mind.

Samsung introduced period registration on the Galaxy Watch 3 in 2020.
Image: Samsung

Samsung’s menstrual health tracking is similar to that of other wearable device manufacturers. You can track your period, get cycle predictions, log symptoms and record your moods and sexual activity.

To view and add menstrual data from the wrist:

  • Open the Samsung Health app on your watch
  • Scroll down to Women’s Health
  • From here you can tap Enter period to log your start date
  • Under the Daily Log heading, tap Add logbook to record your symptoms and other factors
  • Select Save to finish

Tracking your period can be a useful tool in monitoring your health, but ultimately it’s optional. Even if you decide to track your period digitally, you won’t to have to enter any symptom or your sexual activity if it makes you feel uncomfortable. It is also fine to opt out or opt for analog options as well.


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