Testing Charting Apps

Since I started learning about NFP, I think it’s pretty awesome. Now, I should preface this post by saying if you’re married/getting married then there is no substitute for learning a method from a certified teacher. But that’s not always possible, and so I looked for sources that could help me learn a bit more and start charting. I found five different apps that I started using – Kindara (iOS), Fertility Friend (iOS, Android and web), OvuView (Android), Ovia (iOS and Android) and Clue (iOS and Android).

So these are my entirely uneducated impressions of these apps. I am only using the free options, some of them have additional paid options but I’m not using any of those. I’ve used each app for six cycles. There are some that I haven’t used in a while so features may have been added or changed. I’ve evaluated them on Learning To Chart, Features and Useability and Catholic Perspective. I’ve also added whether I’d consider the paid features if applicable and given my overall impression.

Learning to Chart

Kindara: The tutorial is very quick and easy to understand. There’s a good blog and knowledge base accessible for learning to chart and how to use the app.

Fertility Friend: This has a really excellent FAQ section that covers just about everything. I also like the glossary of abbreviations. There is a good free Introduction to Charting course that.

OvuView: The FAQ section for how to use the app and how to chart is really good. There’s also a good guide for how to understand the cycle wheel.

Ovia Fertility: The tutorial was a little quick but the app is easy to use and it has a great articles section which includes both basics and more detailed information.

Clue: It was easy to set up and the cycle science section made it easy to reference information later on.

Features and Useability

Kindara: You can chart temperature, cervical fluid, cervix position, sexual activity, menstruation and add custom data. There are 3 lines of custom data available for free users, though they are just checkboxes. There is also a journal section for each day. I chose the “Track My Period” goal, and there are also “Get Pregnant” and “Avoid Pregnancy” options. It’s easy to enter data and you can view it either as a calendar or as a chart.

Fertility Friend:  There are no options for what the aim of charting is, since it is aimed at trying to conceive. You get a free 30 day trial of the paid membership when you sign up, without having to give payment details which I like.There are a lot of options for signs and symptoms to chart, which I really like. I mean a lot. You can also choose whether symptoms you add are check boxes, scales, etc. The only thing I don’t like is you can add options but I can’t seem to remove things that aren’t applicable to me. I found it a little clunky to use, both online and on the app.

OvuView: There’s a wide variety of symptoms you can track. It’s not as wide-ranging as Fertility Friend, but it’s pretty comprehensive. I also really like that you can choose which ones show up on your daily calendar, so you’re not fussing with things that don’t apply to you. I selected the “avoid pregnancy” option because the period tracker didn’t show as many options in the wheel and I wanted to see the whole thing. There are calendar, circle and chart view options.

Ovia Fertility: Again, there are no options for the aim of charting since it is aimed at women who are trying to conceive. You can chart period, mood, general medical & health symptoms and medications, intercourse, cervical fluid, ovulation and pregnancy tests, temperature, blood pressure, sleep, nutrition, activity and weight. There is also a note section. There is also an option to share it with your partner, which I think it great.

Clue: There are more tracking options than you would want me to bore you with but it covers period, fluid, various body symptoms, emotions, sleep, medication and allows you to add custom tags. Like Ovia, there is an option to share your cycle with others.

Catholic Perspective

None of these are overtly Catholic or religious so I thought it important to see if they promoted or advertised things I would feel uncomfortable with.

Kindara: On the sexual activity option, you can select either ‘protected’ or ‘unprotected’ and it also has a ‘Supplies’ tab which features condoms. Obviously from a Catholic perspective, the use of contraceptives is not allowed. However, from a non-Catholic source I wouldn’t expect otherwise. It is also implied (but not outright stated) that the company is not pro-life and when reading the blog there was an article aimed to advice lesbian couples on conceiving artificially. Both these things were big concerns for me.

Fertility Friend: Some of the options seemed to be relevant to IVF but other than that I couldn’t find anything (although given the interface I could just be missing it).

OvuView: As with Kindara on the sexual activity option, you can select either ‘protected’ or ‘unprotected’. It also (oddly) gives an option for choosing ‘Pill” in the symptoms, which is obviously not okay for Catholics but again, from a non-Catholic source I’m not surprised. Other than that, I haven’t found anything particularly objectionable.

Ovia Fertility: There isn’t a contraceptive option, since this is aimed at conceiving. There are some mentions in the articles section of fertility treatments like IVF.

Clue: Like some of the others, it can track ‘protected’ or ‘unprotected’ sex and allows for tracking birth control. From the website, they do support birth control and don’t seem to be pro-life.

Would I Pay?

Kindara: Paying adds passcode lock, temperature shift, peak day, unlimited custom data rows, syncing across devices and viewing charts online. It costs a one-time $4.99. I wouldn’t pay for this for several reasons. From a practical perspective the other options simply offer more, even in the free version, so I don’t feel that paying really adds anything and from a Catholic perspective the pro-life issue makes me uncomfortable with paying for this.

Fertility Friend: Paying adds a huge number of features. It seems to be on a subscription basis. I believe for 1 year it is $45 but can be purchased for shorter times and various forums have mentioned a discount making it $25 relating to Facebook. I had to Google to find that out from forums though, the website itself was not upfront about costs. Given the expense, I would probably be unlikely to pay for this one.

OvuView: Paying adds password protection, custom data, method selection, pregnancy and miscarriage support and removing ads. What is added with membership is made very clear. It costs a one-time $5 (about £3). I absolutely would purchase this and have done so already. It cost me $1.99 (about £1.20) because it was on a brief special offer.

Ovia Fertility: This one is free. Yay.

Clue: Also free.

Overall

Kindara: This app was the one I used first, and I found it easy to use as I got used to charting. It was let down for me by the Catholic objections and the limited features. However, as an app for learning to chart and understand your body it is useful.

Fertility Friend: The diversity of options is great and the FAQ and glossary are simply amazing. However, it’s somewhat clunky and not as user friendly as the others. The price for VIP features is also quite high. I do think, however, it would be a great option for someone actively trying to conceive or perhaps for someone who is struggling to conceive.

OvuView: I like the format. It’s user-friendly and has a lot of features, which I liked. The cost was reasonable and with the features that were available in the paid version it was good value for money. Overall it was my favourite app, but unfortunately it’s only available for Android.

Ovia Fertility: This is definitely aimed at women who are trying to conceive, and for that purpose this is a fantastic app. There is also an Ovia Pregnancy app which if you’re trying to conceive is a great idea. The ability to share cycles with your partner is also really great.

Clue: This is actually the app I now use, since OvuView is not available for iOS. However, it’s easy to use, easy to understand and has a lot of features. Like Kindara, this was let down by the Catholic objections.

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