How to Use Apple Watch to Track Your Fertility and Menstrual Cycles

Starting with WatchOS 6, this functionality is built in

Cycle Tracker app on an Apple Watch running watchOS 6

 hocus-focus/Getty Images

Apple introduced the Apple Watch in part to promote good health habits in users. It continued to build those functions with watchOS 6, which adds a Cycle Tracker app that aims to help users monitor and predict their menstrual cycles. Here's how to set up and use the Apple Watch fertility trackers.

WatchOS 6 is compatible with Apple Watch Series 1 and later and iPhones running iOS 13 and up.

How to Set Up the Menstrual Cycle Tracker

Before you can use Menstrual Cycle Tracker on your Apple Watch, you need to set it up on your iPhone. Here's how.

  1. Open the Health app.

  2. Tap Browse at the bottom of the screen.

  3. Select Cycle Tracking.

    Cycle Tracker settings in the Health app in iOS 13
  4. Tap Get Started.

  5. A preview screen will open, outlining the possible benefits of the app. Select Next to continue.

    Get started with the Cycle Tracking app in iOS 13
  6. Enter the starting date of your most recent period and tap Next.

  7. Select the usual length (in days) of your period and select Next to move on.

  8. Enter the length of your cycle.

    Cycle Tracker measures the length of a cycle in days from the first day of one period to the day before the next one starts.

    Entering menstruation data into the Cycle Tracker app in iOS 13
  9. The next screen contains optional settings you can activate. Tap the switches to turn on the ones you want to use (if any).

    • Period Prediction analyzes the data you enter to guess when your next menstruation will begin.
    • Period Notifications use the results from Prediction to send you an alert when you're approaching your next cycle.

    Select Next to continue.

    Cycle Tracker sends notifications at 8:00 p.m.

  10. Next, you'll decide whether to activate the app's fertility-tracking options. Turn the switches on/green to use these functions. The settings are similar to the ones on the previous screen in terms of functionality; they just track different things.

    • Fertile Window Prediction analyzes the data you enter to guess when you'll be most fertile.
    • Fertile Window Notifications use the results from Prediction to send you an alert when you're approaching the fertility window.
  11. On the same screen, tap the switch next to Log Fertility to unlock even more data you can enter to help the tracker make more accurate predictions. These options are:

    • Symptoms: including cramping, acne, and breast tenderness
    • Sexual Activity: includes whether or not you used protection
    • Cervical Mucus Quality
    • Body Temperature
    • Spotting
    Prediction, notification, and Fertility settings in Cycle Tracker for iOS 13
  12. The next four screens give you instructions about how to read the results in your log. Solid circles represent information you've entered–red for period info and purple for fertility data–and light circles show days that the app predicts you'll either have your period or be fertile, assuming you've turned the Prediction options on.

    Review the instructions, and then tap Done to finish.

    Explanation of results in the Cycle Tracker app for iOS 13
  13. You can update these settings later, but now you're ready to use the menstrual cycle tracker on your Apple Watch.

How to Use Apple Watch to Track Your Fertility and Menstrual Cycles

Now that you've set up the Cycle Tracker app on your iPhone, you can enter and review information from its counterpart on the Apple Watch. Here's how.

  1. From your watch face, press the Digital Crown to open your app screen.

  2. Select Cycle Tracking.

  3. The main screen shows today's date and the activity the app predicts based on the information you entered in the Health app. You can swipe left or right to review past entries or future predictions.

  4. Turn the Digital Crown or swipe down to make log entries.

  5. Tap one of the categories to enter information.

    Opening the Cycle Tracker app on Apple Watch and adding symptoms
  6. Depending on which heading you selected, you'll have different options for what to enter. Tap the circle to the right of the descriptor to enter information.

    You can update this information later. Everything you provide will help the app make better predictions in the future.

  7. Tap Done to return to the previous screen.

  8. As you enter more information, it will appear on the main page.

    Entering data to the Cycle Tracker app for Apple Watch
  9. Scroll down to see a summary of when your next period or fertility window will occur.

    Cycle Tracker app on Apple Watch with the Summary highlighted