Tracking your periods is about keeping a record of when you are menstruating and documenting other information related to your menstrual cycle. It helps you understand the length and pattern of your unique menstrual cycle, ovulation dates and increases awareness of your overall wellness and health.
Your cycle’s length is measured from the day you get your periods to the first day of your next period. Mostly, the average cycle is 28 days, although anything from 21 to 35 days is considered as normal in adult women. In this article, we’ll take you through some of the prime reasons for tracking your periods and how you can do the same.
Why should you track your periods?
As periods are a biological phenomenon, no two cycles are exactly the same. However, cycles’ lengths and patterns are usually similar. Keeping track of your periods can help you identify the frequency and length of periods, and the problems that may need medical guidance. Below we have listed a few common reasons why you should track your periods:
To know about your forthcoming period
One of the main reasons to track your cycle is to anticipate the date of your forthcoming period. Also, being aware of your period cycle duration and related dates can help you stay informed of the changes in your body and understand what’s normal for you (the bodily changes that usually occur before or during periods) and what’s not.
To avoid unexpected period
Knowing when your next period is expected can help you plan your important events like holidays or meetings better and avoid being unprepared. Imagine the inconvenience of getting your period when you are vacationing or in the middle of a presentation. The experience can be dismaying.
Prep up for hormonal changes
Periods come with PMS (premenstrual syndrome) and many hormonal changes that stay throughout the cycle. The different hormonal changes can lead to crankiness, anxiety, and stress.
Knowing when you may experience PMS and other hormonal changes would help you understand why you’re feeling the way you are and how to handle these changes better. As you usually experience similar mood swings and bodily changes in every cycle, tracking your periods will help you prepare.
To understand your cycle better
Though the length of the menstrual cycle varies from woman to woman, the average is to have periods every 28 days. Tracking your period dates helps you understand your unique cycle length and pattern in a better way, thus, preventing the situation of unexpected periods.
Being precautioned about probable problems
Your menstrual cycle is an indicator of your overall well-being. Changes or irregularities in your monthly cycle could be a symptom of a potential health issue. Tracking your periods can help you know about the issue (if any) well in time, helping you take better charge of your well-being.
Plan or avoid an unwanted pregnancy
For women trying to conceive, understanding the timing of their menstrual cycle is valuable for determining the time when there are high chances of getting pregnant.
Generally, five days before the ovulation, along with the day you ovulate, are the days when you are likely to conceive. Based on this, you can either plan your pregnancy or avoid an unwanted one.
How to track your period
Having read how important it is to track your periods, now the question is, how do you do it? You can track your periods with any of the following approaches.
- Make a note in a diary; pen down the dates, and changes you went through.
- Mark your period’s beginning and end date and maintain a period calendar for each month.
- Make a digital note and keep a record on your phone.
You can automate your tracking with an online period tracker or a smartphone app. For example, Kotex’s period calculator uses the information you provide from your last cycle to predict a date for day one of your next cycle, making it seamless to track your periods. Keeping track of your periods helps you learn about its length and frequency, discern patterns in mood changes and be aware about other changes in your body, thus, helping you navigate your monthly cycle better.