Do you keep track of when your next menstrual period is due?
Keeping track of your period helps you learn more about its frequency and length. It can also help you see patterns in mood changes. Being in tune with your body and understanding the different hormones involved in menstruation can help you navigate your monthly cycle better.
There are lots of apps on the market, such as Flo, which help you track your period, or you could simply use a good old calendar or diary.
How to track your period
The first day of bleeding is counted as day 1 of the menstrual cycle. If you have a 28-day cycle, you will ovulate (release an egg) around day 14 and get your period around 14 days later (as long as you haven’t fallen pregnant).
Here are some benefits of keeping track of your period:
1. You won’t get caught short
There’s nothing worse than being caught out and not having any sanitary products at hand, especially if you’re out and about or away on holiday. Knowing when your next period is due helps you plan and ensures you aren’t caught short.
2. It can help you conceive
A woman is the most fertile and therefore most likely to get pregnant the three days leading up to and including ovulation. Ovulation happens around 14 days before your period starts. If you are keeping track of your cycle, then it will be easier to know which days you are most likely to get pregnant.
3. Being prepared for hormone changes
The severity of premenstrual syndrome (PMS) varies from person to person and some women don’t experience it at all in the lead up to their period. Knowing when you may experience PMS can help you understand why you’re feeling the way you are and how to potentially manage it. On the plus side, some women feel more energetic or have a higher sex drive at certain stages in their cycle. By keeping a record of how you’re feeling and when, you can better understand (and utilise) these changes to your advantage.
4. Being alerted to potential problems
Your menstrual cycle is a good indicator of your overall health. Changes or irregularities in your menstrual cycle may be an indication of a potential health problem (which may not necessarily be related to your reproductive organs).
If you are concerned about your menstrual cycle, or any changes to it, please contact your GP or healthcare provider.
- How to deal with premenstrual mood swings Healthline, 2018
- Your fertility right time for sex Your Fertility, Australia, 2021
- Could tracking your menstrual cycle help you 'biohack' your life? ABC News, Australia, 2020