Tracking of the menstrual cycle has significant benefits. It is a way to understand and connect with your body better. If you have never tracked your cycles before, read on to discover why you should track your period right away!
First off, it is important to understand that the menstrual cycle is more than just your period. The cycle starts on the first day of your period and ends on the day before your next period. This cycle is usually 28 days long for most women. However, this may change with each person and each cycle. Any duration between 21 days to 40 days is considered normal.
Be prepared for your period:
- Getting your period at unexpected times can be frustrating. When you start tracking your period, you become aware of the average duration of your menstrual cycle. This can help you know when your next period is due, so you can be well prepared for it. You can be in control of your period. Whatever product you use – be it a period panty, menstrual cup or cloth sanitary pad, you can be ready to welcome the flow when it arrives! If you have irregular periods, tracking can help you monitor the changes in your cycle.
Monitor your body’s health:
- Period tracking is not just about the duration of the cycle. You can also note down the nature of your flow, texture, odour, cramps etc. This will make it easier for you to notice any abnormalities when they occur. Though slight changes in these factors are not usually of major concern, very irregular periods, extremely heavy/light bleeding or other drastic changes can be a symptom for underlying health problems like fibroids, thyroid issues, diabetes, and so on. Knowing your cycle well is a good way to keep a check on your body’s health. Also, in case of any problems, the information that you have from tracking your cycle can help you communicate with your doctor better, which will help them in suggesting treatments more accurately.
Avoid unplanned pregnancy:
- By understanding your menstrual cycle, you can get to know your ovulation cycle, which can help you avoid unplanned pregnancies. Ovulation usually occurs about 14 days before your period starts and a woman is most fertile during ovulation and the 5 days leading up to it. You can aim to avoid having sex on your most fertile days to avoid pregnancy. Though the chances of getting pregnant on other days during the cycle is unlikely, it is not impossible. Hence, it is always advised to use other methods of contraception along with this to be on the safer side.
Plan your pregnancy:
- On the contrary, if you are trying to get pregnant, you can aim to have sex on your most fertile days to increase your chances of conceiving. You might notice that your sex drive spikes around the ovulation period. Apart from this, you can also measure your BBT (Basal Body Temperature), which is your temperature first thing in the morning. Your BBT increases right after you ovulate and decreases back once you get your period. The temperature change may be very slight, sometimes even less than a degree, so it is good to use a basal body thermometer for this purpose, which is more sensitive than a standard one.
Understand yourself and manage your mood:
- When you start tracking your cycles, you may begin to notice that many aspects of your life are affected by it. For instance, you may notice that your energy levels always seem to be down on particular days, or that you tend to overeat when you start your period. You might even notice patterns in your moods during the cycle. The more you start noticing these and become aware, the better equipped you can be to cope with them!
How to track your period and menstrual cycle?
- You can start by marking the day when you start your period every month. However, you can go into as many details as you prefer. Remember, the more details you track, the better you can understand your body and the more beneficial it will be for you. You can note down the number of days your period lasts, the heaviness of your flow, and you can even go into details of texture and colour of discharge, and other symptoms you may be facing throughout your cycle. You can download this free printable tracking chart from SochGreen to help you get started with period tracking.
If you prefer using an app on your phone, then look for period tracking apps. One that I use can be downloaded from here “track your period”