Why You Need to Start Tracking Your Period
You might be vaguely familiar with the dates your period is going to come and could probably estimate how long it will last. But, what if you actually tracked and kept a record of it every month? Could it be beneficial in some way?
Well, as experts suggest: Yes!
Tracking your menstrual cycle can be a great way to not only get more accurate at predicting your next period but also in knowing yourself and your body better! Let’s find out more about the benefits of this practice and how you can go about doing it yourself.
Benefits of Cycle Tracking
1. Knowing your Cycle
This one is an obvious advantage but the most important one too! The global average of a person’s menstrual cycle is 28 days, but that might not be the case for you. Tracking your period regularly can help you get an idea of the duration of your cycle. Further, you’ll also be able to see how long your period lasts on average, which can be anywhere from 3-7 days.
2. Knowing your Fertility Window
Another added benefit to knowing your cycle is knowing your fertility window i.e. when you are most fertile/ likely to get pregnant. This is useful for both, if you are trying to conceive or trying to avoid it! Typically, your fertility window lasts 5-6 days in the days leading up to ovulation (egg being released from the ovaries).
(P.S. Avoid using cycle tracking as an alternative to contraceptives! Even if your tracker says your fertility window is closed, it’s still important to use protection if engaging in sex.)
3. Knowing your Physical Symptoms
Tracking your physical symptoms are an essential part of cycle tracking. These symptoms typically occur before or during your period and can include:
Gut: Nausea, Diarrhea, Constipation, or Bloating
Pain: Cramps, Breast Pain, Headaches
Hair & Skin: Hair Loss, Dry Skin, Acne
Lifestyle: Sleep changes, Appetite Changes
4. Knowing your Mental Symptoms
Hormonal changes are foundational to your menstrual cycle and they can have a big impact on your mood and emotions. This includes:
Mood Swings, Anxiety, Depression, Loss of Appetite, Feeling Low etc
Tracking your mental symptoms before or during your period can be beneficial in the long run. Once you identify what symptoms appear when, you can be better prepared to tackle them!
How Can You Track Your Cycle?
In this day and age, it is super easy to track your cycle using a plethora of apps available! We’ve listed down some of the best ones below:
Clue is one of the most highly rated apps to track your cycle. It offers beneficial information specific to your cycle and the easy-to-understand graphics help you visualize your cycle better!
Flo is another great app to try tracking your period. It also offers some bonus features for those who are trying to conceive as well as those who are pregnant. If you purchase a subscription, you also have access to a library of videos on women’s health by experts.
If you have an iPhone/iPad/Apple Watch, you can easily track your period using the “Health” app. This app will give you reminders 7 days in advance of your upcoming period and make tracking easier and more convenient!
Tracking your cycle is a great way to identify patterns of not only your period but also your general health and emotions. These patterns help you get to know your body and self better and in turn, be better prepared to help yourself. Whether it be stocking up on pads or recognizing the cause of your low mood- cycle tracking can be a game-changer in your life!