Periods and your menstrual cycle should not significantly impact on your life. We all know that you can live an active life with your period. However, knowing when your period is due does make your life a lot easier.
5 Reasons You Should Start Tracking Your Menstrual Cycle Today
When you track your menstrual cycle, you’re in control of your body, your schedule, your well-being, and you can avoid period surprises. Popping a portable Ruby Cup into your bag means that you won’t get caught out when your period does arrive.
Knowing when PMS is about to hit will also help you deal with it better and be kinder to yourself. If you feel comfortable sharing, you can tell your close friends and family that you are coming up to a couple of difficult days. Using a period tracking app means that you can also work out when you are likely to have more energy. It will recognise your individual trends over the past few months and create an individualised report.
Don’t think you need a fancy app to track your period. It can be as simple as marking when you start and finish each month on your wall calendar, diary or online agenda.
Knowing where you are in your cycle can help you understand why the tears are flowing when you would normally be immune to pictures of puppies and kittens.
When tracking period cramps and mood swings, you can find out what might make them worse and what can ease them. Did you get enough sleep? Were you exercising or spending more time on the sofa reading or scrolling through your phone? Knowing what works for you means that you can be proactive about your health and lifestyle choices.
2. Your Period Is A Health Report Card
One of the most important benefits of menstrual cycle tracking is that you can detect unexpected patterns such as irregular cycles or missed periods. Also, make a note of any changes in colour or consistency. Taking this information to your doctor will make any diagnoses much easier.
You Will Know When You Are Fertile
Either way, if you want to conceive or don’t want to conceive – knowing where you are in your menstrual cycle is crucial. It gives you a lot of important information on when you’re ovulating and when you’re having your fertile days. Just don’t rely on this information to prevent unwanted pregnancies and use the correct contraception the whole month long. You can become pregnant even when you have your period.
It's The Entire Cycle Not Just a Few Days A Month
Your menstrual cycle is not just an on/off sort of condition. It affects you 24h a day, 7 days a week, 12 months a year. If you track your entire menstrual cycle, you will be empowered by understanding your body better. From there you can make the lifestyle choices that work for you.
There are four different moments in your menstrual cycle and each one comes with its own specific feelings and symptoms that affect your everyday life. It may explain fluctuation in your sex drive, why you feel extremely tired on some days, or emotional on others. It may even affect the type of clothes you choose to wear or how hungry you feel. There’s nothing like being in control of these little everyday things that can make your period a lot more manageable and your life a lot easier.
How To Start Tracking Your Menstrual Cycle
The 2 most helpful tools to use when it comes to tracking your period are:
A Period Tracking App.
Period apps track more than just your period. They take into account your entire cycle and factors that might influence it.
They can be personalised with your own tracking factors according to your lifestyle. Some people get migraines or digestive problems linked to their menstrual cycle. Noting down your activity and foods may help you identify additional trigger factors.
Should you need to speak to a health professional, show them your personalised report from your period tracking app. At a glance all the information they will need to understand what is going on.
A Ruby Cup Menstrual Cup
You also get a good view of the consistency of your period. Is it thicker or thinner than usual? does it have blood clots?
The color of your period blood may vary – keep an eye on it and note it down in your app.
Once you’re equipped with these two things, take a couple of seconds to look at your flow before you flush it down the toilet (if you use a menstrual cup of course). Make a note on your period tracking app of what you see and how you feel. Tracking only takes a couple of minutes of your time, but it will offer you life-changing benefits.
Start tracking your menstrual cycle today and let us know how it’s helping you!
Date last reviewed: April 2020
Written by Dr Alice Byram Bsc Med & Surg UMA MA Hons MML Cantab
Dr Alice Byram was born in England to a French-British family. Following on from a degree in Spanish from the University of Cambridge, she went to Spain to study medicine. On her return to the UK, she worked in Emergency Medicine for several years before recently returning to Barcelona.