Here’s Why You Should Track Your Cycle Every Month
There are a few things we know to be absolutely true when it comes to life as a woman in 2019…
- It’s a great time for women to speak up for themselves, especially when it comes to their health.
- There’s an app for everything now.
- Life without a calendar would be very challenging.
A culmination of these three truths…we have so many options for menstrual cycle tracking! It’s the 21st century, so cycle-tracking can take the shape of apps, calendars, period journals, notebooks, etc. Needless to say, now is the perfect time to hop on the cycle-tracking bandwagon for a number of reasons. If you’re still not convinced, read on to find out why:
1. You’ll manage the rest of your calendar better.
We know how tough it can be to balance a social schedule, meetings, family outings, appointments, etc. on your period. The burden of worrying about a potential leak, packing enough tampons or pads, or making sure you have something to help with pain can be exhausting, and it’s easy to lose track. Tracking your cycle might help to minimize the burden by allowing you to better understand exactly when you’ll need feminine supplies, and how you can plan your schedule around it. It will also help with planning your outfits during your time of the month to make sure you’re feeling comfortable!
2. You can track your fertility at the same time.
If you’re interested in having a family (or if you’re not interested in having one at the moment), you can monitor your ovulation schedule by keeping track of your period. According to the American Pregnancy Association, ovulation begins 12 to 16 days before your period starts.1 By tracking your entire cycle, you can monitor for when you’re most fertile, in addition to when to expect PMS symptoms and the start of your period.
3. You’ll be more in tune with your body.
It might sound cheesy, but tracking your cycle allows you to be more in touch with your body and understand how everything (especially your reproductive system) is working together to keep you healthy. By tracking things like mood swings, cramps and cravings, you can also understand what eases them and what makes them worse. Knowing this will help you lean into healthy habits that make you feel better, like hydrating, getting enough sleep and exercising through your period (despite your brain’s best efforts to convince you not to).
4. You can eliminate the element of surprise.
There’s nothing more stressful than scrambling to change your outfit and find a tampon when the first day of your period comes as a surprise. It’s always best to be in the know and make sure you’re tracking for when that first day will be. That way, you’re prepared and can act fast when you start bleeding or when cramping might set in. If you keep track of your cycle and still experience spotting or bleeding in the middle of the month, consider talking to your doctor about your symptoms to find out what the cause might be.
5. You’ll be able to keep track of potentially problematic symptoms.
Lastly, monitoring your cycle allows you to take note of repeat symptoms that prevent you from living your life to the fullest. While tracking your cycle, make notes about how you’re feeling, what you’re experiencing and when symptoms occur. If you’re suffering from abnormally heavy periods, excessively painful cramps or other symptoms that impact your quality of life, it may be time to talk to a doctor about treatment. Change the Cycle also offers helpful resources and tools to help you understand your symptoms and be your best health advocate. Use our symptom checker quiz to get to know your symptoms better, or our doctor discussion guide to prep you to have an informed conversation with your doctor.
In the meantime, check out some period-tracking apps like Clue, Eve and Ovia or treat yourself to a cute new journal or calendar to keep track of your cycle!
- “Understanding Ovulation.” American Pregnancy Association. https://americanpregnancy.org/getting-pregnant/understanding-ovulation/. Accessed August 6, 2019.