How Do I Keep Track Of My Periods Each Month
You’re on vacation in a forest. Just when everyone plans to go on the safari, it starts. You’re bleeding. The nearest shop is 5kms out of the jungle. The girls in your group have already left for the safari. You don’t have a pad on you and you have nobody to ask.
We’ve all been through similar situations at some point of time in our lives. But believe it or not, with a little planning these situations are completely avoidable. Stay Sure aims to help you simplify the process of keeping track of your menstrual cycle.
Step 1: Make a Note of the Day It Begins
Take a calendar and mark the day you begin bleeding. Do this for a couple of months. You will begin to notice a pattern. Your menstrual cycle is the number of days between Day 1 of your period to Day 1 of the next period (not from the last day of one to the first day of the next one).
Every woman’s cycle varies and often periods don’t come on the exact day as planned. You need to understand on average how long your menstrual cycle lasts. For example between your first period and the next there may have been a gap of 29 days, from the second to the third period, it may have been 31 days and from the third to the fourth it may be 30 days. Add the number of days and divide it by the number of months. In this example, your cycle would be a 30day cycle.
With this calculation, you will have a better understanding of when to expect your period.
Step 2: Understand your PMS Symptoms
PMS or pre-menstrual symptoms are certain things you may experience due to the hormonal changes in your body. These can vary every period and sometimes they may not even occur. Yet, these are some PMS signs to look out for:
• Mood swings
• Stomach cramps
• Constipation or diarrhea
• Lower back pain
• Sugar cravings
Mark these symptoms on your calendar, on the days you feel them. Again, you will begin to notice a pattern which will help you predict the onset of your period and also help you understand why you may be reacting to things differently.
Step 3: Keep Details of your Flow
There will be some days where you need to change your sanitary napkin many times, and there will be some days where you barely bleed (Which is why Stay Sure has different kinds of pads from heavy flow, overnight pads right to panty liners) Keep note of whether your period was heavy, normal or light. Even if you barely bleed on a particular day, make a note of it. This way you will know what kind of pads are suitable for your period. It also helps to keep details of the colour and consistency of your bleeding.
Step 4: Understand your Whole Cycle
Your menstrual cycle is not just about the days you bleed. There are four different phases that take place. Each has their own signs as well. Here’s a brief description of each.
This is when you bleed. On average it could last for anything between 3 to 7 days. This is when your body is eliminating the lining of the uterus. Fatigue and mood swings are commonly experienced during this time.
The Follicular Phase:
This begins at the same time as menstruation but lasts till what is called ovulation. During this phase the body prepares itself to release an egg. You might feel more energetic during this time.
Ovulation is when the egg is released and ready to be fertilized. Usually this happens around two weeks before menstruation. Women may experience a thicker vaginal discharge and a rise in body temperature at this point.
The Luteal Phase:
This phase lasts from ovulation to menstruation. Here your body prepares for pregnancy by releasing hormones. If pregnancy doesn’t occur, menstruation will begin instead. During this phase you may suffer mood swings and have trouble sleeping.
While tracking your menstrual cycle, it is important note down as many details as possible. Tracking your menstrual cycle is not just about pregnancy. It can help your doctor identify a number of health issues such as Polcystic Ovarian Syndrome, thyroid problems etc. We at Stay Sure, care about your menstrual health and have created a period cycle calendar which you can access here. So, don’t wait. Begin your journey towards a healthy menstrual cycle with Stay Sure!