Learning how to track your menstrual cycle can be important for many reasons. You will learn your natural “rhythm.” The start of your period won’t come as a surprise every month. You will know your approximate fertility (the days that you can most likely become pregnant). You will also get to know your natural emotional and physical fluctuations.
- Obtain a calendar of some kind. You can get any kind, a giant wall-hanging one, all the way to a pocket-sized one. You will also need a pencil, pen, marker, highlighter or other utensil to write with.
- Note of the first day of your period, the day you start menstruating (“bleeding”). Mark this day on your calendar with your utensil of choice. Use a symbol that will easily signify what that day is. Often using a pink highlighter or red marker will help you remember. Or you can just write “period.”
- You can now keep track of how long your period lasts if you wish. Mark on your calendar the last day of your menstruation. This can help you see the general length of your period; 3-7 days is average.This can help you keep track of your fertility/infertility. (See tips below.) It can also help you prepare in the future for how many tampons or pads you might need to stock up on.
- Wait. Often your period will start somewhere around 28 days from the day you started your last period. (Hence, why you marked it on the calendar.) However, many women fluctuate in the amount of days, some cycles being anywhere from 21 to 36 days. Be sure to count your days from the BEGINNING of your last period to the present day.
- Repeat this process every month. The longer you keep track the more you will see your rhythm. If you are young, your cycle may fluctuate more dramatically due to your hormones still trying to regulate themselves. Also if you are prone to stress, no matter what age, you may notice some fluctuation.
- The more you keep track of the beginning of each cycle, the more you can pay attention to other emotional and physical effects of your hormones. Do you experience cramping two weeks after menstruating? Or maybe feel slightly more emotional for a day or two? That is most likely ovulation. Also you can keep track of other stimuli and mark that on your calendar. (Stress, exercise, caffeine intake, etc. – all things you think might influence your emotional/physical states throughout your cycle.)
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Or else you can use this calculator