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Menstruation is a fact of life for the female population. However, while many are keenly aware of its tiresome effects on daily life, not everyone knows how beneficial it can be to monitor it. This applies not only to your health but also to other aspects of your life.
Whether you try to use an ovulation calendar or install a period tracking app on your phone, keeping tabs on your cycle will help you learn more about your body and maintain your health. Read on below to find out more about how tracking your menstrual cycle can help you.
Why is Period Tracking Important?
For a lot of women, a period is essentially a notification saying that you’re not pregnant. Indeed, the phrase “menstrual cycle” is often connected to the ideas of conception and reproduction.
However, it’s crucial to remember that the menstrual cycle is related to several other biological processes in the body. By having a better understanding of your cycle, you then have a better grasp of the state of your health.
Here are some of the perks of keeping a detailed record of your menstrual cycle.
Helps You Assess Overall Health
For the average woman, a menstrual cycle follows a distinct schedule each month. By keeping a record, you can make out a pattern and find out what’s “normal” for your body. For example, it’s normal for you to experience mild abdominal discomfort and a slight headache the day before your period starts.
By establishing a baseline, you can immediately pinpoint when something feels wrong or out of place in your body. Any significant changes—like severe abdominal pain—you notice may be a symptom of an underlying health issue, such as diabetes, urinary tract infection, or cancer—not just a side effect of your period.
Additionally, the records you keep could be helpful to your doctor once you go for a check-up. They may be able to use it in identifying any potential issues and in prescribing medication.
Prepares You for the Changes
Once you have a good idea of what’s normal for your body, you start seeing a pattern based on your menstrual cycle. You may experience changes in mood, cravings, and energy levels as your period approach.
Tracking your menstrual cycle helps you prepare for these changes and allows you to opt for healthier coping methods.
For example, if you notice that your cravings increase before and during your period, you can stock up on healthy snacks to avoid junk foods. Naturally, you’ll be stocking up on napkins, tampons, and perhaps extra underwear in your carry-on bag as well.
Increases chances of pregnancy
Tracking one’s menstrual cycle is especially useful for couples trying to conceive. With a better grasp of your period, you can gauge when you ovulate. This is when the ovary releases an egg into the fallopian tube, ready for a sperm to fertilize it. An egg can stay there for 24 hours, while the sperm can remain inside the body for five days.
It’s difficult to pinpoint the exact moment a woman ovulates. However, with a period tracker, you can identify a period — called the “fertility window” — where you are most likely to conceive. You and your partner can focus your time and energy during this timeframe and significantly increase your conceiving chances.
Helps Avoid Pregnancy
If monitoring your cycle helps you identify the times when you’re more fertile, it also helps point out the days when you’re not. Hence, if you don’t want to get pregnant, you can avoid having sex during the fertility window or use contraception.
As mentioned, it’s difficult to pinpoint when a woman ovulates. Thus, you and your partner need to use other kinds of birth control methods—like condoms and birth control pills—to avoid pregnancy.
The tracking method helps women with irregular cycles. In such cases, it’s best to consult with an ob-gyn and continuously use contraceptive devices to lower the chances of conceiving.
Different Ways to Track Your Menstrual Cycle
There are several ways to monitor your cycle, ranging from simple jotting down to detailed records. Some of these include:
- Pen, Paper, and Calendar
Simply put a checkmark on your first day. Note down any changes you may have experienced in the days prior, such as changes in cravings or mood. The average cycle spans 28 days, but it’s still considered normal for it to range from 21 to 28 days.
- Ovulation Calendar
Several websites have ovulation calendars that help gauge when your ovulation. Simply input the details the program asks for and comes up with an estimate of your fertility window.
- Tracking Apps
Several mobile apps help you track everything related to your menstrual cycle. More accurate apps consider more details such as cervical discharge and basal body temperature, among various features.
Monitoring your menstrual cycle may seem like a tedious project, but clearly, it has several benefits. Learn more about your body and take control of it by starting your own period tracker today!