Why You Should Be Tracking Your Menstrual Cycle

Women's Healthcare Services in Rochester, NY

For a lot of women, the monthly cramps, fatigue, mood changes, and other disruptions associated with menstruation is a reality they’ve been used to since adolescence. If your period is largely regular and manageable, you probably don’t think twice about it until the cramping and spotting remind you that it’s once again that inconvenient time of the month. So, if you’re already accustomed to it and able to go on with life anyway, is there really anything to be gained from tracking your period?

Yes—of course there is! Period tracking helps you learn more about yourself and your body, makes your life easier, and helps you stay on top of your overall health and wellness. Still skeptical? Let’s take a closer look.

Gain a sense of control over your body.

The process of tracking your menstrual cycle is more than simply marking an “x” on the calendar each month when your period arrives. Accurate tracking means recording details throughout your entire monthly cycle, not just when you’re bleeding. By documenting things like PMS symptoms, fatigue levels, weight fluctuation, cycle length and dates, and other relevant information, you’re able to better learn and understand your own unique patterns.

Using this insight, you can more accurately predict when you’ll get your period or experience certain effects and plan around them accordingly. The more you know your body, the more in control you’ll feel over what it does and how it affects your daily life.

Know when you’re fertile.

Women's Wellness Care in Rochester NY

Along with giving you better control over your body and lifestyle, period tracking gives you better control over your reproductive goals. By tracking your entire cycle, you can pinpoint your fertile window (as closely as possible) and use that knowledge to help either increase or decrease your chances of becoming pregnant.

Your fertile window usually begins a few days before ovulation and ends about 24 hours after you’re done ovulating. Having unprotected sex during this window is your best chance at conception. If you’re trying to conceive, knowing when you’re fertile will help you become pregnant sooner.

If you’re trying to prevent pregnancy, you can use this same information as an additional layer of contraceptive protection and avoid sex or use a backup method during your most fertile days of the month.

Period tracking gives you insight into other aspects of your health and wellness.

When you track your cycle, you build a record of any irregularities and symptoms you can reference later on that you might otherwise write off as unimportant or forget at your next wellness checkup. These details can signal any existing or potential reproductive issues as well as other health problems you might not readily associate with them.

It is not uncommon for women to mistakenly attribute symptoms to their cycle when they may actually indicate an underlying issue elsewhere. Hormone and thyroid problems, liver disease, gastrointestinal issues, diabetes, and heart problems are just a few of the conditions period tracking can help identify.

What information should you monitor when tracking your period?

First and foremost, when tracking your menstrual cycle, you should record all of the information you can about your actual period—length, start and stop dates, heavy vs. light flow, flow color, cramps/bloating, cravings, and any other mental, emotional, or physical effects that you experience.

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To reap the full benefits of period tracking, you should also record any other feelings, patterns, or changes you notice throughout your cycle as a whole. This might include details about your mood, energy levels, appetite, sex drive, sleep quantity and quality, and any other habits or data points that seem worth monitoring.

Thankfully, there are plenty of great period tracker apps to help you easily record, organize, identify patterns, and make predictions using this information.

Tracking your cycle is an important step to take in prioritizing your reproductive health and overall wellness. Let South Avenue Women’s Services help you take the next one.

Our medical professionals are here to provide the women throughout Western NY with the confidential, compassionate care they need to lead healthy, happy lives. We can provide you with all of the essential well-woman care services you need, including gynecology exams, mammograms, birth control, STD testing, elective abortion, and more.

Contact our team today to schedule an appointment, so you can get the quality care you need and deserve!