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How to track your period & why is it important?

Periods 101
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How to track your period & why is it important?

So many sisters are unsure of how you should track your period and where to begin? You are in luck, all of this and much more can be learnt throughout this blog!! Learn how to keep an eye on your cycle without all of the added stress.

Benefits of Tracking Your Period

So it’s definitely worth tracking your menstrual cycle. We often don’t realise how much it can affect our menstrual pattern and also how much our cycle can affect our wellbeing. That’s why it’s important to track your cycle, so that you can work with it, rather than work against it. 

Here are some of the many benefits to tracking your cycle.

Your period cycle can explain a lot about your sex drive. Generally, people tend to notice that their sex drive is higher during ovulation, which is in the middle of the menstrual cycle, about 14 days before a period. If low libido is a concern of yours, try tracking your menstrual cycle to find a pattern in your sex drive.

Tracking your cycle can also relieve a lot of unnecessary stress each month. It’s so easy to get worked up about the uncertainty of not knowing when your period will come, so by keeping track of it you’ll be able to make sure that you’re looking after yourself and preparing for it too. A lot of people don’t realise how much of their lifestyle is dictated by their period at particular times of the month. By tracking your period, you’ll learn some really interesting things about your body's habits. 

The great thing about tracking your period is that you won’t be blindsided by your body’s natural reactions to menstruation again. You’ll begin to know the date your period starts and finishes, you’ll recognise when you're getting hormonal mood swings and when your stomach-ache is linked to cramps. You’ll maybe even recognise why you’re more tired at the same time each month or why you're super hungry the week before your period!

You’ll notice all of these new things about your body which you can begin to understand and work around. Tracking your period has so many health benefits whether it's physically or mentally, so give it a go! 

How Do You Track Your Menstrual Cycle

Sister Taking Notes During Cycle

Since menstruation is consistent throughout many of our lives, from adolescence until menopause, it’s a good idea to know a bit about it. One way you can do this is by tracking your menstrual cycle. Whether you track your cycle by writing down your period symptoms in a cute notebook or use a downloadable period tracker apps available, it’s really important to know what’s going on with your cycle so that you can support your body with everything it needs during different times of the month.

Why is it important to track your period?

2021 calendar book

So why is it important to track your period? Tracking your cycle can be really beneficial to your lifestyle as it may show some unknown health issues. Tracking your period could indicate a hormone and/or thyroid issue, liver function problems, irritable bowel syndrome, diabetes or a host of other health conditions. So not only does it allow you to keep track of your period, but it may also alert you to a health issue that you might have missed if you hadn't tracked your cycle. We often think that our periods are the same as one another, but our hormonal fluctuations and different lifestyles can have the greatest impact on our bodies which is why it’s great to track your period to notice a unique pattern to you.

It can also have some really positive effects on guiding your lifestyle. One of these things is exercise. Some studies suggest that strength training during the first part of your cycle results in higher increases in muscle strength, compared to training in the second part of your cycle, after ovulation. This means that we can create workout plans and exercises that suit our cycle too!

It is common to miss periods or experience menstrual changes when adopting a new exercise routine, gaining or losing a significant amount of weight, or simply going through a phase of extreme stress. This is important to note when you track your period so that you can see if there is a change in your cycle from this. If you suffer with irregular bleeding then tracking your period will hopefully help you find a pattern and some stability in your cycle. 

It’s also important to track your period so that you can recognise when something in your life has affected your cycle. Notably, over the pandemic our periods have collectively gone haywire. You may have seen the article which The Guardian reported in 2021 & our feature in the Mirror talking about the impact of COVID vaccinations on periods. All of these changes may only be temporary, but it is important to keep an eye on them! 

&SISTERS My First Period Pack

Our menstrual cycles affect us all differently, and at certain times of the month they can send your feelings and body into a spin. Tracking our periods is first and foremost an act of self-care. A little love letter to ourselves to understand our feelings and bodies a little bit better- to feel more empowered throughout the highs and lows of our cycles. It means that when you know you’re coming up to your period you can acknowledge your feelings and treat yourself. Run a warm bath, eat good food, relax - it’s all about looking after yourself. 

How to track your period 

Tracking your period doesn’t need to be complicated, it’s just about finding the right approach for you! For some of us that is in a beautifully illustrated bullet journal tracking both our flow and mental wellbeing, for others it’s just inputting it into your phone calendar (just make sure you aren’t set to family mode!).

So one way you can track your period is by simply writing it down. From your visual and physical period symptoms to your mental wellbeing. Think about how heavy or light you are bleeding, the colour of your period blood and the consistency/flow. While also considering whether you’ve had bad cramps, body aches, bloating, mood swings etc. Ask yourself at the end of the day – How did you feel today? Has it been a rough day? Or have you barely noticed you’re on your period? You could even colour code your period symptoms to make it clearer to track. When you have enough data, you will be able to see when you are experiencing either symptom on a consistent basis. Make sure you also note down any medications you take on those days, or any contraceptive changes. For instance, coming off of the pill and later getting the copper coil could cause changes in your period pain/symptoms.

Contraceptive Pills

If you’re on contraception already then it’s still a good idea to track your period to be more in touch with your cycle and body. There are a few ways you can do this using a period tracking app or writing down your symptoms, keeping in mind that your hormonal contraception may be a reason for various symptoms. Some apps can remind you when to take your pill, tell you what to do if you miss a pill or two, and let you know when your next ‘period’ is. 

You may have also wished you could calculate your period cycle before – well you can! You can try using a period calculator which helps to map out your cycle. All you have to do is answer a few questions regarding the dates of your last period to calculate a prediction. This doesn’t allow you to track your period in detail of symptoms, but it does let you estimate when you are due to bleed! 

Monthly Calendar To Track Periods

You can also try jotting down your period symptoms into a bullet journal. Start by listing any symptoms you experienced during your period and use a mood tracker to note how you feel during your cycle. You can even list self care tips and ideas to do on your hormonal days in particular when you may need a little pick-me-up. Make sure you record your days of ovulation and keep an eye on your symptoms to spot a pattern throughout the month! Using a bullet journal can keep things nice and neat and easy to read/track when looking for a pattern,

But if you’d rather just pop all of this information into one place on your phone, then you might want to try a menstrual cycle tracking app. Keep reading to find out some of the best recommended apps for tracking your period!

Check out our round up of the best Cycle Tracking Apps here.

Cover image ref, Pill- image-,Flo App- The Verge, Clue-, Eve-Eve by Glow, Life -AppAdvice


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