Periods are rarely fun, and many of us tend to find ourselves looking for any way to make it a little bit easier. Menstrual cycles require a surprising amount of planning and pre-emptive action, at least if we want life to be easy.
Before we had apps, we just had to rely on our bodies to be consistent with our menstrual flow. There was a lot of guesswork involved, and not all of those guesses were accurate! But today, there really is an app for everything, including keeping track and notifying you about when your period is due, when you’re ovulating, and even the type of symptoms you might experience.
Tracking your periods and everything that comes with them is an excellent way to be proactive about your physical and mental health. Read on to discover about tracking your period cycle so you always know what to expect each month.
Why should I track my period?
Tracking your period is just another tool that you can use to be as in tune with your body as possible. The better you know your body, the quicker you’ll notice if something changes. That way, if something occurs health-wise, you’ll be attuned enough to pick up on it and, ideally, resolve it early on. A change in the menstrual cycle is often the first clear symptom in several health issues, even those that aren’t connected to the reproductive organs. Issues that can be identified by an irregular cycle include diabetes, irritable bowel syndrome, hormone or thyroid issue, liver function problems, and several other health conditions.
Tracking your menstrual cycle can give you an idea of the patterns of symptoms that you experience, whether that’s physical discomfort, a change in your mental health or libido, and food cravings.
Tracking your monthly period can also help inform you when you are at your most fertile, which will help if you’re trying to get pregnant. For many people, a missed period is the first indication of pregnancy, so if you know exactly when yours is due, you’ll have a better idea of your chances of being pregnant. Similarly, those who don’t wish to become pregnant can benefit from knowing when their period is due for the same reasons. No form of contraception is 100% guaranteed to prevent pregnancy, and accurate tracking is the only way to follow the “rhythm method,” which involves avoiding sex on your most fertile days.
What information should I note about my period?
The bare minimum you should note is the first day of your period as this information can help you flag timing irregularities. In other words, if the only piece of information you note is when your period starts, at the very least you can figure out if you’re ever late. But there’s plenty of other information you can track, much of which can help you monitor your health and prepare for any menstrual symptoms.
Other than noting the first day of your period, here’s some more information you might want to consider tracking every month:
1. How heavy your period is each day
Note whether your period starts with a day or two of heavy flow, then easing off to a few days of spotting? If this sounds like your experience, you’ll likely need various menstrual products each day. This might be period underwear for the first day, absorbent tampons for the second day, and a light pantyliner for the rest of the week. Anticipating the heaviness of your flow can make life a little easier, as you know what to wear, carry, or pack in your work bag each day.
2. Your mood during your cycle
If you’re prone to premenstrual syndrome or premenstrual dysphoric disorder, it may feel as though your moods fluctuate randomly. But by noting your moods leading up to and during your period, you might find that your mood takes a dip at the same time each month. Once you’ve established any relevant patterns and changes in your mental health, you’re better equipped to cope with them going forward.
3. Your appetite and energy levels
You’d be surprised how many aspects of your life are dictated by your menstrual cycle. Monitoring how you feel in the lead-up to your period can teach you some interesting stuff about the way you live your life.
For example, you may be inclined to have a huge appetite on the first day of your period, and knowing this allows you to prepare, and have the right foods on hand. You might also feel nauseous or experience cramps on day one, so you may want to have some peppermint tea, a heating pad, and some painkillers at home.
Tracking your energy level may also show that you’re always exhausted or have headaches on a certain day of your period. As with the previous symptoms, you can preempt these symptoms and make sure you have everything you need when the cravings, fatigue, and aches hit.
How can I track my period?
The most simple way to track your period is to simply mark a calendar on the first day of your next period, and then count 28 days and mark that day on the calendar. If you’re regular, your period should fall around that time. Just make sure it’s a diary you use daily or won’t lose. You may also be able to track by how your mood and body changes – some people get more anxious, emotional, depressed, or bloated in the days leading up to their period. While these all work, the most effective way to keep track comes in the form of an app. Here’s a list of some of the best-reviewed period tracker apps:
Clue lets you learn about personal patterns with over 30 tracking options. It gives you an idea of how long your cycle is, and the typical length of your period. Input information about your sleep patterns, cramps, skin, and hair to understand how your body works the best you can.
2. Period Tracker Lite
This app is simple and to the point. It calculates the average of your past 3 months' period to anticipate the start date of your next period. This month-view calendar is user-friendly and even allows you to export any relevant information to email for your next doctor's visit.
This app is a little more niche as it’s targeted to those with multiple sexual partners who want to track their menstrual cycle to avoid pregnancy. With a tracker for sexual activity, you can use this to identify trends and track any symptoms.
Perfect for those trying to conceive, Glow lets you share relevant information with your partner so that you both know when you’re most fertile. Glow is also the creator company of Eve, and they have sister apps for tracking pregnancy symptoms, and a baby health tracker for those early years. As an app company, Glow covers the most bases, offering solutions to those wanting to avoid pregnancy, those trying to get pregnant, and those who already have children.
5. Samsung Health
If you have a Samsung, their in-built health app also has a women’s health feature that can track your period for you and notify you when your period is coming. It will give you a heads up 2-3 days in advance so if your period is a little early, you’ll be prepared to deal with it.
There are so many benefits to tracking your period, and it’s helpful for everyone, whether you’re monitoring your health, avoiding pregnancy, or aiming for it. Since your menstrual cycle can affect things like your appetite, mental health, sex drive, and weight fluctuation, it can help if you’re prepared for these symptoms and changes. There’s no downside to being in tune with your body; it lets you plan your life around your symptoms and needs, and it can give you a better chance of noticing if something’s amiss.
It’s also another great way to stay organized and avoid being stuck without the all-important painkillers and period panties when you need them most! To ensure you stay as comfortable as possible during your next cycle, shop our range of period underwear here.
The Last Word
Boob sweat can cause discomfort or, even worse, infections. It’s also not something we want to think about. With one simple purchase, you can focus more on life and less on boob sweat. Proof specializes in breathable and comfy leakproof bras and period underwear that are super absorbent and fight odor. Wearing an ultra-absorbent bra with soft, smooth support can help you combat boob sweat and get back to living your life. Proof products are designed for comfort and quality, but most important, to be leakproof.
Take charge of boob sweat. . . try Proof’s expertly designed bras today!