How to Effectively Track Your Period
I’ve been tracking my cycle for years on various apps (I’m currently using Clue), and am always thrilled when my clients pull out their phone to tell me details of their cycle. If you have yet to start tracking your period, here’s a few things to keep note of.
What to Track
First day of bleeding
Day 1 is the FIRST day of significant bleeding – NOT spotting. Spotting is the remainder of your last period. However, if you’re spotting more than 2 days before your period then there may be a bigger issue at play.
Number of days bleeding
Ideally, a typical menstrual flow is 2-7 days, again with the first day being a significant bleed. Anything more or less may be indicative of certain conditions like PCOS, and longer periods may put you at risk for conditions like iron deficiency.
Amount of blood lost
This was the main reason why I began using a menstrual cup. Amount of blood loss should be between 20 to 60mL per cycle. Anything above 80mL may be classified as menorrhagia.
Tracking cervical fluid is a great idea, especially if you are looking to become pregnant in the near future. Cervical fluid changes throughout the cycle, as it’s dry at the beginning and resembles that of an egg white around day 12/13.
Pain & PMS
You may know by now, that you shouldn’t be experiencing any pain or PMS before or during your period. You may experience slight pain on day 1 because the uterus is a muscle, and it’s contractions are expelling the endometrial lining. However, you shouldn’t be curled up in a fetal position, experiencing breast tenderness or other uncomfortable physical symptoms.
If you’re sexually active, it’s always a good idea to keep track of when intercourse happened. Especially if you are hoping for a pregnancy. If not, you can use this information along with cervical fluid and temperature to help make informed choices as to when to avoid sex.
Basal body temperature can be used as another piece of information for fertility purposes. It also tells you if you’ve ovulated, as progesterone is the reason why temperature increases in the luteal phase of the cycle.
As you can see, tracking your period can be relatively simple! It gives you an idea if you’re experiencing a healthy period, and if you’re not – it provides some information on how to tailor a treatment plan.
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