OB/GYN Dr. Staci Tanouye shares her tips on when to know your period is coming and how to stay prepared.
While nearly half the population experiences a period, individual experiences differ. Every body is
different and people may experience varying cycle lengths with periods coming sooner or later than
expected for a variety of reasons. We’ll explore what causes these fluctuations and how you can better
prepare for your period, so that your cycle doesn't have to hold you back!
Different factors can make your period lighter, heavier, longer or shorter. With some of my patients,
we've discovered that factors can include diet, sleep and exercise. To better prepare for your period,
pay attention to these aspects and how they might affect the timing of your period each month. For
example, have you noticed your period arrived later than normal? Think about whether your stress
levels were higher or if you got less sleep. Or, does your flow feel unusually light? This could happen if
you suddenly increase the regularity or intensity of your exercise. To learn about other causes,
check out this Q&A on irregular periods.
Although every body's cycle might not be by-the-book, it's important to figure out what a regular cycle
means for your body, so that you can pick out when something's not right. As always, I recommend
talking to your OB/GYN so they can help you learn how your cycle might be linked to other factors of
your health and wellness.
Whether your period follows a very specific schedule or comes as a surprise, one thing we know for sure
is that it doesn't need to hold you back! Yes, periods can sometimes be inconvenient, but we can plan
ahead for periods so that they don't catch us off guard. Using a period calculator is a great way to see
which day your period will most likely arrive. The more you use the tracker, the more accurately you can
predict the upcoming month's cycle. This tracker is also helpful for monitoring the different menstrual
cycles that occur.
After a few months, you should start to see a pattern with your cycle. However, if you feel that your
periods are irregular or unusual, I always recommend seeing your healthcare provider.
Now that you know how to better prepare for your period, you can feel more confident about managing
it whenever it arrives. I always recommend that patients keep a period kit on-hand for those "just in
case moments." Although you might be able to predict the timing of your cycle, there's always a
possibility for light spotting or even a heavier flow than expected. Make sure you have some products
like U by Kotex® Security® Lightdays® Liners or Click® Compact Tampons
in your bag or back pocket, to keep you dry and comfortable for any surprises!
After all, periods are a normal and beautiful part of human life. So, let's treat them as such, instead of
viewing them as a burden to our daily schedules. With a little prep and patience, you can maintain a
healthy period and achieve all those awesome goals!
Staci Tanouye, MD, OB-GYN is a physician in a private practice and an expert in
adolescent health, sexual health, reproductive health, and menopausal health. She has become one of
the leading gynecologists on social media with the mission to educate women and all people with vulvas
to love their bodies through knowledge and empowerment.
This is not intended to be medical advice. Everybody is different so please make sure to consult your physician if you're having issues. Do not delay or refrain from seeking professional medical advice from your physician because of something you have read on this site.
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