We can't control when our period arrives, but tracking your cycle let's you proactively plan ahead, so you can take on each day without worry.
Although we expect period cycles to be consistent, it can be difficult to know exactly when your period will arrive and how it will affect you mentally and physically. Understanding your period can be a great first step in managing it! While you can’t naturally control the timing of your period, you can proactively plan ahead for your period in order to maintain a healthy cycle.
It’s important to track your period so you can get to know your ever-changing body. This is also beneficial for monitoring potential irregularities in your cycle that could indicate larger health concerns, such as fibroids or pelvic inflammatory disease. Additionally, tracking your period can help you plan your exercise, optimize your energy levels and feel prepared for big events like weddings and vacations.
There are a few methods you can use to track your cycle, including a traditional pen-and-paper journal or marking your dates on a calendar. I recommend that my clients use a period calculator, like this U by Kotex® Period Calculator, to easily and consistently track all phases of your cycle.
Sometimes periods arrive early or late! To avoid unpleasant surprises on your cycle, familiarize yourself with a few factors that can affect the start date of your period (and reference your period tracker to better understand when that surprise could arrive):
Whether your period flows like clockwork or fluctuates each month, tracking your cycle – and using a period tracker – can help you understand your shifting energy levels, monitor for larger health concerns, and optimize your cycle so you can take on each day. Paying attention to your mind and body is so important for a healthy, productive cycle!
About Dr. Jessica Shepherd: Dr. Jessica Shepherd is an OB/GYN, women's health expert and the founder of Her Viewpoint, an online women's health forum that focuses on addressing taboo topics in a comfortable setting. She currently practices at Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas, TX.
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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