How To Keep Track
You can use any type of calendar to track your menstrual cycle. You need to make sure whatever type of calendar you are using has enough space for you to make notes. You will be recording the days you have your period and any physical or emotional symptoms that you experience during your menstrual cycle. Remember, youll be sharing your menstrual cycle calendar with your healthcare provider.
You may prefer to use an app to track your menstrual cycle.
Its important to chart the days you menstruate and the amount of flow you have even if you have predictable periods that always start and end on time, and no symptoms to chart.
Charting Additional Measures Leads To Greater Success
Weschler cautions that monitoring only the timing of your menstrual cycle, as some apps do, doesnt give you enough information to accurately predict your future ovulation. The most accurate tracking apps include additional markers like basal body temperature , changes in cervical fluid, ovulatory pain, and the like, she says.
In addition to period-tracking apps, a good way to monitor ovulation is with an ovulation predictor kit, which you can buy in the drug store. This uses hormones to most accurately tell you when you have ovulated.
You Can Get Pregnant During Your Period
Itâs time to squash that age-old myth: Your period doesnât protect you from pregnancy. There are a couple of reasons why. First, some women may bleed when their ovaries release an egg each month, called ovulation, and mistake it for their period. Youâre at your peak fertility when you ovulate. So if you have sex during this time, it could actually make you more likely to get pregnant.
Second, you may ovulate before your period is over or within a few days after the bleeding stops. Since sperm can hang out in your body for up to 3 days, having sex during your period could lead to conception.
Use a condom or other form of birth control to prevent an unplanned pregnancy, no matter what time of the month it is.
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Monitor Your Fertility And Plan Ahead
For those wishing to get pregnant, and those trying to avoid pregnancy, understanding your cycle enables you to plan ahead. Many apps will predict your ‘fertile window’ as well as a day of ovulation so you can avoid or aim to have sex at the most appropriate time. But the majority of period tracker apps aren’t certified for use as contraception. And experts don’t advise using any of them as your only form of birth control. It’s a good idea to use other contraceptive methods as well as natural family planning when trying to avoid pregnancy.
You can also plan ahead for your period, which may be beneficial to those going on holiday, taking exams or participating in sport. It is possible to delay a period by starting the contraceptive pill or taking a hormone tablet called norethisterone on an occasional basis for special events. This is available on prescription from your GP. Alternatively, many pharmacists are qualified to offer a private service offering norethisterone to delay your period and you can access this service from qualified community pharmacists without waiting for a GP appointment.
Enjoy Pineapples And Papayas
- Papaya contains carotene, a nutrient that supports estrogen levels. This tropical fruit may also help the uterus contract.
- Pineapples contain the enzyme bromelain, which may help with blood flow and generation of red and white blood cells.
Both are healthy whole foods that are worth including in your diet regardless of their effects.
Certain supplements may promote menstrual regularity by supporting your hormone levels or addressing nutritional deficiencies.
You should always talk to a healthcare provider before taking any supplement.
Although supplements are available over the counter without a prescription from your doctor, they arent regulated by the Food and Drug Administration . This means they dont have to be proven safe and effective before being sold in stores.
Some supplements can also interact with underlying health conditions, as well as over-the-counter and prescription medications. In addition, some supplements may not be safe to take if youre pregnant or planning to become pregnant.
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How To Track Your Cycle
To track your cycle from your Apple Watch, open the Cycle Tracking app, swipe to the correct date, then tap the oval to log your period.
Make Sure Youre Getting Enough Fats
Common sources include:
- flax seeds
The Cleveland Clinic recommends that 20 to 35 percent of your daily calories should be from fat. Approximately 5 to 10 percent of these calories should come specifically from PUFAs.
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Pms Is Still A Mystery
Itâs 1 or 2 weeks before your period starts, and here come the breakouts, sluggishness, cravings, bloating, and mood swings. Sound familiar? Every woman is different, but for many, PMS is a fact of life.
But doctors donât know exactly why that is. It seems to be a mix of hormone changes during your menstrual cycle, chemical changes in the brain, and other emotional issues you might have, such as depression, that can make PMS worse.
Whatâs more, once you get your period, the rollercoaster may continue. One study found that period-related pains such as cramps, bloating, backaches, and headaches can cloud your thinking, because the pain may make it harder for you to focus on the tasks at hand. Not that you canât still do them — you can. It may just feel like it takes more work.
Lifestyle changes are usually the best way to take control of PMS. Aim to get about 30 minutes of exercise most days of the week, get 8 hours of shut-eye per night, and donât smoke. Your diet makes a difference, too, so fill up on fruits, veggies, and whole grains while you limit salt as well as sugar, caffeine, and alcohol.
Let your doctor know if PMS keeps you from doing what you normally do, or if you have symptoms of depression or anxiety. You may have a more serious condition called premenstrual dysphoric disorder that needs medical attention.
What Periods Are Considered Irregular
Women typically get their periods once every 28 days or so. For some women, this happens like clockwork, but others have cycles that are much less predictable.
Your periods are most likely irregular if:
- The number of days between your periods starts to change
- The amount of blood you lose is more or less than usual
- The duration of your periods varies
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When Should I Expect My First Period
Most girls get their first period somewhere between the ages of 10 and 14, with an average of just over 12 years old. Its hard to tell when your first period will arrive. It usually happens about two years after the first signs of puberty , and about a year after you begin growing pubic hair. You will also notice white or yellowish vaginal discharge in the few months leading up to your period.
There are numerous factors that are thought to influence the age of the first period, including:
- Parental education
- Illness and stress
The average age of the first period has been decreasing over time. In 1900 in the United States, the average age of the first period was between 14 and 15 years of age. The decreasing age of the onset of menstruation seems to have levelled off now at 12.
There is no way to predict exactly when you will get your first period, and there is nothing you can do to make it start, except wait. If you are worried about your first period, talk to your family doctor.
If you are sexually active, you will need to consider the possibility that you could get pregnant once you have your period. In fact, you can even get pregnant if youve never menstruated, since its possible to ovulate before your first period. There are many forms of birth control available read about them here. You are also at risk of sexually transmitted infections if you are sexually active learn how to protect yourself.
To Increase Your Likelihood Of Conceiving
Tracking fertility is one of the main reasons people choose to track their period.
You plug in your period start dates, body temperature, and other metrics, and a tracker app will let you know when youre most likely ovulating. You can then use the tracker to plan around your fertility windows and increase your pregnancy chances.
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To Better Understand Your Overall Health
Most menstrual cycles last about 28 days, but every person is different. Tracking your period gives you a better understanding of what normal looks like for you. Most period trackers also provide tools to track PMS symptoms like:
- Mood changes
- Gastrointestinal changes
Once you understand your baseline, you can better determine whether health issues like acne or headaches are due to hormonal changes. You can also recognize if your symptoms change from month to month. Youll know right away if youre late or if youre having more severe PMS effects than usual. A sudden increase in the severity of cramps can indicate a potential health issue.
Additionally, tracking your cycle helps your doctor support you better. During an annual checkup, your doctor will likely ask questions about your cycle. If youve been following your period, youll be able to provide confident answers that help your doctor evaluate your health.
Tracking Menstruation: How It Helps Your Reproductive Health
Knowing your cycle length is beneficial for a number of reasons. For women trying to conceive, understanding the timing of your cycle is valuable for determining the time you are most likely to get pregnant.
Women are considered fertile when an egg has been released from the ovaries and is able to be joined by a mans sperm. Because of how long both the egg and the sperm survive inside a womans fallopian tubes, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecology says you can become pregnant if you have sex anywhere from five days before ovulation until one day after.
Generally, ovulation is said to occur about 14 days before the start of your next menstrual period. But every woman and every cycle are different. Knowing when you might really be ovulating and having intercourse around that time can enhance your odds of getting pregnant.
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Should You Track Your Period If Your Cycle Is ‘normal’ Or Regular
Even if your cycle is pretty regular, tracking it on a monthly basis is still a good idea. Not only is it for predicting when your period will arrive, but it can be a helpful tool for gauging other factors about your health. For example, irregular or absent periods can point to other underlying health issues, so it’s important to be aware of what is happening and when so you can tell your doctor.
“Periods are so helpful to track because it can help with planning lifestyles, fertility and also to help women know when there may be some changes to their cycle,” Dr. Jessica Shepherd, OB/GYN, told CNET.
For example, if you’re planning a vacation, you’ll be better equipped to schedule it on a date that’s not around your period . Some women find that being aware of their cycle can help with planning other social or work-related activities too.
Maybe you know that around 2-3 days before your period you don’t feel your best — maybe you have low energy or get headaches. If that’s the case, you can use period tracking to help you plan your biggest work projects or date-nights on days when you’re feeling your best.
If you do start to experience changes in your cycle then keeping track on a monthly basis can help you remember when you experience changes, and try to detect any patterns or recurring changes. Changes in your cycle aren’t necessarily a problem, but helpful to track in case you’d like to discuss them with your doctor.
How To Track Ovulation To Get Pregnant
Tracking ovulation isnt the same as tracking your period, but it can be just as helpful.
Tracking your ovulation cycle can help with a number of things, including knowing when your period will arrive and getting pregnant.
But there’s something else you should track if you’re trying to get pregnant, trying not to get pregnant, or have any unexplained symptoms like acne or mood swings. Ovulation is the name of the game, and it turns out that this very short — albeit crucial — part of your cycle is super insightful.
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How To Calculate Your Period Accurately
The best way to track your period really means the best way for you. This partly depends on what you want the information for and on your personal preference for an apps function and design.
Tracking your monthly cycle to try to get pregnant, for example, requires different features than if you want to assess your PMS. And whether you love or hate designs that go all feminine with pink colors and lots of curlicues is a matter of taste.
About Heart Rate Data And Predictions
In addition to the information youve logged for previous periods and cycle length, Health can use heart rate data from your Apple Watch to improve your Cycle Tracking predictions.* Using heart rate data from Apple Watch to improve predictions is on by default, but you can turn it off at any time.
*The Heart Rate Data option is available only in certain countries or regions, and you must have an Apple Watch paired to an iPhone with iOS 15 or later.
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