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Importance of Tracking Menstrual Cycle

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Whether to get pregnant, prevent one or to plan an exciting trip ahead, having a track of your menstrual cycle is essential. Know how.

Written by

Dr. Preetha. J

Medically reviewed by

Dr. Natasha Bansal

Published At March 12, 2022
Reviewed AtJune 7, 2024

What Is Menstruation?

Menstruation is the monthly period, which is the regular discharge of the mucous or blood from the uterus's lining through the vagina. Menstruation bleeding will occur once a month from puberty until menopause through the vagina, except during pregnancy, but it may differ in individuals with irregular menstruation. During this period, the hormones will make the uterus lining thicker, ready in case of pregnancy. The average age for a girl to get her first period is 12. But every girl does not need to get at this age.

What Is a Menstrual Cycle?

Hormones usually control the menstrual cycle. The rise in the hormone estrogen level will cause the ovary to grow and release an egg. The uterus lining will start to thicken during the menstrual cycle. The average menstrual cycle is about 28 days. The menstrual cycle can be calculated from the first day of bleeding until the first day of the next menstrual cycle. The menstrual flow happens through the vagina and may last for three to five days.

What Are the Signs and Symptoms of a Menstrual Cycle?

The most common premenstrual symptoms are:

  • Bloating.

  • Cramps.

  • Sore breasts.

  • Breakouts.

  • Mood swings.

  • Feeling tired.

How Can One Track Menstrual Cycles?

Periods tracker is an application that helps to track the menstrual cycle quickly and accurately. All one has to do is press the start button on the first of three consecutive months of periods. This period tracker will calculate the average length of the last three menstrual cycles. When a person has irregular periods or any other related symptoms, they should consult with a physician or a gynecologist. These irregularities can be due to hormonal fluctuations.

What Are the Reasons for Tracking Periods?

If regular periods occur, tracking can aid in understanding the body's standard patterns and identifying irregularities that may indicate underlying health issues such as PCOS, thyroid disorders, or endometriosis.

Period tracking reveals when to expect cramps, food cravings, and mood fluctuations, and assists in determining ovulation timing. The average menstrual cycle lasts 28 days but may range from 21 to 40 days, with ovulation typically occurring 14 days after the last period day. This information is valuable for conception or contraception planning.

How to Track the Irregular Periods?

A fertility monitor and ovulation predictor kit are the menstrual tracking tools. In the case of irregular periods, those that are longer, one has to do the testing every month. Most of the women will have 11 to 13 periods per year. But, if this does not occur, it denotes irregularity in the menstrual cycle. When started for the first time, menstruation will take at least two years to become regular. Most of the women's menstrual cycle becomes regular after puberty and the length of the period between each cycle is also the same. However, in some women, the length of time between each cycle and the amount of bloodshed also vary.

What Could Be the Complications of Irregular Periods?

Irregular periods commonly denote some health-related issues, which can even lead to infertility.

  • Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) is a condition in which small, fluid-filled sacs (cysts) are formed in the ovaries. A woman who has PCOS does not ovulate and does not release an egg every month. The symptoms may include irregular periods or no periods, acne, obesity, and excess hair growth.

  • Thyroid disorder can also cause irregular periods. The thyroid gland will produce a hormone that affects the body's metabolism.

  • Uterine or cervical cancer in rare cases can cause bleeding during intercourse or between periods.

What Information Should Be Collected While Tracking the Menstrual Cycle?

Collecting extensive data provides a comprehensive understanding of the factors influencing the menstrual cycle and the body's response to internal and external stimuli. Recording various aspects, from mood swings to energy levels, allows for future assessments of how lifestyle adjustments may impact the cycle.

Here are some suggestions for detailed recording:

  1. Physical Symptoms - These details provide detailed descriptions of any physical symptoms experienced.

  2. Body Changes - These include observations of bloating, cramps, headaches, and fatigue.

  3. Sleep Quality - Use color markers to denote sleep quality (red, amber, green).

  4. Mental Health Changes - Document any mood fluctuations and changes in social activity interest.

  5. Daily Basal Body Temperature (BBT) - Monitor temperature fluctuations, indicating responses to lifestyle or biological factors.

  6. Changes in Cervical Fluid - Track variations in fluid amount, type, and consistency.

  7. Exercise and Performance - Record changes in performance and recovery for optimal exercise timing, especially for active individuals.

What Is the Importance of Tracking the Menstrual Cycle?

  • The importance of tracking the menstrual cycle is to determine the length of the menstrual cycle.

  • Keeping track of the menstrual cycle will help people in many ways, like finding out any health-related issues. It allows women to take reasonable control of their health through education and awareness of their cycle and body.

  • The menstrual cycle length can vary from person to person, and they are usually between 21 to 35 days.

  • Nowadays, teenagers who are more familiar and comfortable with computers and technology use their smartphones to track their periods. Most health applications will allow tracking the health data commonly on gynecological health, menstruation, and sexual activity.

  • To know the difference between regular and irregular menstruation, fertility, and pregnancy and to monitor hormonal changes, menstrual tracking is beneficial. By tracking the menstrual cycle, one can learn about their regular cycle and spot any differences. So if one finds any irregular changes in the menstrual cycle that are to be considered, they can visit the general practitioner.

What Are the Benefits of Tracking Menstrual Cycle?

The benefits of tracking the menstrual cycle are:

  • It helps to understand the unique pattern of the menstrual cycle. The simplest way to track the period is to log on to the application on the first day of the cycle, with which one can understand the average length of the cycle. The menstrual cycle's global average length is 28 days, but it is not the same for everyone. Each one has its cycle length.

  • By tracking the menstruation cycle, one will know when they are fertile. There is always a misconception of how pregnancy occurs, whether it is only during ovulation time or all the time. The ovulation is also called the fertile window and lasts for about six days on average. A greater chance of getting pregnant can occur two days before ovulation.

  • Menstruation tracking will also help to avoid pregnancy by informing about the safe period for having sex.

  • It will give women an awareness of their health and overall wellness because the menstruation cycle will tell about their overall health condition. Having heavy or irregular bleeding or losing period can be due to some serious underlying condition.

  • It will tell about the sexual drive.

  • Through this, one can comprehend and manage the mood.

  • Digital trackers will help to know about gynecological health.

Reviewing the Menstrual Cycle Data -

For example, if noticing that energy levels fluctuate drastically during menstruation, adjusting the timing of exercise could have a drastic effect on the body’s ability to recover the following day.

The same advice applies if noticing positive emotional or physical trends. Tracking is designed to maximize well-being during the cycle. Gathering as much data as possible helps build a comprehensive profile to better understand what has the biggest effect on the menstrual cycle.

Conclusion:

Keeping track of one 's menstrual cycles can help in family planning and pregnancy. However, tracking should not be used as a sole method for birth control. In addition to fertility concerns, tracking the menstrual cycle also helps identify underlying gynecological issues. Overall, charting the menstrual cycle can help in planning life.

Frequently Asked Questions

1.

What Is a Normal Period Cycle In a Woman?

The normal period cycle may vary from woman to woman, but on average, the normal cycle is after every 28 days. The cycles that are of 23 or 35 days are usually considered normal. The period cycle is calculated from the day before the start of the first cycle to the day before the beginning of the next one. 

2.

How Many Days Does a Normal Period Last?

A normal period usually lasts for two to seven days, but mostly for only five days. The period of blood flow is heaviest during the initial two days and appears dark red. The flow becomes lighter after two days and may have brown or pink blood.

3.

How to Calculate Menstrual Cycle Days?

Menstrual cycle days are calculated from the first day or day 1 of the last period to the first day of the period bleed of the next cycle. For most women, the average menstrual cycle lasts for five days, and the period cycle is of 28-days.

4.

Why Do Periods Cycle Dates Change?

Period dates may change every month due to hormonal variations in the body. In addition, it can also get affected by other factors like certain medications, lifestyle changes, and stress. Therefore, the period cycle may start from 28 +/- 7 days from day 1 of the last period and thus be considered a normal cycle.

5.

What Are the Indications of Healthy Period Flow?

The indications of a healthy period are
- Pain-free period.
- The menstrual cycle is between 26 to 35 days.
- PMT (pre-menstrual tension) is not experienced during periods.
- The blood is red.
- Bleeding only occurs during period days.

6.

What Are Signs Indicating the Coming of Periods?

Signs indicating the coming of periods are
- Tender or swollen breast.
- Spotting.
- Pain.
- Bloating.
- Cramp.
- Mood changes.
- Acne.

7.

When Is a Period Considered Unhealthy?

The period is considered unhealthy if a person bleeds heavily and requires more than one sanitary pad every one or two hours. It may also be healthy if they occur in less than 21 days and more than 35 days and a person experiences severe pain during periods. A period is also unhealthy if bleeding occurs between the period cycles.

8.

When Should a Person Worry About Their Period?

A person should worry about their periods in the following cases:
- If they bleed between the periods.
- Bleeding occurs after menopause.
- Bleeding occurs after sexual intercourse.

9.

How Many Pads Are Considered Normal for a Period per Day?

On average, one to five pads are considered normal per day. However, changing the pad after every four to eight hours is usually recommended for hygiene purposes. Therefore, five pads a day is normal if a person sleeps at least seven hours at night.

10.

Are Painless Periods Considered Normal?

Painless periods are normal as they may indicate healthy periods. On the other hand, severe cramps during periods may be due to any underlying serious medical conditions or an indication of unhealthy periods.

11.

Which Day of the Period Is the Heaviest?

The first two days of the period are the heaviest, but it is different for everyone. The heavy period blood flow is red, while the lighter flow appears brown or pink. The normal bleeding during the period may last for two to five days on average.

12.

What Things Should Be Avoided During Periods?

Things that should be avoided during periods include
- Spicy foods.
- Salt.
- Alcohol.
- Red meat.
- Coffee.
- Alcohol.
- Sugar.
Source Article IclonSourcesSource Article Arrow
Dr. Natasha Bansal
Dr. Natasha Bansal

Obstetrics and Gynecology

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