The Importance of Tracking Your Period
by Grace Cooper
Every woman has experienced an irregularity in her period at some point, whether it be skipping a month or being a day late. Sometimes these irregularities are trivial but other times a menstrual irregularity is the symptom of a larger issue.
Although it may not always seem like it, a women’s period is a great indicator of her current state of health. For instance, when a women’s period becomes irregular or stops altogether this may be a sign of something bigger that her body is dealing with. However, it’s important to note that every woman’s period is different. What may be regular for one woman may be absolutely irregular for another, because not every woman has a perfect twenty-eight day cycle. This is why it’s important for women to track their periods—only then can they know when something has gone amiss.
Some women do this the old-fashioned way with paper and pen, while others have taken to using technology as a tool to track their menstrual cycle. There are a lot of great phone applications that make tracking your period easy and accessible—most apps can even give you reminders so you know when it’s about to come.
Most of these applications, such as Kindara or Ovuline, do more than just keep track of your periods. Some will allow users to record notes about their temperature, mood, symptoms, etc. on any day of your cycle. Additionally, some apps are able to accurately predict the stages of your period, such as ovulation. Not only does this help women understand their own fertility, but it also allows them to keep track of their cycle and know when there’s an irregularity in their period.
When you notice that your period is late, it’s important to stay calm and look back at the chart of your cycle. Have their been any recent changes in your life? Any new stressors? Have you recently started taking a new medication? Although some women’s initial reactions may be to assume their pregnant, many different things could contribute to an irregular period, and it’s important to consider the possible causes before jumping to conclusions.
If you do find yourself missing your period and you are not pregnant, try to find a doctor who will work with you to get to the root of the problem. All too often, women are given hormonal treatments to regulate their periods, when all it really does is mask the real issue. So, if you don’t already track your period, now may be a good time to start. Knowing your cycle can only help you get a better understanding of your body and your health.
About the Author
Former Birthright of Pittsburgh volunteer.