Why Women Should Track Their Cycle – Even While Not Trying to Get Pregnant

Period tracking is becoming more and more common thanks to apps designed to help women record and predict their next period and ovulation cycle. People may think  the benefits of period tracking are limited to aspiring mothers-to-be, but that is not the case. Period tracking is helpful even for those who are not looking to get pregnant. Not only is it useful to know when your next period is most likely to happen, but tracking your cycle can also help you learn more about your menstrual health, particularly if you have an underlying health condition like polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) or endometriosis. 

Know your normal

The average cycle lasts about 29 days, but this can vary from woman to woman. Even if your cycle is pretty regular, tracking your menstrual cycle can still provide valuable information. It can help you determine what your normal cycle is so you can be aware of any deviations. The length of your cycle can vary from month to month based on your hormone levels and lifestyle factors like stress, medications, and medical conditions. Keeping note of changes in lifestyle factors can help you understand the potential cause of changes. 

Identify abnormalities sooner

If you experience changes in your cycle like an increase or decrease in period duration or flow and new or worsening symptoms, recording your monthly periods will help you remember when these changes began. This in turn can help clue you in on what the cause might be, so you can flag any symptoms to share with your doctor or healthcare provider. Irregular or absent periods can be a sign of a potential health issue, so being aware of what is happening with your body can empower you to stay on top of your health. 

Gain a better understanding of your symptoms

For women with PCOS or endometriosis, irregular periods are nothing new. Period tracking can help you predict your cycle and better understand your symptoms, while also feeling more in control of your body and less like you’re at the mercy of your body’s biological whims. You will also have more accurate information to share with your doctor, which can help you and your doctor decide on effective treatment. 

No more surprises

Period tracking can give you a wealth of information about your body and its wellbeing. Not only will you be better equipped to understand what’s regular for you, but you can also track things like sex drive, energy levels, mood, sleep cycle, and food cravings, and relate them to stages in your menstrual cycle. Getting a prediction on when your next period starts also means you can plan around big events like vacations and weddings, which is helpful if your period symptoms are particularly harsh and uncomfortable.

Ultimately…

The menstrual cycle is how a woman’s body prepares for pregnancy after ovulation, the release of a mature egg. For women tracking their periods, irregular menstrual cycles can be an indication that the normal menstrual cycle has been disrupted and ovulation has not occurred. If your period cycles have been irregular or if you have had normal cycles and have been trying to conceive without success for more than six months, you might consider seeking fertility treatment. At the Arizona Center for Reproductive Endocrinology & Infertility, we offer a wide range of services to meet every woman’s individual needs. Learn more.