Periods – tracking your menstrual cycle



Key points about tracking your period

  • Do you keep track of when your next menstrual period is due?
  • Keeping track of your period helps you learn more about its frequency and length. It can also help you see patterns in mood changes.
  • Being in tune with your body and understanding the different hormones involved in menstruation can help you navigate your monthly cycle better.
  • There are lots of apps on the market which help you track your period, or you could simply use a good old calendar or diary.
Young women going to work together
Print this page

1. You won’t get caught short

There’s nothing worse than being caught out and not having any sanitary products at hand, especially if you’re out and about or away on holiday. Knowing when your next period is due helps you plan and ensures you aren’t caught short.

2. It can help you conceive

A woman is the most fertile and therefore most likely to get pregnant the three days leading up to and including ovulation. Ovulation happens around 14 days before your period starts. If you are keeping track of your cycle, then it will be easier to know which days you are most likely to get pregnant.

3. Being prepared for hormone changes

The severity of premenstrual syndrome (PMS) varies from person to person and some women don’t experience it at all in the lead up to their period. Knowing when you may experience PMS can help you understand why you’re feeling the way you are and how to potentially manage it. On the plus side, some women feel more energetic or have a higher sex drive at certain stages in their cycle. By keeping a record of how you’re feeling and when, you can better understand (and utilise) these changes to your advantage.

4. Being alerted to potential problems

Your menstrual cycle is a good indicator of your overall health. Changes or irregularities in your menstrual cycle may be an indication of a potential health problem (which may not necessarily be related to your reproductive organs).

If you are concerned about your menstrual cycle, or any changes to it, please contact your GP or healthcare provider.

The first day of bleeding is counted as day 1 of the menstrual cycle. If you have a 28-day cycle, you will ovulate (release an egg) around day 14 and get your period around 14 days later (as long as you haven’t fallen pregnant).

Periods can occur from every 21 to 40 days and can last anywhere from three to seven days. Some people experience strong physical and mental changes, particularly in the lead up to their period, while others experience little or no change.

Need help now?

Healthline logo in supporters block

Need to talk logo

Healthpoint logo

Credits: Healthify Editorial Team. Healthify is brought to you by Health Navigator Charitable Trust.

Page last updated: