Why You Should Be Tracking Your Menstrual Cycle
I used to NEVER know when my period was going to start. Mainly, because I didn’t really care.
My period would come and go (always a surprise….) and I would just “deal” with it’s annoying arrival when I had to.
Until a few years ago, when I realized that my period was more on the disappeared side of things than not.
That’s when I started to get a bit worried.
Instead of getting a “real" period each month, I was just spotting inconsistently. In addition to these odd menstrual symptoms, my anxiety was ALL over the place. Plus the cramps. Plus the acne….
I felt like a serious mess from head to toe.
But even back then, when all of these menstrual irregularities started arising, I still wasn’t tracking my period.
Because I had NO idea that I actually had the inner-power to take charge of my period.
My period felt like such a foreign invader … and I was the victim.
Luckily, I finally discovered just how much power I had to actually change the course of my period.
Most of us were never taught that we are the experts on our own bodies.
We are told to keep quite about our periods and our symptoms. Talking about heavy periods, cervical mucus, and/or our libido is taboo for MANY, many women.
So, how can society expect us to starting feeling better and healing our bodies when we literally have NO idea what’s going on inside of them?
When we go to our doctors for help, we get blanket answers. Usually resulting in birth control as the only possible solution.
And let’s be REAL for second -- our doctors don’t have time to sit down and go through a lengthy discussion of our 4 menstrual phases, hormone fluctuations, and lifestyle patterns that could be contributing to our symptoms.
That is why it is OUR job to be our own health advocates, so we are backed with the necessary information to communicate with our doctors affectively.
One of the best ways you can get to know your body is simply by tracking your period and symptoms. Here are a few important things to note, and how you can get started….
Tip 1: find a good digital tracker
I love using The Flo App. You have the ability to take notes, track your symptoms , cervical fluid, and so much more!
Remember that DAY ONE of your period is the first day of true red flow. Day one does not include the spotting you might sometimes get before your period actually starts.
When you track your cycle, you will soon learn your “average” average cycle length (although the common cycle is 28 days, 21-35 days is considered normal range).
You also will also learn when you ovulate (not all women are around day 14, which is SUPER important to note!).
Plus, you will gain and understanding on how you FEEL throughout the 4 phases of your menstrual cycle.
All of these pieces and parts become crucial when you’re looking for answers on your hormone and/or fertility journey. Tracking helps you get there.
Tip 2: Take your Basal Body Temperature
This is your resting temperature, or the temperature you have as SOON as you wake up.
Before you get out from under your cozy sheets, talk to anymore, or even use the restroom!
I will be sharing a post soon all about ovulation (cervical mucus and all!), and the signs you can look out for, but for now - know that ovulation is a KEY sign in your hormonal health.
Your temperature is lowest the weeks before ovulation and spikes about .10 degrees once you have released an egg. Knowing your temperature helps you understand IF and WHEN you’re ovulating. I am super excited to be trying out the Daysy tracker SOON to help with this and will report back!!
This fact alone helps you take charge of your fertility (or understand when NOT to get pregnant…) as well as get clues on your estrogen and progesterone levels.
Tip 3: Take note of mental & Emotional Changes
When you’re tracking your cycle and ovulation schedule, noticing ebbs and flows in your mental and emotional state is very important.
With progesterone being our “calming” hormone and estrogen playing a role in energy (and sometimes anxiety), knowing which phase of your cycle has you feeling AMAZING, or when those period blues are about to strike, will give you so many powerful clues.
Tip 4: Take note of digestive issues
Did you think I would forget to mention gut health? :)
Our gut helps to eliminate excess hormones form the body and helps regulate and metabolize estrogen levels in our system. Without a healthy gut, our hormones struggle BIG time to stay balanced and regulated.
Not to mention all of the other anti-inflammatory and health benefits of a balanced belly.
Take note of any digestive discomfort throughout your cycle, and if you can, document any food that my have been triggering for you.
This will help inform your doctor or your hormones coach about issues going on underneath the surface…. issues that will help you start feeling better much quicker.
In addition to learning how to track your menstrual cycle, one of the BEST things you can do is invest in a coach.
I am working with my own right now!
You don’t have to go at this alone. Working with a coach who specializes in hormone balance can help you get to the root of your discomfort and will help guide you to the answers you’re looking for.
Want to learn more about yourself and your hormones?
Click the link below to join my private hormones FB group…Healing Hormones: For all things menstrual & mental :)