It is important to track your period for a number of different reasons, both medical and personal. You can track your periods using a simple pocket calendar and keeping an elaborate record over a number of years:

Why it is important to track your periods?

  • Predictability: Once you start to track your periods you can find out the length of your menstrual cycle and the duration of the actual bleeding. This way you know when your last period was and when your next one will be arriving. Also this will tell you if you are regular or irregular so that if you are irregular you know to carry out appropriate investigations to rule out possible problems.
  • To identify health issues: Irregular or infrequent periods or those that are too frequent and heavy could be the sign of a problem. Tracking your period will help give you advanced warning of a problem. Particularly, if changes in regular cycles are noted, they could be the indication of something being amiss, so that one can take swift corrective action if required. If you miss a cycle or two but are not pregnant it is imperative to find out what is the cause of this.
  • Marriage, a vacation: When you are planning any event of some importance you may want o be sure you are not menstruating at that time. You can plan around the event so that your period does not coincide. You can confirm or negate dates by looking at your record.
  • If you are looking to get pregnant: If you are clear about your dates and cycles, you know when you are going to ovulate and what the best time for conception is. Conversely if you are looking not to get pregnant, then also you need to know your ovulation dates. Also you know about an unplanned pregnancy if your period is late.
  • Your doctor needs to know: Even if you don’t find it useful to make and keep a detailed chart, your doctor may. There are several assumptions and diagnostic decisions he can make based on a period chart.

How to keep track of your periods?

  • If you are a systematic and methodical person, it makes sense to have an excel sheet to track your periods over several years. Details such as date and time that a period started, its duration and the length of the cycles along with the number of days between periods should all be included. You can also keep track of a pregnancy: the day that you missed your period, the length of your post delivery period, and the date that you resumed having your normal periods.
  • If you cannot go into all this trouble, just keep in your wallet a pocket calendar, and mark with an X the date that you get your period. File away the old ones so you have a complete record.