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How To Track Your Period

Updated on March 2, 2012
 

Menstruation. From puberty to menopause, it's a part of life for most women.

We're either pre-menstrual, menstrual, or post-menstrual. Everything resolves around that wondrous menstrual cycle. With only 30-31 days in a month, it sure seems to come back around fast.

  • Have you ever been in a position of wondering when you're due to start and you realize you have no idea? Maybe you think you're pregnant. Maybe you know you're not pregnant, but now you wonder what is really wrong and you have no idea when you should start worrying about being 'too' late.
  • Maybe you're trying to plan around your vacation, wedding/honeymoon, etc. You're trying to avoid your period. How do you do that if you don't know when you're due to start?
  • What about when you start trying to plan a family? Start dates are handy when calculating ovulation.

Bear with me as I further explain the need for charting, how to chart and finally, some fun stuff to pad this hub out. Yes, that pun was intended.

Menstruation
Menstruation

Discovering the Need to Chart

I discovered a long time ago that keeping up with the start dates of your menstrual cycle can be very important. I went through a period (another pun!) where I was missing several cycles at a time. The doctor needed to know dates.

When I suspected I was pregnant, the doctor wanted to know the date of my last period in order to estimate the due date.

Tracking her menstrual cycle is something I've instilled in my daughter as well. If you teach them early, it becomes part of their routine. It's easy to do, I promise.

Being an Excel spreadsheet type person, I tend to build spreadsheets for everything. Yes, I even track my hubs and their hub scores and page views via a spreadsheet. But, that's a whole different hub.

I want to share with you a simple chart you can keep to help keep track of your menstrual cycle and perhaps provide valuable information should you need it in the future.

This chart is designed to work with formulas on Excel, but you could do it by hand if you want to.

How to Chart

You simply write down the start date for each menstrual cycle and calculate the number of days between start dates. It doesn't matter if you include the day you start or not. What is important is that you do it the same way consistently. You're just looking to calculate an average.

In the example below, I count the days like this. If you started on June 19th, that means there are 11 more days in June (30-19=11). Then you started again on July 14th. Add those two together (11+14) and that's 25 days. As you can tell, the pattern is very consistent for the remainder of that 2000 year. As you look at the full-sized version you'll notice the length of time between start dates varies more.

I've been capturing this monthly data on myself in this spreadsheet since June 2000. With this much history I can easily show a doctor how my cycle normally is, should it become abnormal.

Example of How to Start Charting Your Menstrual Cycle

Menstrual Cycle Start Chart
Menstrual Cycle Start Chart

What The Chart Will Look Like After a Number of Years of Charting

Cloth reusable sanitary pads
Cloth reusable sanitary pads

The Padded Part of this Hub

While researching some information to add to this hub, I stumbled upon some interesting items I couldn't pass up sharing. I don't know how I missed learning about reusable cloth sanitary pads or sanitary napkins. They are also known as mama pads

The first is a reusable sanitary pad. I had never heard of them. If you can think in terms of poopy cloth diapers, it does make sense in a way.

This site offers sizes and colors.

I love the name of this one.

I especially like the ric-rac embellishment on this one.

You have to see the petal. Unbelievable. I'm not even sure how you'd package this.

I love these. You have your choice of plaid or appliqued blood stain!

This is a good site showing different styles of mentrual pads.

Comments

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    • profile image

      Rachelle 

      6 years ago

      Thank you for explaining that! My husband is currently deployed, but when he gets back we want to start a family. I have another 8 and half months to go, so i can start figuring out when the best time to conceive will be! It will be much easier! THANKS AGAIN!!!

    • KCC Big Country profile imageAUTHOR

      KRC 

      7 years ago from Central Texas

      MC Gal. Why are you worried to tell your mom? Having your period is a very natural and normal part of growing up. Surely, she'll understand that. If the chart I showed seems too complicated then you can just mark the day you start on a calendar or write it down somewhere that you keep. Each time, write the date down or mark the calendar with a dot for "period". Then count how many days are between the two dates. After you track that for a few months you'll get an idea of how often your period comes around. When I was still having my period, mine came every 25 days. My daughter's came every 31 days before she got on the pill. Now hers is between the 24-28 day each time.

    • profile image

      MC Gal 

      7 years ago

      started my period friday night! im so worried to tell my mom, i still really dont understand how to keep track of your cycle, im dislestic and its hard to keep up with most things..

    • KCC Big Country profile imageAUTHOR

      KRC 

      8 years ago from Central Texas

      Thanks for stopping by Nikki! Good luck on getting pregnant! Tracking your period should help you understand your cycle better.

    • profile image

      nikki 

      8 years ago

      i have been trying to get preg but i have never kew how to keep track of my period but i think this will help me a lot

    • KCC Big Country profile imageAUTHOR

      KRC 

      8 years ago from Central Texas

      Thanks for the websites, Loijgj and Guest.

    • profile image

      Guest 

      8 years ago

      You can also keep track using an online calendar, like www.bodytimer.com

    • profile image

      loijgj 

      8 years ago

      Here is the site that I've been using to track my periods. It is very nice and helpful!

      www.imensies.com

    • KCC Big Country profile imageAUTHOR

      KRC 

      8 years ago from Central Texas

      Well, I'm glad you read it anyway Ernold. Who knows? The info may come in handy somehow. You may find something else you want to track. :)

    • ernold mystery profile image

      ernold mystery 

      8 years ago from Leeds, United Kingdom

      Obviously this hub doesn't apply to me (not having the requisite body parts) but I felt compelled to read the whole thing regardless. The things I didn't know!

      Thanks for the hub :)

    • KCC Big Country profile imageAUTHOR

      KRC 

      9 years ago from Central Texas

      LOL @ Raiderfan.....make a wrong turn? You thought it said "Motor-cycle" instead of "Mentrual Cycle", right? LOL

    • raiderfan profile image

      raiderfan 

      9 years ago from Arizona

      Uh.

    • Laughing Mom profile image

      Laughing Mom 

      9 years ago

      Rub it in, KCC. Rub it in.

    • KCC Big Country profile imageAUTHOR

      KRC 

      9 years ago from Central Texas

      We weren't allowed to sweat and get musky around boys starting in 6th grade. Just when sweaty boys were getting interesting.

      LOL you just aren't safe to go out are you?

    • Laughing Mom profile image

      Laughing Mom 

      9 years ago

      You didn't have co-ed PE?!?! Segregation in that sense should be wrong, too.

      Light Days. I see you didn't leave your sense of humor at work this afternoon. My dash is still sticky from the snow cone.

    • KCC Big Country profile imageAUTHOR

      KRC 

      9 years ago from Central Texas

      Light Days....LMAO Get it? We just watched in PE where we were already separated so it wasn't so noticeable.

    • Laughing Mom profile image

      Laughing Mom 

      9 years ago

      At least you kept it light. Remember when they used to pull the boys and girls out of class seperately for the "movie"? Such a waste of time. We snuck out to watch the boys' show. It wasn't any better.

    • KCC Big Country profile imageAUTHOR

      KRC 

      9 years ago from Central Texas

      You know me, LM! The hub needed some padding....so I found some....LOL

    • Laughing Mom profile image

      Laughing Mom 

      9 years ago

      I can't believe you went there, KCC!!!!

    • KCC Big Country profile imageAUTHOR

      KRC 

      9 years ago from Central Texas

      LOL...I noticed that too Paper Moon...but I thought I'd let it slide. LOL Just goes to show, ain't nuttin' free. :)

      Months without? I wouldn't complain. :) I know it's hard when they're unpredictable though. Do you keep track of it? You might find they are more predictable than you think. :)

      Thanks for stopping by Paper Moon and SoulaBee!

    • SoulaBee profile image

      SoulaBee 

      9 years ago from United States

      What a great idea for a hub. Now, I have to say though, mine have never been regular. Months can go by. Blag! yes, blag.

    • Paper Moon profile image

      Paper Moon 

      9 years ago from In the clouds

      Wow, only .99c and it's free!

    • KCC Big Country profile imageAUTHOR

      KRC 

      9 years ago from Central Texas

      Hi Charlie! Thanks for stopping by and letting others know about your biodegradeable pads and leaving us your HubPage info.

    • profile image

      chazd 

      9 years ago from Goshen, NY

      Hi my name is Charlie DAmico and I am a proud distributor of Love Moon Sanitary Pads. Our pads are biodegradeable along ith the packaging is recycleable. These uique pads can help women during there uncomfortable time. You can read more on my blog @ www.hubpages.com/hub/HudsonValleyWinalite My blog has also ben rated #1 by google, when you search google for Sanitary Napkins Invented the top site is mine. All my contact info is on my site, if you have any questions. For .99 cents you can get a free sample of our product @ www.freesanitarynapkins.com.

    • KCC Big Country profile imageAUTHOR

      KRC 

      9 years ago from Central Texas

      LOL @ Paper Moon. If the wife would keep her start chart and keep it where you can find it, you'd know what day that is. :)

      Thanks for commenting!

    • Paper Moon profile image

      Paper Moon 

      9 years ago from In the clouds

      As far as the link for bloodstained appliqued pads, they also have the design on panties. They should also do a line of bloodstained appliqued jeans so I know when to shut up and bring home chocolate and red wine. ;)

    • KCC Big Country profile imageAUTHOR

      KRC 

      9 years ago from Central Texas

      I find the need for charting more important as I near menopause. I'm with you, Single Mama, on not wanting to wear recyclable pads! I found them interesting, but not something I'd want to try.

    • Single Mama profile image

      Single Mama 

      9 years ago

      wow! what a hub! okay, so this was totally on my mind the other day about how i no longer need to use a calendar to predict when i start bc i know my cycle. there is no way i could use a recyclable pad. no way jose!!! sorry, just can't. i don't even like regular pads. there truly is something for everyone...

    • KCC Big Country profile imageAUTHOR

      KRC 

      9 years ago from Central Texas

      Thank you fortunerep!

    • fortunerep profile image

      fortunerep 

      9 years ago from North Carolina

      A very needed well informed Hub.

      dori

    • KCC Big Country profile imageAUTHOR

      KRC 

      9 years ago from Central Texas

      Thank you jayb and alekhouse!

    • alekhouse profile image

      Nancy Hinchliff 

      9 years ago from Essex Junction, Vermont

      I can relate to all of this. Well put

    • jayb23 profile image

      jayb23 

      9 years ago from India

      I liked the way you have spcified the use of excel sheets for keeping track. Good hub and quite informative

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