The gist: Why track your period?
You're not trying to get pregnant (yet), so why do you need to track your period? We know, it’s yet another task tacked on to the seemingly endless list of to-dos. You might be thinking you have some idea of when it will come but then you can't quite remember if it was the 4th or the 14th last month. Eventually, it will arrive, so what's the problem?
The controversy: Is period tracking a necessity?
Many women think that recording their period won't change anything and is useless. True, your period will come and go as it pleases but when and how it does will provide you with ongoing health information, but you have to keep a record of it for it to be useful. Having a log of how many days apart your period comes and how long it lasts provides an average number of days your cycle is, which can say a lot about your body. Regular periods are generally a sign of good health and point toward a better chance for ovulation when you do want to start a family.
On the flipside, when your period is erratic and comes more often than 21 days or longer than 35, this can mean that something in your body is off. It doesn’t necessarily mean that you have something medically wrong. It may also be a sign of stress, a side effect of birth control, or lack of sleep, but it can also point toward PCOS, metabolic syndrome, or another gynecologic issue.
Tracking your period also helps you know when your period will likely arrive, which can be great when planning a date, vacation, or big event. This is especially true when you suffer from PMS or PMDD.
Finally, when you do want to get pregnant, having a written record of when you ovulate and when your fertile window is will help you time sex just right to conceive.
Our take: Here's why you should do it
Knowledge is power, and careful observation and reporting is a benefit in all medical situations. In addition, it's so easy to do. You can simply keep a log on your phone in the notepad section or do it the old fashioned way and use a real notepad. Either way, jot down the date your period begins each month and when it ends. It also helps to list if you feel cramping, bloating, have digestive issues or any other symptoms that you might want to report to your doctor. This helps create a pattern that is chronicled by date. All women of every age and circumstance should keep a record of when their period comes each month and how long it lasts. And the truth is, if you’re not trying to get pregnant, it’s just as vital as if you are!
To sum it up
Sure, it's something else you have to get in the habit of doing regularly but it will pay off in the long run and it takes just a few seconds. In the end, the more you know your body and are aware of its mechanisms, the better you will be.