First of all, sorry to those who don’t have periods. Feel free to scroll on and ignore this particular post. Or read it for the sake of it!
Anyway. Whether you have a journal or not, I believe that tracking your monthly visitor and all the symptoms in-between should be second nature to everybody who has a period. PERIOD. (As in full-stop. Geddit? I made a joke, and – um, just forget it. Let’s continue). Here are the reasons why!
1.The doctor always asks for it
Even if I go in with a broken toe, my GP always asks me when my last period was. Writing things down helps you remember stuff better, so if you’re tracking your period you’ll be able to remember the specific date – and maybe even time – of your last period. Or if you carry your journal or notebook with you, you can just go into your handbag and check. Extra useful if you’re going in about short-term memory loss…
2. You’ll be able to predict when your next period is due
Seeing the dates down in a chart or a list may help you see a pattern if you’re not exactly sure when your period is coming. Most people don’t ‘come on’ every 28 days like the magazines and tween handbooks say. Anywhere between 25-40 days per cycle is normal. Another plus side of this is you can schedule a hot date on the days you’re not on your period (unless you don’t mind that sort of thing..!).
3. It’s useful if you start having problems
If you have medical issues to do with your period, noting down symptoms each day will help you and doctors keep an eye on what’s going on and help you remember what happened on what day, or how bad the pain got last one night.
4. You’ll know when you’re fertile
If you’re trying to conceive, noting down your period dates, when you’re ovulating, discharge consistency and cervix position (sorry) can really help you find your fertile days in the month. Or if you prefer the cross-your-fingers-and-hope method of contraception, you know which days to, um, pull out. Ahem.
5. It’s useful if/when you get pregnant
If you decide to have a baby or find yourself preggers, you’ll know when your LMP (last missed period) was, which helps the ultrasound person give you an ETA date of your baby, and how many weeks or months you’re gone, without needing to measure the foetus. You can also see what symptoms you had in the first weeks before you got that BFP (big fat positive. Can you tell I’ve spent some time on pregnancy forums?) that you mistook for normal cycle symptoms!
Above is my planned period tracker (I am trying out some different options for my next one) in my bullet journal. It’s not too fancy, but it does the trick and I can fit in the whole year on one page, which is always handy. I have different symbols for the main symptoms (bleeding, white flood, ovulation pain, boob ache) that I deal with, but also has space for notes if I experience anything out of the ordinary and a little symbol to draw if we have unprotected sex (ie should I take a pregnancy test or not this month? It doesn’t often happen but it’s best to have prep there, just in case…).
Another way you could do it is incorporate a note or symbol into your dailies or weekly spreads if you don’t want to have a whole tracker for it!
I hope this post was a little bit helpful at least. Let me know if any of you track your periods and if you use an app or a good ol’fashioned journal like me!