What Is Period Tracking and What Are Some Ways to Track It
I’ve tried everything to do with period tracking and to be honest I’m just not very good at it.
I’ve tried several apps but honestly just couldn’t remember to go in and put in my data. I actually made my own bracelet at one point years ago but it was a bit of a fail because the day indicator kept moving. The most success I’ve had was probably actually from writing in my diary/calendar.
I think the advice I would give first would be to really familiarise yourself with a standard cycle and really understand how to work out your ovulation phase which helped me a lot in terms of knowing my body as well as being aware of natural forms of birth control.
The most obvious benefit of tracking your period is not having to guess when your period is due. The more we know the better we can understand periods, irregularities and specific symptoms. If you’re looking for hormone free birth control this is certainly a great option for keeping track of ovulation without ingesting unnecessary hormones. As well as all that, period tracking is fantastic for people trying to get pregnant. Better knowledge of your inner workings is power!
Some of the hannahpad staff use the app Clue and have so for many years with great success.
Katie talks about her own experience using Clue.
I've used Clue now for over 2 years, it's useful to know when I should be expecting my next period and it lets you input lots of data such as symptoms which can then show trends. I mainly use it around my period to input if I had any cramps and my flow as well as the length of my period. I personally love using an app to track my period!
Katie's Clue calendar. Very clearly mapped out what happened and what she's expecting when.
I’ve personally tried Period Diary but didn’t enjoy the overall aesthetic.
Physical or digital calendars can be useful for tracking your cycle and knowing approximately when your period and ovulation is due. I have used my phone calendar to see my own estimation ahead of time, it's easy and I can always check my phone.
Journaling and Charts
Using your own journal or diary to log your symptoms as well as your cycle. I’ve seen some great examples including a key to label your symptoms clearly. Don’t forget when writing your own log to be aware of the days you're most likely ovulating. You can also use printable and charts which you can find online.
e.g Feby – Female Empowerment Bracelet
Colour coded bracelet that helps you keep track of your cycle. Simply start on the first red bead on the first day of your period and just move the knot through one bead each day. The bracelet was my first try at period tracking, it's very inexpensive but wasn't good when my periods were irregular.
Simple but effective and you could easily make your own at home.
Watching the changes in cervical mucus throughout your cycle. When you're more fertile there is more mucus and it feels wet and slippery like raw egg white. After ovulation there is less mucus and it's sticky, blocking sperm from entering the uterus.
Basal Body Temperature
Using a special thermometer measure your body temperature in the morning and record the reading for the first two weeks of your cycle the temperature should be low. Then there will be a small dip followed by a quick rise. It will stay high for about two weeks then start to go down, this is when you'll get your period! The dip and rise in temperature indicate that you're ovulating.
There are so many different ways to track your periods. Which ones have you tried? What worked for you and what didn't?