Is your menstrual cycle normal?
That’s a hard question to answer, because each woman’s menstrual cycle is different. What’s normal for you might be the exact opposite of what’s normal for someone else.
So the question isn’t whether or not your menstrual cycle is normal compared to other women, but whether or not your menstrual cycle is normal for you.
Understanding what a normal menstrual cycle is for you is very important. Changes in your menstrual cycle could be a sign that you have a medical condition that should be treated by a doctor. However, if you aren’t aware of the patterns your menstrual cycle tends to follow, as many women aren’t, you might not notice these changes until they are drastic, and your medical condition has progressed more than it had to.
That is why it’s important to keep a menstrual cycle calendar.
What Is a Menstrual Cycle Calendar?
A menstrual cycle calendar is a record in which you’ll keep track of your menstrual cycle, and the menstrual symptoms you experience both furing your period, and at other times during your cycle.
Your menstrual cycle calendar can be a journal with a page for each day of the week, an appointment calendar with blocks big enough to write in, or even a simple wirebound notebook small enough to carry in your purse.
Making Notes in Your Menstrual Calendar
You want a menstrual calendar you can carry with you at all times, so you can make notes of anything related to your menstrual cycle. Things like:
* When you experience premenstrual or menstrual symptoms, like backaches, mood swings, bloating, or fatigue.
* The severity of your menstrual cramps.
* When your period starts.
* How light or heavy your menstrual flow is.
* When your period ends.
* Any cravings you might have.
* Any mood swings you might experience.
Any symptom that seems to be related to your menstrual cycle should be recorded in your menstrual cycle calendar.
Seeing the Patterns in Your Menstrual Calendar
Once you’ve been keeping your menstrual cycle calendar for a few months, you’ll know how long your period usually lasts, as well as the symptoms you usually experience. And, if there are any changes, even minor ones, in your menstrual cycle, you’ll notice immediately.
A change in your menstrual cycle doesn’t always mean there is a problem. But becoming more familiar with your menstrual cycle, so that you’re able to recognize any sudden changes, is the first step to ensuring your reproductive health. So, while keeping a menstrual cycle calendar might take some effort, in the long run, it’s more than worth it.