How to Use a Period Calendar
A period calendar is simply a month-by-month record of your menstrual cycle. On a calendar, you record when your menstrual period occurs, how long it lasts, when you ovulate and other symptoms related to your period. After charting this information for a few months, you should be able to predict certain characteristics of your cycle with a fair amount of accuracy. Using a period calendar is beneficial for several reasons but is especially helpful for those who are either trying to become pregnant or trying to prevent pregnancy.
Count the day your period starts as day on. Mark it on your calendar and count from that day to determine the length of your cycle. The last day of your cycle is the day before your next period starts. The average menstrual cycle is 28 days. Ovulation usually occurs on or near day fourteen. Don’t be alarmed if your cycle is shorter or longer than 28 days. You may also find that the length of your cycle varies from one month to the next.
Know that the regularity of your menstrual cycle can be affected by factors such as stress and anxiety. Strenuous exercise can also cause your cycle to be irregular. Women athletes often go for several months without having a period.
Use a period calendar to help you manage birth control. Chart some additional information, such as pelvic discomfort and vaginal discharge, on the calendar to help you determine when your fertile period occurs. If trying to prevent pregnancy, you’ll want to abstain from sex or use extra protection during this time.
Chart symptoms, such as physical pain or discomfort, mood swings, flow characteristics, water retention, cramps and anxiety, on the period calendar. Studying this information for a few months should help you determine when to expect certain symptoms. Tracking these symptoms can also help identify and treat conditions associated with your period, such as premenstrual syndrome (PMS) and premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD).