This post obviously won’t be applicable to everyone, but for those of us that do menstruate, tracking not only your actual period but other aspects of your cycle can be important. Here, I’ll explain why, and how I track mine.
Anyone who’s ever had a period will know that doctors always like to know the dates of your last one. Even if you went in with a sore throat, it seems like they want to know about your menstrual cycle – which I guess is even more annoying if you’re a trans man. Having the information on hand can save a lot of time and trouble.
Since having my first child I have tracked my period on an app called P Tracker. I know a lot of people also rely on apps such as Clue to help track theirs. I relied purely on digital tracking for a long time. In fact, it wasn’t until I discovered Bullet Journals 5 years later that I would start tracking on paper as well. While the app is convenient, there’s something about seeing the patterns laid out in front of me that appeals to me.
I used to use this pretty basic pixel type tracker in my journal. It wasn’t anything fancy, but I had the key so I could see the difference in flow and whether I was early or late. It was nothing extravagant, but using the information I’d gained from tracking my period, I could not only pinpoint the best time to try to conceive our second child but could accurately predict her sex.
Back in February, I was watching Boho Berry’s One Month In My Bullet Journal series on YouTube and she mentioned she and her husband were going to be trying for another baby. She created this beautiful, yet functional fertility tracker to use. I fell in love with the style of it, but I’m not planning on having any more children. I decided to use her tracker as a template to make my own but to change the things I was tracking to suit my own needs. After 3 months of procrastinating I came up with this:
The basic framework of the spread is the more or less the same. I used the vertical boxes with columns for each item. The key at the side shows what I’ll be tracking and the colour/symbol I’ll use. Instead of noting when I take tests, or visit the doctor I’m tracking other changes in my body such as acne breakouts and the types of food I’m craving.
You don’t need to be trying to conceive to benefit from tracking your cycle. Many external factors, such as stress, as well as internal factors, such as weight or health problems can affect your periods. Remember that everybody and every body is different. It helps to see how many days *your* cycle has, it will probably differ from the accepted average of 28 days. If your cycle is actually closer to 32 days, and you can see that from tracking it, it alleviates the stress once a month where you think your period is late, when it’s not.
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