An important health indicator of a matrons body is her monthly cycles. By keeping a track of the time span between two periods plays a critical in calculating the most fertile days and the overall reproductive health. Alternatively, tracking the monthly flow, symptoms, and any irregularities in the cycle will help a woman stay in tune with her body and any abnormal changes can indicate an underlying medical complication that needs medical attention.
How to count days between the monthly cycles or periods?
The following methods help to calculate the monthly cycle length
Initiate the counting from the day 1 of the menstrual flow
- To get a precise depiction of your Aunty Flo, start calculating from the first day of your menstrual flow. Make a note of the period start date on the calendar or in a menstrual cycle monitoring app.
- Smartphone applications that are available to track the menstrual cycles include Clue, Eve, Flo, Period tracker, and pink Pad. These apps are designed to keep a track of the monthly cycle, ovulation, safe period for sex, and other critical period points.
Counting up to the next period initiation
- The counting of the menstrual cycle begins from the first day of your menstrual flow and ends when the next period cycle kicks off.
- The day the menstrual blood flow starts which can happen at any time of the day should be marked as the Day 1 of the period’s cycle.
- For instance, if your cycle started on February 17 and your next cycle kicked off on March 17, your cycle would be February 17 to March 17 and that would end up to 29 days.
Monitor your monthly cycles for a period of at least three consecutive months
- The length of your cycle may vary every month. If an accurate depiction of the average length cycle is to be calculated, tracking at least three months of the Aunty Flo is highly recommended. *The more the monthly menstrual cycle is tracked the better will be the average representative.
Calculate the average monthly menstrual cycle length.
- The average monthly cycle length can be calculated by using the data that is collected in the subsequent three consecutive months. For a better average calculation monthly recording of the menstrual cycle, start is recommended.
- A point to be pondered here is the average cycle length will only help an individual to expect the average time span for the menstrual cycle but does not give the accurate representation the cycle length.
Steps to calculate the average monthly cycle length
- Add the total of the monthly cycle length tracked every month.
- The resultant sum needs to be divided by the number of the monitored months.
- The resultant is the average period cycle length.
For example, the cycle length for May, June, July, and August is 28, 29, 30 and 31, respectively. So the average would be (28+29+30+31)/4 which would sum up to 29.5-day average cycle.
Continue to monitor the monthly cycle.
- It always a wise decision to keep monitoring your monthly cycles as this helps to not only know when your periods will happen but also helps to know when something is not normal. *Medical professionals always ask for the menstrual cycle information especially for the childbearing women, so tracking the cycle will help in furnishing precise outcomes.
Note: If any the healthcare provider asks about the last menstrual date or the LMP it denotes the last menstrual flow date start date and not the end date of the blood flow.
Why do we need to monitor our monthly cycles?
Monitoring the monthly cycle helps in determining some ailments that need medical support.
Watch your monthly menstrual flow
- Heavy bleeding during the monthly periods is an indication of an underlying health issue which can lead to anemia and lethargy. If a woman experiences heavy menstrual flow for a period of seven days or more immediate medical help needs to be sought.
- While tracking the menstrual bleeding monitor the heavy, normal, and light flow days. Tracking the blood flow doesn’t mean to measure the blood flow quantity. Instead, see how many changes of the hygiene products like tampons or pads takes place in a day.
- Changing a tampon or pad on an hourly basis indicates very heavy flow. It is normal to have different flow days during the Aunty Flo.
- The severity of the monthly bleeding varies from person to person. The point that needs prime attention is the not skipping a period cycle or having an irregular heavy bleeding cycle.
Note the physical as well as the emotional changes that the body undergoes pre and post monthly cycles.
- Tracking the premenstrual signs and emotional signs that the body undergoes pre and post periods will play a critical role to cope with it.
- Keep a track of the various symptoms that an individual suffers each month in the pre chums periods like headaches, abdominal pain, breast tenderness, increased anger and so on.
- If the premenstrual symptoms are difficult to handle and affect the daily life, seek doctors advice for relief.
- If a woman experiences some unusual symptoms like lethargy immediate medical help needs to be sought as this can be an underlying medical issue which requires treatment.
Consult a doctor to effectively manage sudden symptom changes
- The flow type varies between individuals hence the cycle is not a major issue, but sudden cycle changes are something that needs immediate attention as these are indicators of underlying medical problems.
- Contact the obstetrician or gynecologist if the monthly flows suddenly become heavy or are skipped.
- It is recommended to seek medical help for a woman who experiences migraines, lethargy, or depression in the days prior to period initiation.
- The healthcare provider will perform tests for certain disorders like polycystic ovaries, thyroid disorders, endometriosis, or ovarian failure among others to check for the sudden cycle changes.
How does the menstrual cycle length help in monitoring the monthly ovulation phase?
The following steps help to track the ovulation or fertile period that helps to plan or avoid pregnancy.
Find the midpoint of the monthly period cycle
- Predominantly the ovulation is seen to occur during the midpoint of a menstrual cycle. Count half the way of the average cycle to arrive at the midpoint which indicates the next month’s fertile phase.
- So if a woman has a 28-day cycle the midpoint of the cycle would be 14 days and for a 32 cycle, it would be 16 days.
Five days prior to the fertile or ovulation days are critical
- For a woman trying to start a family the five days prior to the ovulation days are very critical. Engaging in sex every alternate day from five days prior to ovulation till the fertile days enhances the conception chances.
- The egg released from the ovary has a survival time of 24 hours and the sperm can live in the fallopian tube for five days post sex. Hence engaging in sex five days prior to ovulation increases the chances of fertilization.
Ovulation predictor kits for irregular periods
For women with an irregular cycle, tracking the ovulation period the normal methods of monitoring is not accurate, hence the use of ovulation predictor kits available over the counter are recommended for such women.
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