period tracking calendar

How to Track Your Period and Master Your Cycle

Jul 06, 2023Sari Eitches, MD

The first step to cycle syncing, is cycle awareness. Tracking your monthly cycle can unlock patterns and help you predict and plan for any monthly variations in your health. By gaining insights into your cycle length, hormonal changes, and fertile window, you can better manage your reproductive health, plan for pregnancy, and monitor any irregularities. 

Reasons to track your period:

  • Understanding your unique menstrual cycle patterns and length.
  • Recognizing changes in menstrual flow, symptoms, and mood throughout the cycle.
  • Identifying potential irregularities or health concerns.
  • Aiding in family planning and understanding your fertile window.
  • Facilitating conversations with healthcare providers regarding any menstrual concerns.


Period tracking options:

  • Menstrual Calendars: Use a calendar or a period tracking app to mark the start and end dates of your period. Over time, you'll gather data to identify patterns in your cycle length.
  • Period Tracking Apps: Utilize smartphone apps specifically designed for period tracking. These apps often provide additional features such as symptom tracking, reminders, and ovulation predictions.
  • Basal Body Temperature (BBT) Tracking: Measure your body temperature every morning before getting out of bed. A slight rise in temperature can indicate ovulation. It is more subtle and lesser known, but if you wear a fitness tracker, you may also notice a slight rise in your average resting heart rate a few days before the temperature rise of ovulation,
  • Cervical Mucus Observation: The consistency and appearance of your cervical mucus discharge can provide insights into fertility and ovulation.
  • Ovulation Predictor Kits (OPKs): These kits detect hormonal changes in your urine that signal ovulation is approaching.


Understanding Your Menstrual Cycle:

The menstrual cycle typically consists of four phases: menstrual, follicular, ovulatory, and luteal. While the duration can vary, the order is the same. Understanding these phases can help you better track your cycle and anticipate changes:

  • Menstrual Phase: The first day of bleeding marks the start of the menstrual phase, when the uterine lining is shed.
  • Follicular Phase: This phase begins after menstruation and ends with ovulation. Hormones prepare the ovaries to release an egg.
  • Ovulatory Phase: Ovulation occurs when an egg is released from the ovary, making conception possible.
  • Luteal Phase: Following ovulation, the luteal phase prepares the uterus for potential implantation.


Cycle tracking tips:

  • Rhythm tracking: Track your period consistently, noting the start and end dates, as well as any accompanying symptoms or changes.
  • Symptom Tracking: Pay attention to physical and emotional symptoms throughout your cycle, such as energy, breast tenderness, mood changes, or bloating.
  • Ovulation Awareness: Understand your fertile window by tracking ovulation signs, such as cervical mucus changes or using ovulation predictor kits.


Period Tracking Apps and Resources:

  • Clue: A comprehensive period tracking app available on iOS and Android. (
  • Flo: A popular menstrual cycle tracker with additional features for health tracking. (
  • MyFlo: An app that combines cycle tracking with personalized hormonal health insights. (

Remember, every person's menstrual cycle is unique. By tracking your period consistently and understanding your cycle, you can gain valuable insights into your reproductive health, plan accordingly, and seek medical attention if needed.



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