Keeping track of your menstrual cycle: 4 different methods to try
Want to keep track of your menstrual cycle, so you know exactly when your next period is going to come (or when you might be fertile)? In this post, we share 4 different methods that you can try. Read on to find out more!
#1: Count the number of days from your last menstrual cycle
This is the simplest and most straightforward method, but it only works for the lucky women who have extremely regular menstrual cycles. If your period comes every 28 days, for instance, just mark the date of your last period on your calendar and count down from there.
#2: Use BBT charting
BBT refers to basal body temperature, and BBT charting refers to tracking the changes in your body temperature to find out when you’re ovulating.
To do this, you’ll have to take your temperature every single day. (Ob-gyns recommend that you do it when you wake up, before you even get out of bed). Once you have a month’s worth of temperature readings to look at, you’ll realise that your body temperature tends to hover around a certain range, save for a few days in which it suddenly shoots up to around 37 °C.
Simply put, the period of time when your temperature is at its highest is when you’re ovulating. If you don’t see any peaks in your graph, this might mean you’re not consistent enough – make sure you take your temperature first thing in the morning, before you do anything else. If you have too little sleep, this might also affect your body temperature.
#3: Look out for changes in your cervical mucus
Temperature aside, your cervical mucus can also be a good indicator of your menstrual cycle.
How does it work? Once you’ve finished having your period, you’ll probably go a few days without any mucus at all. When your egg starts to ripen, and your body gets ready to release it, you’ll notice mucus that’s yellow, white or cloudy, and feels slightly sticky. Right before ovulation, your mucus will become clear and slippery (think the texture of raw egg whites). After a few days, it goes back to being cloudy and sticky – and that’s when you know you’ve finished ovulating.
#4: Use a fertility app
If you can’t be bothered to track the changes in your body manually, another method is to use a fertility app. With these apps, you simply log in the dates of your period, and the app calculates and predicts your next possible ovulation date and period date for you. The apps also allow you to log symptoms and changes (temperature, cervical mucus, mood, etc) so that you can get to know your own body better.