Keeping track of your menstrual cycle can tell you a lot about your health and when you ovulate and can help you identify irregularities.1
Periods, monthlys, menses, menstruation, there are so many words for a women’s monthly menstrual cycle. During puberty, a women’s body starts to change as estrogen increases, resulting in the start of menstruation. As you know, menstruation should happen monthly when the ovaries release an egg for the possibility of becoming pregnant. Each month, if the egg isn’t fertilised, the uterus lining sheds through the vagina. This is the monthly menstrual cycle.1
Every woman’s menstrual cycle is different. Most women have a period every 21 to 35 days, lasting from two to seven days. In the first few years after puberty, a long cycle is common. As woman age, their cycle becomes shorter and more regular.
Periods can be the same length every month, or they can be irregular. They can be light or heavy. Some women experience pain, while others can have pain-free periods. All of these can be normal for the individual.
Certain types of contraception can change a women’s monthly cycle. Your doctor will explain what to expect when he recommends the right contraception for you.
The tell-tale sign of perimenopause is an irregular period. However, irregular periods are also a symptom of uterine disease, so it’s always important to discuss any changes with your doctor and to make sure you have an annual check-up.
Menopause doesn’t have to make a good night’s sleep a thing of the past. Regular exercise, healthy eating, and managing your stress can help you sleep better.5, 6 What’s more, hormone replacement therapy can bring your hormones back in balance which can result in getting that quality of sleep you need.
While there are several apps available to track your cycle, a pen and calendar works well. Start by noting the start date of your period. After a few months you’ll be able to identify how regular your period is. Note the flow, end date, abnormal bleeding, pain, and any changes or concerns.
As mentioned, irregular periods are a common sign of perimenopause. Other causes are pregnancy, breast feeding, eating disorder, excessive weight loss, polycystic ovarian syndrome, premature ovarian failure, uterine fibroids, or pelvic inflammatory disease. Talk to your doctor if you have any concerns.
Make sure you never miss your annual Pap-smear (Papanicolaou Test) and check up with your doctor. Talk about any changes in your cycle and concerns you may have. Advances in medical science means there are so many therapies available to assist in maintaining your health and well-being through all the seasons of your life.
Monitor your menopause symptoms with this questionnaire and take it with to discuss with your doctor.