Menstrual Cycle/Period Calendar
At your doctors visit, she or he will ask among other things,“When was your last period?” By charting your cycle, communication with your doctor will be easier because you will be prepared to answer his or her questions. You can use your own method of recording your cycle or you can use the interactive calendar provided on this sitePeriod calendar . Some of the questions that your doctor may ask are listed below. These questions should be considered when charting your cycle.
Mark down the days of your period on a calendar. The first day of your period is also Day 1 of your menstrual cycle. If you begin to chart your cycle each month, you’ll see a pattern. A normal cycle is 25 to 35 days, but it can be longer or shorter.
If you’ve been menstruating for awhile, you know what your menstrual flow should look like. With this in mind, you’ll want to keep track of light or heavy bleeding and any changes in color and texture such as blood clots. Anything unusual in terms of length of your period, amount of flow, or the way it looks should be reported to your doctor.
You will also want to note any unusual vaginal secretions that occur during the month. You may very well notice a clear or white secretion at mid-cycle— this is an indication that you are ovulating. This information is also helpful to the doctor.
As always, if anything abnormal appears, it is best to call your doctor right away. Another good reason to chart your cycle is that you generally don’t want to visit the gynecologist when you are menstruating. Certain tests, like Pap smears, must be done when you’re not bleeding, so it’s important to know where you are in your cycle. The following symptoms or changes may also provide some important information for you and your doctor and should be noted when charting your cycle:
- Variations in length of your period.
- Timing or amount of menstrual blood, such as spotting.
- Any change in vaginal secretions in regards to color and amount, particularly if it’s associated with itching or odor.
- Vaginal lubrication problems.
- Any pelvic pain, whether or not it is related to menstruation.
- Depression, mood swings, and irritability that may be related to your menstrual cycle.
Don’t trust your memory. Exact dates and patterns will provide you and your doctor with a guide that will help to ensure speedy and satisfactory treatment if you do have a problem.