7 Reasons You Should Be Tracking Your Period
From learning more about your body, to taking care of your skin.
Our monthly cycles are just that – A pattern of hormonal fluxes, affecting half the world’s population, twelve times a year like clockwork (for some of us). Yet, even though we know it’s coming, it can still catch us off guard, showing up with cramps, mood swings, back aches, water retention, break outs and of course – the bleed.
The rise in female driven technology to track our periods has enabled us to enter our start, end and forecasted dates. These apps are showing us that our cycle doesn’t start or stop at the time of the bleed, but that it has peaks and troughs of hormones throughout the month that should be looked at holistically. It will affect everything from our mood, our sleep, our skin, energy levels, appetite, self-body image, relationships, sex, fertility, money worries and our work. We can now know when to be equipped with our menstrual weapon of choice, and we also have deeper insight into other patterns our menstrual cycles are creating outside of the obvious ‘Flow’s in town’.
In December 2019 Forbes stated that the “Femtech” boom will reach a valuation of $50 million USD in the next five years. Since tracking my cycles with apps such as Moody Month, I’ve realised there’s a lot at play. It’s helped me identify the weeks I won’t have my usual drive, when I’ll feel tired and might be more prone to losing my cool. The data is a reminder to be kind to myself on my down days and it has helped me forecast the days I’ll be top of my game, so I can push the button on everything I want to do. It has helped me plan, strategize and attack the big tasks and take control of life. If you’re not already getting one step ahead of your cycle with femtech, here are seven reasons why your should.
Know your due date.
Track your periods just to know where you’re at and don’t get caught out unequipped. Ever had anxiety not knowing if you’ve missed your period? Are you late? Couldn’t remember when your last cycle was when asked by your gyno or GP? Know your dates!
Plan for down days and be kind to yourself.
For some of us, the days leading up to our periods can be the worst. This is due to the hormone progesterone on the rise. Expect to feel lethargic, irritable, bloated with an increased appetite. This is the time to be kind to yourself.
Your flow will signal to your health.
During the bleed it’s worth tracking which days you’re on for, each day will differ to the next. Note the first day, which days are heavy, which are light, when does it finish, anything out the ordinary? If you develop conditions such as being underweight, anaemia, endometriosis, PCOS or any significant hormone imbalance, your flow will be the first thing signalling towards it.
See the bigger picture for your wellbeing.
Your period and cycle is not isolated from the rest of your health. Digestion, sleep, stress and problems at work and at home will be in the mix. Knowing that you’ll be more tired before your period, and perhaps more sensitive or anxious about work or money, maybe you have an argument with your partner? If you’re able to see there’s a monthly pattern it may correlate with spikes in your hormones to help explain, identify and rationalise your feelings.
Know when you’ll be at the top of your game.
We have a window when our hormones are in perfect balance, our skin will be glowing, our energy levels up and our mind lazer focused. This is when forecasting your hormones can be harnessed, helping you plan the days you’ll tackle that pitch, meeting or project and perform at your best.
Know when you’ll be ovulating.
Our ovaries release an egg mid-cycle (10-16 days before the bleed). This is the time when we secret more pheromones, become more attractive to our mates, our skin will be at it’s glowiest, our libido will peak as we produce more testosterone and if you’re trying to get pregnant… This is your window to get busy.
Control your skin.
Before your period starts testosterone surges, this will see an increase in sebum. Skin and hair will be oilier than usual potentially leading to breakouts. Knowing which weeks this is more likely to happen will prompt you to get a good salicylic acid serum, take off your make-up before bed and commit to a double-clean routine.
- Tora Northman/Hypebae