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How to count your menstrual cycle

Keeping track of your period is easy!

Keeping track of your menstrual cycle can help you prepare for your period and better predict when your next period will be. By the end of this post, you will have learned how to count your period cycle and other helpful tips to predict when your period is coming. Let's get started! All you need to get started is a calendar and a pencil.

Step 1: Write down the first day that you bleed.

The first day of my cycle was January 13.

Step 2: Write down any PMS symptoms, how long you bled for, and what your flow was like.

By keeping track of any PMS symptoms, we can use them to predict when our next period is! Keeping track of how long you bled and whether your flow was heavy, normal, or light. will help us prepare for our period. This way you know how many and what type of pads/tampons to bring with you. Sometimes it may not be crystal clear how many days you bled for because maybe you bled very lightly or spotted for the last couple days and aren’t sure which days to count. This is okay. It’s not important that you know exactly how many days you bled for. Just try to get a general idea of how long you bleed for. I bled for 5 days. The first couple of days were heavy and then became lighter. Leading up to my period, I had lower back aches and some cramps. During my period, I experienced cramps again and felt moody.

What are some PMS symptoms?

Before your period begins, hormonal changes in your body may cause other symptoms known as PMS or pre-menstrual syndrome. You can use these symptoms in addition to keeping track of your calendar to help you figure out when your period is coming. Some of these symptoms may include:

  • Feeling moody or irritable

  • Lower backache

  • Sore breasts

  • Cramps in the lower part of your tummy

  • Ache along your inner thighs

  • Breaking out in acne

  • Headache

  • Constipation or diarrhea

  • Feeling bloated

  • Changes in appetite

You may not experience all of these symptoms or any of these symptoms at all. Every girl experiences a different set of symptoms.

Step 3: Write down the first day of your NEXT period

Step 4: Count the days!

How long is my period cycle? Help me count the days!

Count the days starting on the first day you bled to the day before your next period.

Did you get 28 days?

Step 5: Predict your next period.

Now that we know how long your period cycle is, we can just use it to count the days to predict your next period. My period cycle is 28 days so if I count 28 days from February 10, that's when my next period should come.

So I should expect my period to come on... March 10!


Q: Will my period always come on time?

A: No, your menstrual cycle may not always come on time. The length of your menstrual cycle may vary from cycle to cycle. As you get older, the length of your menstrual cycle may even change. Sometimes your period may be late and sometimes it may be early. This is especially true during your first couple of years of having your period. As you become older and more familiar with your body, you will develop a better understanding of when your period will come. Starting your period is a huge step and this can take some getting used to for your body. You may find that your period is sometimes a day or two late or early or sometimes you may even miss a period altogether. This is completely normal. (For those that are sexually active, keep in mind that a missed period may be an indicator that you are pregnant.)

Q: What do my PMS symptoms mean?

A: As you become more familiar with your period, you will notice that you experience the same PMS symptoms leading up to your period. For example, in step 2 I marked down that I had lower backaches and cramps. If my period comes on time as I predicted, I should expect to feel these symptoms at around the same time again. If I experience these symptoms earlier than I predicted, then I can predict that my period may come early. If my period is late then I may expect to feel these symptoms later and expect my period soon after.

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