An ode to period tracking


A few days ago I found myself sitting with the nurse at my local doctor’s surgery, preparing to be reintroduced to my old friend the speculum. Like many of these kinds of appointments, I was being asked question after question regarding my body. Am I on the pill? Do I smoke? Have I ever been pregnant? Is there any chance that I’m pregnant now? When was my last period? How long is my average cycle? Can I list all of the noble gasses in the periodic table?

That sort of thing. 


Fortunately, my reason for visiting was nothing serious and I just wanted to get some intermenstrual bleeding checked out. Like any wise human with a vagina, I know how important it is to make sure that everything’s working well down there. I also have no shame talking about it, hence writing this blog post for the whole world to see. But whilst I was sitting there having 101 questions thrown my way, I realized how grateful I was to have an accurate log of my menstrual cycles. It was nice to actually know how to answer these questions without hesitation and/or serious mental maths. It just made the whole process a lot less anxiety-inducing.

Thinking about the fact that not everybody is tracking their menstrual cycles scares me. Thinking about the fact that until a year ago I didn’t take it at all seriously scares me even more! I didn’t have any idea what my body was up to. I just kind of waited until I got cramps and then thought “well, better pack pads today”. It could’ve been three weeks or it could’ve been six for all I knew: it was all a case of guess work.

As I’ve said before, 2016 was the year that I really got in touch with my body. Not only did I start using a menstrual cup which forces you to be pretty hands on, but I started learning about my cycle and what effected it. I discovered what happens to my body when I’m stressed or tired or not giving it all of the loveliness that it deserves. It was a magical experience and I’ve never felt more liberated within myself than I do right now.

I personally think that everybody who has a period should be tracking when they start and stop bleeding each month as a bare minimum. It doesn’t matter whether you do that in your daily planner or in an app like Clue (my method of choice), as long as it’s giving you some awareness of what is your body’s “normal”. Because if you don’t know what your “normal” is, then you don’t know when to be concerned about something. Our bodies are constantly changing and shifting to suit our situations, but it’s important to know when you should get something checked out just to be on the safe side.

On top of that, there’s so much more that you can track to help you out every month. I know exactly when I need to have my tea tree oil at the ready to battle PMS based spots. I know when I’m most likely to get a UTI. I know when to avoid human interaction because I will likely scream. It’s pretty bloody brilliant.

I can’t believe that I never recognized the glory of it before, to be honest. There I was, laying on the examination table with my pants off in front of a glove wearing stranger and it hit me. And now two days and 600 words later I’m looking at this post and realizing that it has become an ode to the act of period tracking. I’m totally fine with that. 


12 comments:

  1. Bless this post. My cycle has become more and more unsteady as I get older, so I decided to try Clue earlier this month. I'm already in love with it! Period tracking is way more important than I realized.

    Amber - amberelb.com

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    1. I'm so glad that you enjoyed it! Good luck with using Clue - I'm sure you'll continue to love it. xx

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  2. I think from the day I had my period my mum told me to at least write down when I have my period in my calendar. So I did it once or twice and then forgot again. So when I went to see my lady doctor and was asked when I had my last period I felt so stupid because I was just like "errmmm like two weeks ago maybe?"
    But Is tarted using the Clue App like I think over a year ago now, originally just to have someone remind me to take my pill in the morning (I do remember most days but there were the odd days my mind was too busy with other stuff) and now I am always fully prepared when my doctor wants to know stuff.
    And it tells me so much about myself! Like cravings I have before my period, whether or not I have headaches and so on and so forth.
    I would recommend the Clue App to anyone and actually got my mum to use it as well :)
    I really liked your post and I feel it is important to encourage people to track their body functions :)
    Love,
    Jenny

    Jenny Side Up

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    1. I feel like everyone gets told to do it but none of us realise how important it is until later in life! I'm so glad that period tracking has helped you as much as it has me. Thanks for reading, Jennifer. xx

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  3. I love Clue, I think it's so important to be in tune with your body and your menstrual cycle and you're right it helps you prepare for your period too, be it buying a comforting bath bomb or a bar of chocolate, I think it's an amazing little tool that everyone should use!

    Marbl☾☽Moon

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    1. It's amazing isn't it? And yes to the comforter - that's definitely my go to. xx

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  4. Yes, I actually just had my annual appointment recently where the doc asked me all these questions and it was so nice to be able to answer confidently since I've been tracking. I wasn't using Clue though and I just downloaded it thanks to your post and am already in love. Definitely going to use it regularly. Do you track your moods and stuff too? I wasn't using those functions on my old tracker app but I definitely think I'll start since Clue makes it so user-friendly. Thanks for the rec!

    Asti || bit.ly/atypicalnarrative

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    1. Yes I do track my moods as well as my skin and hair, it means I'm able to match up the time in my cycle with specific things that happen to my body. I hope you love Clue as much as I do! xx

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  5. I use this app too. It really helps when you track your period. It helps you get ready when your period comes. I also use the menstrual cup and it helps me save money to buy tampons or napkins.

    http://thewallflowersecrets.com

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    1. It's great, isn't it? Thanks for reading, lovely! xx

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  6. I've been using this one for about five months now. It's so nice knowing when I'll have my period again and not have to improvise with toilet paper when I'm at school. I even got my best friends to get it and now we're all connected, we can see each other's cycles and I feel like we share a special bond (is that weird?)

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    1. Hahah that's not weird at all - me and my flatmates are exactly the same! xx

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