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Get to know your period: How keeping a diary can help

 

How much do you know about your period? We’re not talking about the scientific breakdown of menstruation, we’re talking about how YOU feel as you menstruate. It’s time to cosy up and get to know Aunt Flo…

Periods are personal. That’s why we think it’s super important to get to know yours on a personal level. There’s a lot going on in your powerful body every cycle. What you experience during your cycle could be very different from what your best friend experiences. Just because you both menstruate, it doesn’t mean it’s the same.

 

Why is it important to ‘know your period’?

During menstruation, your hormones naturally fluctuate triggering physical and emotional changes throughout your cycle. Then when your period finally arrives it can vary in colour, texture and can come armed with additional symptoms. It’s important to know what’s ‘normal’ for you.

Paying attention to these symptoms (or just your period in general) and tracking how you feel and how it looks can help you spot any common patterns or changes. Your period can say a lot about your health, but you might only notice if you are keeping an eye on things.

 

Keeping a diary about your period

Now, this doesn’t have to be a ‘Dear diary’ type journal because who’s got time for that?

A simple note on your calendar or a couple of bullet points in a spare notebook could do the trick. You can also use a menstrual tracking app which allows you to log information about your period. Look to note down general information such as:

  • The length of your cycle
  • The length of your period

It’s so valuable to also note down information on the following:

 

How you feel during the build-up to your period (any physical or emotional symptoms)

For example, if your breasts hurt 2 weeks before your cycle note this down or if you struggle with a low mood a week before your period write down exactly how you feel.

 

When your period arrives note down any additional symptoms and how they impact you

For example, if you have menstrual cramps, note down how long they lasted, if they made you have to cancel plans or leave work early. Providing details on how these symptoms impact you can help understand the severity.

 

Note down information about your period

Did your bleed start heavy or light? What colour is the menstrual bleed and how does this change? Any clots or changes in texture? How many tampons/pads do you use each day and/or how much did you fill your menstrual cup?

It’s a good idea to again add details about how this impacts you. How heavy IS heavy? If you are bleeding through underwear, having to constantly change your tampon/pad or waking up constantly in the night this is crucial information to note down.

 

Using this information to seek medical assistance

When you have this information to hand it can be vital should you need to seek help from a medical professional. It could even be useful in helping you realise that you need to see a GP or gynaecologist in the first place!

If you spot reoccurring symptoms that are impacting your life or sudden changes then it’s crucial to get this checked out. Your health is important. If you have spotted anything of concern then it’s always worth consulting a medical professional.

The more information you have the better. Information about your period and additional symptoms can help communicate what you’re experiencing. It’s the difference between saying ‘I get really bad cramps’ to saying, ‘my cramps are so bad I pass out and have to skip work for 2-3 days every cycle.’

Why our period powerful pioneer and Endo warrior Saschan Fearon-Josephs recommends:

“I am a massive advocate of charting your symptoms over time, being able to look back and notice patterns in your pain and whether they coincide with changes in your cycle. If you’re tracking your pain and your symptoms then you can work out when there’s a really concerning change quickly; if you’re experiencing different types of pain and where, which can be helpful when you go to see a GP or consultant”

 

It’s time to get personal

So next time your period rolls around try giving this a go! When you look back at 2-3 months of information you will start to get an idea of the patterns in your cycle.  This can also help you prepare in the future! If you prepare for future periods.

Time to change how you think about your period. Has this blog got you thinking? Drop us a comment below or come and chat to us on socials. For more period powerful information, check out this blog.

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