Guest post written by: Elise Urbaniak
Talking about menstruation and tracking your period should be normalized as we enter 2022, as billions of menstruators experience the same symptoms and issues every day, but is not talked about in the mainstream enough. With innovation, inclusivity, and sustainability in mind, Orchyd shares six benefits to tracking your cycle and all the symptoms that come with it.
Why is Tracking Your Menstrual Cycle Important?
If you are someone with a menstruation cycle, you may have had times when you worry about your cycle seeming irregular, wonder when you are ovulating, feel emotional without knowing why, start your period unexpectedly without supplies, or even struggle to guess when the first day of your last period was when your doctor asks. These things can be frustrating but, luckily, regularly tracking your cycle can help ease a lot of uncertainty and can identify any potential health issues you may be experiencing.
Understanding your body’s patterns
Did you know your menstruation cycle is not just the days you are bleeding? According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the average menstrual cycle is 28 days long and can experience various symptoms throughout the full 28-day cycle. The simplest way to understand your cycle length is to regularly track any premenstrual syndrome (PMS) symptoms you experience and your flow on the days of your period. With period tracking apps like Orchyd, you can enter the days of your flow and any PMS symptoms you may experience, and the app can predict what days you are going to experience premenstrual syndrome (PMS) symptoms, what days you will have your flow, what days you are in your fertile window, and when your ovulation days are. Tracking the level of flow on a tracking app on a regular basis can also help predict how many period collection items to have on hand, when you can expect to experience symptoms and can help you identify when your flow is abnormal.
Helps you get pregnant (or avoid pregnancy)
According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, in the common 28-day cycle most menstruators have six days during that cycle where they are in their fertile window, making it possible for them to get pregnant. Period and fertility tracking apps are useful to remind someone who wants to get pregnant when their fertile and ovulation days are. Since everyone’s cycle lengths and flows vary, tracking your menstruation days can help you keep track of what days you are most fertile, helping with natural family planning or avoiding pregnancy. According to a study published in Fertility and Sterility, couples see higher rates of conception when they have sex every one to two days. It can be helpful to track your period, ovulation, and sexual activity all together so you know the best time to have sexual intercourse in order to conceive, or when to be careful and have extra protection on hand.
Allows you to cut yourself some slack when you experience PMS symptoms
Experiencing PMS symptoms can be the worst part of having a period. According to Orchyd, some symptoms of PMS include bloating, breast tenderness, weight gain, trouble concentrating, headaches, acne, fatigue, irritability, anxiety, mood swings, depression, joint or muscle pain, constipation, changes in libido, trouble falling asleep, appetite changes, alcohol intolerance, and more. Though there are over 100 possible symptoms of PMS, Women’s Health at Harrington says that 40% of women experience symptoms of PMS that are severe enough to disrupt daily life with the most common symptom being depression. Tracking your mood and symptoms may help you decipher whether you are experiencing symptoms of PMS or if something else is going on. Everyone with a period experiences different PMS symptoms, and tracking your PMS symptoms with the help of an app can help you understand why you are not feeling your best self, and can alert you when to have pain relief methods on hand.
Ensures you are prepared for your flow
Starting your period without period supplies can be stressful and sometimes embarrassing, especially if caught by surprise. According to Murphy’s Law of Menstruation, 86% of people who menstruate have started their period unexpectedly in public without the supplies they need. One of the most important parts of tracking your menstruation cycle is knowing when you will start your flow, so you can have your preferred period collection method and pain relief products such as ibuprofen and heat pads on hand. Certain period tracking apps like Orchyd can also help you track what level of flow you are expected to experience so you have the right absorbency of products, and alert you when it is time to change your period collection method to avoid bleeding through and avoiding Toxic Shock Syndrome.
Avoid Toxic Shock Syndrome
According to the Mayo Clinic, Toxic Shock Syndrome is a rare but life-threatening complication formed by a vaginal bacterial tampon in too long. Though it may seem inconvenient or hard to remember, the Mayo Clinic and most healthcare professionals recommend changing your tampon every four to eight hours to avoid Toxic Shock Syndrome. It can be helpful to set yourself a reminder through your period tracking app when you have a busy day, so the app can remind you when it is time to replace your tampon to help with peace of mind. The Orchyd app is innovative when it comes to these reminders because they ask questions such as the level of your flow and what period collection method you are using to set a reminder for the recommended removal time.
Keeping Track of Your Period Can Help Doctors Understand When There’s a Problem
According to Dr. Rachel Urrutia from UNC Medical Center, an irregular menstrual cycle can be an indicator that there is another issue going on. Dr. Urrutia says that if your flow is more frequent than every 21 days, less frequent than every 40 days, or is heavier than average periods that last eight days or longer, you should consult a doctor. Tracking your period helps take out the guesswork in tracking when you are experiencing irregular flow and symptoms. Common causes of long or irregular periods include polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), fibroids, infections, or pregnancy. Learning early on about these problems can help you find a solution faster, and can avoid possible long-term health issues. With period tracking apps like Orchyd, they also provide 24/7 OB/GYN on-demand telemedicine for problems that can’t wait hours in line at urgent care.
Using Period Apps to Track Your Menstrual Cycle
In the past, many people may have tracked their period by marking it in their calendar. Now that we are in a driven digital innovation generation, there are plenty of apps that make it simple to track symptoms, flow, fertility, and more. Through its free period tracking app with built-in product usage timer SafeFlow™ and a 24/7 on-demand OB/GYN chat support, period tracking apps like Orchyd can assist in providing solutions faster and in the comfort of your own home. Other reliable period tracking apps include Clue, Flo, Eve, and Ovia, all providing different features to help every user track their menstrual cycle.