Cycle tracking with an accurate period calculator can help you better understand your body and your health. Learn the benefits of using a period calculator and try it for free on WomanLog!
Your menstrual cycle is more than just your period, it is intertwined with countless complex processes throughout your entire body. Using a period calculator is an excellent way to become more aware of your cycle and how your body changes in the different phases. A period calculator can help you get to know your menstrual cycle so you can make the best possible decisions for yourself.
The WomanLog period calculator can predict the approximate start date for your next period and when you will ovulate. The longer you use it, the more accurate it will be. If your cycle is irregular, predicting exact dates is more challenging, but as you track what happens over time, you’ll have a much better idea of what to expect. In this article, we answer the most common questions about menstruation, including: When will my period start? How long does a period normally last? Why is my period late? And how does a period tracker work?
While the average menstrual cycle length is 28 days but anything from 21 to 35 days is considered normal. Some women have very regular, predictable cycles, while others experience some variation in how long each cycle lasts. Irregular periods are especially common in the first few years after puberty begins.
However, if your cycle varies by 7–9 days each month, there’s a good chance something else is going on. Maybe you are under a lot of stress, your body is dealing with an illness, or you have a condition such as polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). PCOS affects 4–20% of reproductive-age women worldwide. Symptoms include ovarian cysts, increased sebum production, hirsutism (excessive growth of dark hair on the face, chest, and elsewhere), weight gain, insulin resistance, and irregular or absent periods.
The best way to predict when your period will start is to track your cycle month-by-month. Recording when your period starts and how long it lasts will help you understand the rhythm of your cycle, even if it fluctuates.
Your menstrual cycle influences your whole body. As hormone levels shift and the cycle progresses through the four stages of the cycle—menstruation, the follicular phase, ovulation, and the luteal phase—changes take place throughout your body as well.
The cycle starts with menstruation—hormone levels are low, and you are bleeding. In the follicular phase oestrogen levels rise, stimulating a few ovarian follicles to develop and the uterine lining, or endometrium, grows thicker in preparation to receive a fertilised egg. At ovulation, a follicle bursts and a mature egg makes its way through the fallopian tubes to the uterus. If you want to get pregnant, this is your chance. Finally, in the luteal phase, progesterone stops the endometrium from developing and the body prepares to begin another cycle.
By noting changes in your mood, energy levels, and the physical symptoms you experience throughout your cycle, especially before and during your period, you will become more aware of your body. It will be easier to tell when your period is about to start and to notice signs of illness, pregnancy, and other changes.
After your period, there is usually little to no discharge for a few days, and when it appears it is clear and watery. The amount of discharge will increase gradually throughout the follicular phase. As ovulation approaches, vaginal discharge is abundant and slippery, resembling raw egg whites, to give your body the best chance of getting pregnant. The texture changes again in the luteal phase, becoming thicker and stickier. When you notice this, your period will begin again before too long.
Feeling tired and sluggish in the luteal phase before your period is normal. There are several reasons for this:
Oestrogen and serotonin have been shown to have significant functional interactions, which we are still learning about. Serotonin influences oestrogen synthesis, and oestrogen has serotonin-modulating properties. Serotonin is an important neurotransmitter that regulates mood, sleep, and cognitive function. When oestrogen levels are low in the luteal phase before a new period starts you may also have less serotonin and tend to feel more sensitive and irritable. Many women experience more anxiety, sadness, numbness, apathy, and irritability during this phase of the cycle. When symptoms are severe, we call it PMS.
Abdominal cramps typically begin the same day your period starts, or a few days before, and last for 2 to 3 days. These cramps are caused by the flood of prostaglandins being released from the uterine lining as it prepares to be shed. Prostaglandins stimulate the uterus to contract and expel menstrual blood, but they can also cause abdominal pain and other uncomfortable symptoms like bloating, diarrhoea, and nausea.
All women experience some degree of cyclical breast swelling and tenderness as their hormones fluctuate. Some women hardly notice, but for others, symptoms can be severe—especially mid-cycle when oestrogen peaks causing the breast ducts to enlarge, and around day 21 (in an average-length cycle) when progesterone peaks causing the lobules (milk glands) to swell.
When your period starts, oestrogen and progesterone levels are low, your skin and hair will tend to be dry, and you may be puffy and bloated from PMS. As your period ends, oestrogen rises and boosts collagen production, and your skin starts looking healthier. Hormone levels peak around ovulation, you feel sexy and energetic, and your skin and hair look great! After ovulation, however, an increase in progesterone raises your body temperature and triggers your sebaceous glands to secrete more sebum—this is an important natural protective lubricant, but it can also cause clogged pores, acne, and oily hair.
A menstrual period typically lasts 3–7 days, changing in abundance and colour. Periods tend to become shorter and more regular as we age. Women have different bodies and different life circumstances, so there is a broad range of “normal”. Tracking your period can help you understand what is normal for you.
On average, a woman will experience 450–80 menstrual cycles over approximately 40 potentially reproductive years, most commonly between the ages of 12 and 51. Menstruation begins with puberty, which can start as early as age 8 or as late as age 15, and ends with menopause, which can start as early as 40 or as late as 58. During the reproductive years, a woman may stop having her period for various reasons including using hormonal contraception, pregnancy, stress, illness, and dramatic lifestyle changes.
Tracking your cycle can help you notice if your period is late or irregular. It’s important to spot these changes because they can indicate pregnancy or an endocrine issue that requires immediate medical attention.
The WomanLog period calculator is a free tool that helps you predict the start date for your next period and your fertility window, and helps you track symptoms to understand your body better. The calculator uses the information you provide to make predictions. The more information it has, the better the predictions will be. When you have entered information for six cycles, you will start to recognize tendencies and have fairly accurate forecasts about what to expect. Download our free period tracking app and try it for yourself!
Without tracking, it can be difficult to notice repeated symptoms or patterns of your cycle. With the accurate period tracker, you can follow the dates and symptoms of your cycle to know what to expect next. Our period tracker can give you insight into your health, predict your menstrual cycle safe days and fertile days, and record cycle length and symptoms so you can see tendencies over time.
Each cycle has a fertility window of 5–6 days when a woman can get pregnant. It takes only 12–24 hours for a mature egg (usually only one) to burst from its follicle in the ovary and travel down the fallopian tube to the uterus. If fertilised in that time, the egg will implant in the uterine lining, and pregnancy will begin. If not, the egg will disintegrate and flow away with the menstrual blood. However, sperm can live up to 5 days in the reproductive tract. Unprotected sex five days before and up to 24 hours after ovulation can lead to pregnancy. With regular use, our app can provide a fertility forecast for the days you are most likely to get pregnant. While not a replacement for contraception, this level of fertility awareness can complement your other practices.
Whenever you visit your gynaecologist, the first questions tend to be: When did your last period start? How long and heavy was it? Do you have any associated recurring symptoms? Being able to share accurate information with your doctor brings them into the picture faster so you can make the best possible decisions about your health.
A period calculator is a great way to track your cycle, watch your health, and boost your awareness of the changes that happen in your body. Start period planning, fertile day forecasts, and in-depth statistics for your cycle with the WomanLog period tracker.
The mobile app version allows you to track your cycle, fertile days, weight, moods, and related health symptoms on the go. Try the WomanLog free period calculator now!
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