The 10 best reasons why women should track their cycle
Our cycle significantly influences all areas of our life and well-being. Depending on the cycle phase, our feelings, our performance, and energy levels, how social we feel, even our appetite and digestion change. Therefore, doesn’t it make sense to take an in-depth look at your cycle and try to live in sync with it? We will tell you our 10 best reasons why women should track their cycle.
1. Recognize that your cycle says a lot about how healthy you are
Our fertility doesn’t just matter when we want to try to get pregnant. After all, the health of our cycle also says a lot about a woman’s overall health. Tracking our cycle means keeping a record of the days of menstruation and the other cycle phases. To do this, it is also a good idea to note how heavy the bleed is and what (if there are any) symptoms are associated with it. We live in a fast-paced world and we are all busy. Very few of us will be able to remember the exact dates of our last menstruation off the top of our heads. We all know the moment when our doctor asks for the date of our last period. Well, there is no need to just guess or make up a date. Instead, we can know for sure. When we track our cycle we can easily make an ongoing assessment of our cycle and keep track of possible changes and symptoms. Cycle tracking is also a wonderful way to encourage young girls to view their periods not as something to be ashamed of and be ignored, but as a completely natural part of life that wants to be observed and understood!
Correctly interpret cycle fluctuations as an important signal from your body
If you know your body and your cycle well, you will immediately notice when something is wrong. Your body sends you important signals about your cycle that you shouldn’t ignore. For example, if you notice that the length of your cycle is changing significantly or that the color of your period blood is changing, this should make you want to look deeper. If you notice changes over a longer period of time and are worried, it is best to consult a trusted specialist.
2. If you know your cycle length and pattern, you will always know when to expect your period
If you track your cycle and know exactly which cycle phase you are in, PMS symptoms, or even your period itself, will never surprise you again. This way, you can make the necessary preparations and adjustments in your everyday life early on and counteract possible symptoms.
3. Get pregnant easily & quickly
If you want to get pregnant, correctly determining your fertile window is an absolute must. Contrary to persistent myths, there is only a small window of time in the cycle when a pregnancy can occur. In order to know when the right time has come, you do not have to visit your doctor every single month. By monitoring your cycle with a cycle tracker, understanding your body and where you are in your cycle, you will develop an intuitive feeling for it and know exactly when you can get pregnant.
4. Experience more intense orgasms
If you feel like your sex life could use a little boost, the follicular phase & the phase around ovulation is the perfect time to spice things up in the bedroom. That’s because, during this time, testosterone and estrogen levels rise. This is the time when women find it easier to experience intense orgasms. So if you are planning a weekend in bed with your partner, this is the right time. Quite a good reason to track your cycle, right!?
5. Enjoy your social engagements to the fullest by syncing them with your cycle phases
Have you ever noticed that there are times in your cycle when you feel more or less social? Going on a night out with the girls? Towards the end of your cycle is probably not the best time to do this. The week before your period is the time when you are most likely feeling very tired and sluggish. If you know your cycle and which phase you are in, you will know when you are feeling less sociable and need to spend more time by yourself. When it’s best not to fill your schedule with appointments and make sure you have enough time to take good care of yourself.
The other way around, you also know when you can look forward to your estrogen and testosterone levels rising again, and thus when your energy and mood are on the rise again, and when the planned night out fits perfectly into the calendar.
Stop letting mood swings get you down
At a certain point in their cycle, many women wonder why their moods keep plummeting. They struggle with mood swings. If you know your cycle well and what’s going on in your body, over time you’ll be able to recognize a pattern and treat yourself with more compassion & understanding. After all, the hormonal fluctuations that happen throughout your cycle are completely normal and bring natural highs and lows. The good news? With simple adjustments to your diet and habits, you can support your body and prevent severe mood swings.
6. Increase your well-being by syncing your diet with your cycle
The foods we eat should form the basis of our well-being. They should also be seen as ‘medicine’ to treat or prevent menstrual cramps or PMS symptoms. We often tend to eat the same foods day in and day out to save time and make everyday life easier. But the different ratios of estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone throughout the cycle also mean that our body has different needs in each phase of the cycle. This relates to our diet, but also to how we help our bodies with natural elimination processes. What we eat from week to week definitely needs to be adjusted to support our cyclical body. In fact, hormonal imbalances can also be triggered by what we eat. This means avoiding or limiting refined sugar and processed foods, alcohol, and caffeine, especially during the menstrual phase. The focus should be on eating whole foods throughout the whole cycle to balance your hormones and keep them in balance. In addition, it is important for women to eat every 3 or 4 hours to keep blood sugar levels stable and avoid cortisol spikes and/or mood swings.
7. Get fitter by exercising in sync with your cycle
Many professional athletes already know about this ‘secret’: exercising in sync with your cycle brings significant benefits. In the follicular phase, right after your period, the increase of estrogen in your body means you have more energy and a higher tolerance for exercise. In the phase around ovulation, the combination of estrogen and progesterone makes your body much more efficient at exercising and using fat for fuel. That means you burn fat more efficiently with the same amount of exercise than at the end of the cycle, so it’s a good time for more intense workouts, for example. If you make changes to your workout program by adapting it to your cycle, you can easily improve your performance and get fitter without having to try so hard.
8. Increase your productivity by adapting your To-Do lists to your cycle
Do you sometimes feel overwhelmed at work? During specific times of the month, you feel like you can’t think straight? Other times work seems super easy? Or you have an important meeting at work coming up? Tracking your cycle can even help you perform better at work. In the follicular phase, before ovulation, women tend to feel more productive and eloquent. After ovulation, on the other hand, you should tend to stay away from demanding meetings and presentations. Estrogen and testosterone levels drop after ovulation. Studies have even shown that some women have a diminished capacity for complex thought processes and are less articulate during this phase. So it makes sense, if possible, to plan your work commitments accordingly and adjust them to your cycle.
9. Improve your sleep by understanding your body (& cycle)
Just as you should not only know when to cut back socially, you should also know your cycle so you can sleep better. When your body temperature rises during your cycle you experience less REM sleep, so you may feel like you’re getting less sleep. Restless sleep or insomnia is also very common, when you feel bloated and sluggish or may even suffer from severe cramping. To counteract this, you should limit your caffeine intake after lunch, exercise in the morning rather than in the evening, and stick to a bedtime routine to regulate your body’s circadian rhythm.
10. Avoid blemishes by adapting your skincare to your cycle
Have you ever noticed breakouts at certain times of the month? Maybe when your period is coming up? Or maybe you break out around ovulation? If you notice blemishes at certain times of the month, it may indicate a hormonal imbalance. The good news? By tracking your cycle and adjusting your skincare routine accordingly, you can prevent blemishes and finally have that ‘feel good in your skin’-feeling all month.
Picture: © Melanie Lindner