Unpredictable periods can be a nuisance. When we know what’s happening with our bodies, we can plan and prepare. We know to carry extra tampons or pads with us, and we avoid outings that might make us uncomfortable. As women, we’ve been able to work around our menstrual cycles to do amazing things, but all of us can recall at least one time when we’ve been caught off-guard by an unexpected visit from Aunt Flow.
I recently had a night out ruined by my period. My friends were visiting from out of town, and we went to a restaurant. Over the course of dinner, I experienced a lot of cramping, and I thought I might be starting my period. My suspicions were confirmed, and I had to cut the night short because I didn’t have any supplies or medicine on hand.
Being caught unprepared is the worst
Periods are not fun experiences, but we get through them. It’s frustrating enough to feel tired and bloated, but it’s even worse when you don’t know when to expect your period.
Having an irregular period, or not keeping track of your cycle can cause all sorts of problems. You may crave junk food and feel moody without knowing why you feel that way. You might also set yourself up for embarrassing accidents by choosing to wear white pants when your period starts. Plus, who wants to plan a trip to the beach in the middle of her period?
Not knowing when your menstrual cycle is happening can have deeper impacts on your health as well. If you’re trying to get pregnant, you need to know when you’re ovulating.
There’s also a direct link between your menstrual cycle and the effectiveness of your workouts. When you are in the luteal phase of your cycle (right before your period), your metabolic rate increases by 2.5%-11%. You’ll burn calories faster, but it’ll also have a negative impact on your performance.
Your period can be an indicator of your overall health. Irregularities can arise from stress or changes in sexual activity. Taking certain medications can impact your cycle. What you eat during certain times of the month affects your mood, but diet can also disrupt your period. Dramatic weight loss, for example, can cause your menstrual cycle to stop altogether.
Being able to note changes in your menstrual cycle provides clues about your health and wellness. While everybody is different, it’s important to know what is normal for you.
It’s time to get a clue
If you’re having trouble keeping track of your period on a regular calendar, there’s an app called “Clue” that helps you collect data on yourself. This app enables you to track your period, predict ovulation time, and record information that will affect your menstrual cycle.
Besides being able to track your cycle, Clue can also remind you to take contraceptives and tell you what to do if you miss a pill.
“Clue” keeps data on your period organized and makes it easy to understand
Clue is free, and signing up is easy. You can create an account using your Facebook, Google, or email account. After you verify your account, the app asks you a few questions about your age, the average duration of your your period, PMS symptoms, and your contraceptive usage.
The Clue app uses that information to make predictions about when you’ll be dealing with PMS, menstruating, and ovulating. As you input your data into Clue, it becomes better at predicting elements of your cycle.
You can see where you are in your cycle by viewing the “Your Current Cycle” page.
You can always reach this page by clicking on the circular icon at the bottom of the page. As you can see, Clue makes it easy to see where you are in your cycle at a glance. The clouds on the cycle indicate when you might experience PMS symptoms.
The number of red dots beneath the area that says “Period” represent the number of days that your period will last. If you record data related to ovulation, a blue dot will appear when the app predicts that you are ovulating.
If you choose to receive reminders about your fertility, the fertility window will appear as a blue section in the cycle. Knowing when you’re most fertile is useful whether or not you are trying to conceive.
When you click on the green plus sign, you’ll have the option to enter current data about your body. The red droplet icon allows you to record how heavy your bleeding is for that day. When you enter this data, Clue will be able to predict the heaviness and duration of future periods, which can help you make better plans.
To the right of the red droplet is an icon that looks like a pill. If you take the pill, this is where you record whether you’ve taken your oral contraceptives.
To access information about oral contraceptives, you can click on the blue “i” icon on the top right. This is so handy if you find yourself in a situation in which you forget your pill, get sick, or you don’t have your medication with you at the proper time.
The next item that you can track are your emotions. Click on the orange face icon, and you’ll see the screen below.
When you record data about your emotions, you can make it easier to figure out why you feel the way that you do. For example, it may seem like you feel sad for no reason, but your feelings might be linked to your menstrual cycle. While knowing this information won’t cure your moroseness, it may make you feel better to understand why you’re sad.
Hit the arrow to the right of the emotions icon, and you will be able to record information about your sex-life.
Recording whether or not you used contraceptives can help you understand your risk of pregnancy. A high sex drive could accompany certain parts of your menstrual cycle.
There’s no question that your cycle affects your skin. Input data about your skin’s condition by clicking on the icon that looks like a peach.
Finally, you can record types of pain that you are experiencing under the lighting bolt. Knowing when you typically experience headaches, cramps, breast tenderness, and ovulation pain can help you prepare for these symptoms.
In addition to thinking about the current month, you can also view data from previous periods and predictions for those to come. If you go back to the “Your current cycle” page, you can go to the calendar icon on the bottom left of your screen.
Days with white clouds are those on which you should expect PMS. The presence of a red dot signifies is Clue’s prediction about when you should expect menstrual bleeding.
If you’ve recorded ovulation data, a blue square will appear in the top left corner of the day on which you experienced those symptoms. When you have collected enough data, Clue can use this to ascertain your fertility window.
To the right of the calendar, there’s a notebook icon that takes you to your analysis page.
This test profile doesn’t have much data associated with it, but the analysis section displays predictions as it captures more data. If you select the menu to the right of the cycle (represented by three dots), you can make notes about the cycle or exclude the data from your calculations.
Clue even allows you to share your information with others. This can be useful when you’re trying to make plans with your friends. For couples trying to conceive, both partners can use Clue to see when the woman is most fertile. This information could also help your partner understand why you’re tired and cranky on a particular day.
Demystify your periods
Takes some of the mystery out of when to expect your period. Clue helps you foresee how you’ll feel, when you’re fertile, and when you should expect your period based on the data you enter. You’ll not only be better able to make plans, but you’ll also be able to spot abnormalities and communicate efficiently with your doctor by using this app.
Dealing with your menstrual cycle can be complicated, but Clue makes it easier to keep track of your periods and take care of yourself.
|||^||Bodybuilding.com: 4 Ways Your Menstrual Cycle Affects Your Workouts|
|||^||The Verge: Period-tracking app Clue will tell women what to do if they miss a birth control pill|