Knowing the exact date your period would show up would save you a lot of stress and embarrassment too, except of course you are always indoors. A normal menstrual cycle is said to be 28 days but the word “normal” varies greatly. The word “normal” can be anything in between 21 to 35 days for an adult.
Your menstrual cycle is the length of time from the first day of your period to the day before your next period. The day your period starts is cycle day 1 up to the day before you see your next period. So if for example your saw your period on the 3rd of June for a number of days, say four days, and you started another one on the 27th of June, counting from day 1 which is 3rd of June, your menstrual cycle is 24 days.
Your period length, which is different from your menstrual cycle, refers to the number of days you bleed. The normal period length is between 2-8 days. If you find it difficult to track the exact time your period would show up, either you are always too early or too late, it is normal for you to be concerned. You should know however that not being able to accurately predict the day of your period is a common challenge for women and most times, irregular cycle length is not a sign of a serious problem.
Most of the time, this irregularity is as a result of changes in your body’s levels of the hormones estrogen and progesterone. This may be due to:
- Not eating enough
- Excessive exercise
- Sudden changes in exercise levels or body weight
- Birth control pills
- Having an IUD (intrauterine device)
Other rare causes include:
- Thyroid problems
- Ovarian cysts
- Uterine fibroid
Most of the time, treatments are not needed for irregular cycle lengths. If you are really bothered about it, you should see your doctor. Your doctor would examine you and try to find out its cause. If a cause is found, it would be treated but if not, your doctor would likely recommend certain lifestyle changes like managing stress, eating well and exercising moderately.
To save yourself the trouble of impromptu periods, you should chart out your personal calendar or download a menstrual cycle app on your mobile phone. This would help you keep track of your cycle, making you know when your period is likely to show up. Once the day starts approaching, all you need do is to keep a pad or tampon handy; just tuck it neatly in your bag or pocket.