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In my 40s and have never really tracked my periods

(91 Posts)
MrsMaisel Sun 24-Feb-19 09:55:47

am i just disorganised? Am I alone? Occasionally when things seem to be going a little awry i will look back at a calendar and try to reverse engineer some semblance of a record... but never really able to pin point days. I feel a bit daft whenever a doctor asks me the date of my last period - i sort of look up to the ceiling and guesstimate. Can I just hide behind the expression, 'going with the flow'?

grubus Sun 24-Feb-19 09:57:44

I'm exactly the same. I don't think that you are unusual.

Hanumantelpiece Sun 24-Feb-19 09:58:39

I haven't either as until I had my DC, they were irregular. Took me a while to figure out I was pregnant as I didn't have any symptoms until 3months in (but on the back of a load of stressful stuff).
I'm more regular now, and get definitely PMT a week ahead so it's easier to be prepared.

Heratnumber7 Sun 24-Feb-19 09:59:25

I was the same. I could never quite get how to count the first day either. Do they mean the first little spot, or the first day of full flow?
I don't have them any more and it's fab

MrsMaisel Sun 24-Feb-19 09:59:58

thank goodness... i was just reading this article in the Guardian and felt a bit backwards:
"When broadcaster Sandi Toksvig was studying anthropology at university, one of her female professors held up a photograph of an antler bone with 28 markings on it. “This,” said the professor, “is alleged to be man’s first attempt at a calendar.” Toksvig and her fellow students looked at the bone in admiration. “Tell me,” the professor continued, “what man needs to know when 28 days have passed? I suspect that this is woman’s first attempt at a calendar.” "

stopitandtidyupp Sun 24-Feb-19 10:00:15

I am 38 I downloaded an app at 36 recommenced by my SD who tracked hers from day 1.

elQuintoConyo Sun 24-Feb-19 10:01:04

I'm 43 now and have been tracking for about 18 months as I'd like to keep an eye on perimenopause. It happened to my mum early, I'd just like to keep my eye on it.

I also tracked when we started TTC, but otherwise no, I have never tracked. Sore tits and incredibly weird vivid dreams always meant I was due on within the week, so I'd fill my bag with tampons in case it came while I was out.

AltogetherAndrews Sun 24-Feb-19 10:01:11

I was the same, until I realised that my cycle was effecting my symptoms of another health condition, and life was easier if I could predict when my energy levels would drop. I use an app, Flo, which makes it really easy, I’m not naturally organised enough to work it out any other way.

Yubaba Sun 24-Feb-19 10:03:19

I don’t either, I did when I was TTC obviously but DH has since had a vasectomy and I don’t need to bother anymore so I don’t.

MrsMaisel Sun 24-Feb-19 10:04:09

I share my phone apps with my son because of our account set up. Probably do need to have more of a handle on this leading up to peri-menopause but more likely to use a traditional calendar if need be...

flowersaremyfave Sun 24-Feb-19 10:06:11

I'm 34 and have never tracked my periods. When I've found out I'm pregnant I've never known how far along I am 🙈

BalloonDinosaur Sun 24-Feb-19 10:06:51

I didnt until recently. (I'm 34 now) Dr/midwife etc really struggled to get it when I told them I had no idea when my last period was.

Have started making a note of it recently

MrsMaisel Sun 24-Feb-19 10:09:09

I can't remember how tall I am or exactly how much I weigh either. I can't recall when I had my last haircut. Perhaps... this all stems from resentment at being asked 'When my last confession' was as a child??

MrsMaisel Sun 24-Feb-19 10:09:41

People are so nosey.

BrokenWing Sun 24-Feb-19 10:15:20

I'm 50 and started tracking on an app around 2 years ago when they started getting irregular and I now have very heavy flooding if they are a week or two late so it helps to know.

ImFreeToDoWhatIWant Sun 24-Feb-19 10:40:27

I'm 44 and I've tracked with various degrees of dedication since I started my periods at 12yo. Usually just noting the start of each period in a diary, and when ttc using far more detailed daily analysis (temps, fluid etc). The past couple of years I've used a phone app and am just noting basic details - start day and length and flow strength. It's abundantly clear I'm now in peri menopause but the changes are subtle and tracking means I can identify them. It's really helpful.

Ragnarthe Sun 24-Feb-19 10:41:57

Never tracked until perimenopause

Alison100199 Sun 24-Feb-19 10:43:26

Obsessive tracker here as I've been using Natural Cycles for contraception for a year now. I know exactly what my body is doing, when I ovulate, when my period is due etc. I find it empowering smile.

bridgetreilly Sun 24-Feb-19 10:44:34

I started tracking in my early 40s when they started becoming extremely irregular and that has a big impact on how heavy/painful they are. It's worth knowing that you haven't had one for 10 weeks so you can be ready for it being a monster.

bridgetreilly Sun 24-Feb-19 10:46:09

But otherwise unless you are ttc, or concerned that you might have got pregnant accidentally, I don't think most women need to obsessively track.

AlexaShutUp Sun 24-Feb-19 10:47:30

I only started tracking them a couple of years ago, in my mid forties. Partly because they seemed to be getting a bit less regular and I wanted to see the pattern, but also because a colleague mentioned how much it helped her to track changes in her mood.

I must admit, I have found it useful. There are days when I'm really low and it definitely helps to know that this is hormonal and predictable rather than just assuming that it's because my life sucks! grin

DaedricLordSlayer Sun 24-Feb-19 10:49:21

it's always a surprise when I get a period. i have no idea when my last one was could be last week might be 3 weeks ago?

I was the same when trying to conceive. was sure I felt pregnant, did a test. nothing. Dh said well it won't show will it, you're not due for another 2 weeks... then I forgot about it, and 3 weeks later DH said you're late, maybe you should do a test? I said but I just did one? 🤦

dementedpixie Sun 24-Feb-19 10:50:34

I only started tracking after I got my mirena out as that stopped my periods. I only started tracking last year at age 44. I now know I have a shortish cycle of 24/25 days and can predict when my period will come

dementedpixie Sun 24-Feb-19 10:51:59

P.s. I use an app to track- calendar or maybe period calendar

Omgineedanamechange Sun 24-Feb-19 10:52:38

Never tracked mine till I became perimenopausal.

SpinningSister Sun 24-Feb-19 10:55:16

We were TTC for 10 years (infertility) so I never tracked mine now baby is 6 weeks I will start tracking because I don’t want another one and after 10 years of never knowing it would be nice to get to know my own body again !

WidoWanky Sun 24-Feb-19 10:57:26


Just always kept a tampon in my bag. 😂

I live life on the edge!

PinkHeart5914 Sun 24-Feb-19 11:00:20

I don’t track mine either

If I didn’t get my period one month, I’d probably think Oh I haven’t had my period but that’s the one time I’d think about periods

TemporaryPermanent Sun 24-Feb-19 11:01:52

At 49 I have started tracking because I have 6 current or potential lovers, and I prefer not to schedule sex during my heaviest days. It's surprisingly interesting. I now know I have a much shorter cycle than I used to which explains my feeling that I'm ALWAYS having a period. I'm using an app called Clue which I think is good.

grinningcheshirecat Sun 24-Feb-19 11:04:14

I'm 39 and have never been regular. I gave up tracking in my teens. The only reason to want to know is either pregnancy or menopause (or ruling out thereof). Both will become obvious when time passes anyway.

YorkshireIndie Sun 24-Feb-19 11:05:36

I started tracking when I had my implant out after four years. The implant made my periods irregular (often have a month of light bleeding) and I wanted to see if my body would get itself back on track.

EmpressAdultHumanFemale Sun 24-Feb-19 11:07:32

46 and I started tracking with an app a couple of years ago so I could look out for my perimenopause.

Cla9 Sun 24-Feb-19 11:16:23

I never used to. I downloaded an app for it when I kept getting caught out by heavy bleeding. Makes it easier to know exactly when it’s due.

notangelinajolie Sun 24-Feb-19 11:23:30

No I didn't track my periods. I only suspected I was pregnant after realising I hadn't had a period for ages. Didn't ever use contraception in over 25 years of fertility which resulted in 3 babies. I had heavy periods and may have miscarried but I don't know. The first baby was conceived after we'd been together for 8 years so I knew I was fertile - but there was another 6 years between the next 2. Had I been the worrying type and actively trying to conceive then I would have sought medical advice but me and DH were of the opinion to let nature take it's course and any babies that came along were a bonus.

I also struggle when asked my age - I literally don't keep count. And remembering other peoples birthdays and phone numbers (mine) are a lost cause.

HennyPennyHorror Sun 24-Feb-19 11:26:42

I am the same. So much so that with DD2 I had NO idea when my last period was and because I was very thin, they were a bit scant...I think that the guess I made was way off and DD was born by planned section...and I reckon she came out a bit soon.

thisisntmeok Sun 24-Feb-19 11:46:29

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Raspberry10 Sun 24-Feb-19 12:02:17

Just get an app for your phone. Super handy for when you need to schedule smear tests as you know when you are mid cycle.

lljkk Sun 24-Feb-19 12:04:55

I lurk on the (peri) menop threads coz I'm over 50. It astounds me the number of people who describe in huge detail how slightly irregular their periods have become. The irregularity is a first & foremost point like it's an extremely important problem (or most important problem) they are dealing with. Often insist that they have had bang on the same cycle for decades previously with no deviations. They seem very frightened sometimes. Rarely say it's because their periods were always painful/super heavy so actually need a lot of planning for. I can't relate that they are freaked out by irregularity.

Because my mother & school said we should, I tracked until my early 30s. I could be regular for 6-18m but then my regular always changed to something else. It's lovely liberating to not track.

YouBumder Sun 24-Feb-19 12:05:30

Ha MrsMaisel I read that yesterday too and thought jeez something else to add to my “crap woman” badgework grin I did know roughly when I was due though hence I was able to answer when I’d had my last period when I was pregnant.

I had been contemplating starting though as I’m nearly 46 and my periods are all over the bloody place now. They were coming every 2/3 weeks and now It’s every couple of months.

AFistfulofDolores1 Sun 24-Feb-19 12:07:09

I do - have done for the past five years or so. It's useful as I head into perimenopause, and also to explain mood swings/feelings - including sudden (but obviously fleeting) crushes on men mid-month!

cardibach Sun 24-Feb-19 12:08:55

Do all you non-trackers have light periods. I don’t have any anymore (mirena coil and now probs menopausal anyway) but I always had to know because mine were heavy. I’d need to be prepared for sudden onset very heavy flow (wearing protection before it started) and also because I had to plan when to do some things around when my period was likely to be. Holiday was a definite no. Anything involving swimming or removing clothes (e.g. a massage).

MrsMaisel Sun 24-Feb-19 12:11:44

I can always tell when its about to hit anyway... i get the strong urge to buy tampons when I'm at the shops and awful PMS, so it's never a surprise. I do think it might be useful heading into perimenopause too...

MrsMaisel Sun 24-Feb-19 12:12:53

You Bumder - it's funny isn't it, that's entirely not the point of the article but it's what we both came away with.

MrsMaisel Sun 24-Feb-19 12:14:03

No - always been quite heavy actually.

ChesterGreySideboard Sun 24-Feb-19 12:20:35

Only when I was TTC.

Other than that I always just kind of knew when it was on its way.

YouBumder Sun 24-Feb-19 12:24:31

Do all you non-trackers have light periods.

They’ve varied, never been super heavy/flooding but have varied between super light and probably just average? They were very painful after they came back after I had my first child though and before I got pregnant with the second, so for about 18 months maybe.

FuzzyShadowChatter Sun 24-Feb-19 12:33:01

Even with related health issues personally and in my family, I go through time periods where I can't be arsed to track things. I know I should, especially with uterus and ovarian cancers running as they do in my family and my own issues, but when things are going well it tends to slip my mind until the next flare-up or period.

I do find the tracking apps helpful, even if it's just putting in my period when it shows and goes away. I've found with perimenopause everything about my cycle is all over the place but the apps have helped me spot patterns I wouldn't have otherwise - like the longer my period goes on for, the longer the next cycle is going to be - which is helpful.

Evilspiritgin Sun 24-Feb-19 12:41:46

I track (peri menopausal) , for some reason my periods used to sync in with women’s periods ie I was a live in nanny for a lady who’d a hysterectomy after giving birth and my periods were only 2 days long and as light as anything, on the other side they’ve got 7 days heavy when being with women who have heavy periods

RedSkyLastNight Sun 24-Feb-19 12:42:30

I was so irregular pre DC ( a cycle could be anywhere from 21to 44 days), there was no point in tracking them.
Post DC I was too frazzled. I have started tracking the last year because I'm perimenopausal and actually want to understand when I'm having periods now.

DinosApple Sun 24-Feb-19 12:48:30

I only use the Fitbit period tracker because it's there iyswim.

Mine vary by up to a week in length and the ovulation prediction is never correct (I get ov pain).

It's only by tracking I realised how variable my cycles are, generally they're longer in the summer. And now I'm getting peri menopausal symptoms it's helpful.

OlennasWimple Sun 24-Feb-19 12:57:13

I'm mid 40s and have never tracked either - my crap skin is an indicator that I'm about to get my period, so it never really takes me by surprise.

I was thinking I ought to keep some kind of record, though, as I'm vaguely aware that I am getting more irregular and think I'm going into the perimenopause, so I guess it might be handy...

DaedricLordSlayer Sun 24-Feb-19 12:59:09

cardibach Yes I think its every other month, terrible pains and back ache, plus heavy flooding during the night, during the day I'm a bit more on top getting to the loo and changing frequently.

When I was a teen I had terrible PMT, now I get irritable and sometimes really horney. But it still doesn't click, just a "ahhh that makes sense" moment, when I come on.

SinkGirl Sun 24-Feb-19 13:00:34

If your periods aren’t a problem then I guess you have to need to track them. If you’re not having sex or using reliable contraception you’re not worried about conceiving.

I have endometriosis - my periods are excruciating and it’s good to know when they’re coming so I can be prepared, avoid plans for a few days etc. Unfortunately I’m irregular now so I never know.

I’m also trying to track symptoms so I always know what day of my cycle I’m on even when I’m irregular.

That reference in the article you mention is basically a flintstones version of a home pregnancy test - much more important to know then!

adaline Sun 24-Feb-19 13:08:58

I've always tracked mine - because if I take ibuprofen 48h before I'm due it makes them much more bearable!

On the odd occasion I've forgotten I've been in insane amounts of pain!

BikeRunSki Sun 24-Feb-19 13:16:36

I’m 48. Never tracked my period. I’ve usually got a vague idea, can usually work out “oh yes, last period started at that day out/meeting etc”. Was a bit more mindful when TTC.

Chouetted Sun 24-Feb-19 13:17:21

I never tracked mine either as they were very irregular - it just seemed like useless data.

Now that I'm in my 30s, they've settled down to a 28 day cycle, so I do track.

Weepingwillows12 Sun 24-Feb-19 13:22:47

I never tracked as I can always tell a couple of days before they start anyway due to bloating, mild aches in my stomach, low mood and every etc. Means I am always OK to have sanitary products on me and didn't see a need to know more. I think I might track soon as I approach 40s for menopause changes.

HeyThoughIWalk Sun 24-Feb-19 13:28:16

At one stage, I always had cramps for a couple of days before, so I didn't really need to track because the cramps pre-warned me. Then things changed a bit and the cramps beforehand stopped, so I'd keep track in case I was caught out suddenly (my period tends to start quite heavily, and quite painfully, so I didn't want to get caught out if I wasn't able to get to the loo straight away - I could wear a towel before it started, and take a couple of painkillers that morning).

BeanTownNancy Sun 24-Feb-19 13:51:19

Lol. I'm pretty rubbish. Always answer with a panicked expression when asked at my pregnancy booking-in appointments. (Luckily always got pregnant within a couple of months of stopping birth control and got all of the period symptoms minus the bleeding pretty much immediately, which has always prompted me to test - I've always been 5/6 weeks at my early dating scan).

But yeah, generally I just keep a work day's worth of tampons/pads in my bag just in case.

mustdrinkwaternotwine Sun 24-Feb-19 13:54:08

This is interesting. I'm another who thinks "ah, that makes sense" when I start. By chance, I had a good idea when my last period had been with DD as I hadn't had a tampon in my bag and had had to buy one from the vending machine at the theatre but I wasn't sure if that we my last period or the one before. The MW seemed a bit confused that I was so vague.
I have been thinking that I should start tracking them as it seems a grown up thing to do. I also feel quite lethargic and foggy of brain the day I get my period these days and it would probably be easier if I could avoid scheduling a day of meetings for those days. Having said that, I think my period is fairly irregular so I'm not sure that would work.

BaronessBomburst Sun 24-Feb-19 13:58:16

I'm impressed by a 49 year old with six lovers. I wouldn't even have the energy for two and I'm younger. grin

KennDodd Sun 24-Feb-19 14:01:06

I never have either, is it something I'm supposed to do? I'm 50 soon, I don't think I'll bother starting.

NothingOnTellyAgain Sun 24-Feb-19 14:02:44

Tracking or not is fine obv and up to each woman.

I never did, do a little now.

Whenever I went to the doc and they'd say when was your last period and I'd not know they would be a bit annoyed. I mean I could say roughly


the point for me and hard to articulate

is i'm going around living my life when my perdiods came I delat with them and to have the sort of expectation that women for their whole reprodcutive lives are doing the orgnaising and rememberign and what have you I think,

I don't like the idea it's kind of we're so tied to periods anyway with these set periods in time and to add to that it just feels, not free somehow

there, badly articulated i can't quite explain / put my finger on why this expectation on women and girls is off to me

kmc1111 Sun 24-Feb-19 14:11:42

I didn’t until I got a Fitbit (the app has a period tracker function).

They were always regular and I always had cramps hours before the bleeding started so I didn’t worry about being caught out.

If you want to track them there’s lots of apps now that make it really easy. Just take 30 seconds to log when your period starts and ends and you’ll get an alert when the next one is imminent. Most of them predict months ahead if you’re fairly regular, which is useful.

MrsMaisel Sun 24-Feb-19 14:13:43

I agree - hard to put a finger on but it’s just the unspoken expectation that we’re keeping track of our reproductive self.

adaline Sun 24-Feb-19 20:54:02

Generally it's a good idea as a drastic change in cycles can be a sign that something is wrong - and obviously the sooner you know there's a problem the better.

TemporaryPermanent Sun 24-Feb-19 21:13:36

It's quite hard work grin

They're all infrequent though, tbh married women with quite quiet sex lives would be getting more sex than me, though possibly less of it via sexting.

Makemeaname Sun 24-Feb-19 22:10:08

I track mine in the fitbit app. It's just there so it's easy and I open the app every day to check my sleep and so I can see "oh yeah I'm due this week" or whatever. Helpful when I'm going away for a few days - if I'm due I'll take sufficient products for the whole trip, if not I'll generally just take one days worth just in case.

Haisuli Sun 24-Feb-19 22:13:56

I'm 45 and have been tracking for a year. I think I'm perimenopausal and I keep getting UTIs, which are always better when I get my period. I think I'm the only one who likes having periods. Sometimes I have short 21 day cycles which I like. My longest has been 36 days and I hated it. I dread the menopause.

MrsJBaptiste Sun 24-Feb-19 22:54:53

It's always a surprise when I get a period God, yes and not a nice surprise either! 😮

I've never tracked mine either and it was quite a surprise to realise a few years ago that I'd gone 10 months without one. Not pregnant, not sure what was going on! Absolutely gutted when they returned one day out of the blue 😣

Stripyhoglets Sun 24-Feb-19 23:01:01

I've got an app as I'm older and want to track.if they become irregular. But only for the last year or two. It's quite useful for predicting when I'll feel like shit!

TearingUpMyHeart Sun 24-Feb-19 23:07:13

I also use it to ..

Schedule hot sex with hot lovers
Track my mid cycle randyness
Explain my end of cycle mood swings
Tell gp why I need more hrt

So wait two or three years til perimenopause hits and it might come in handy grin

Unicornfeathers Sun 24-Feb-19 23:15:14

I track mine after being ‘told off’ by the GP for not tracking. I started bleeding every two weeks but had no record what so ever blush

Strangely enough I started tracking and it fixed itself and has never repeated.

I have really very good periods that only last a few days so no reason to track other than my own record.

MissSingerbrains Mon 25-Feb-19 00:02:07

I’ve always tracked mine since I was a teenager. I just think it’s a good idea to have a record in case the cycle suddenly goes wonky.

I just mark it in my calendar. Speaking of apps though, I was just reading recently about apps sharing information etc, and it ended up with Facebook getting all these women’s period information from health apps shock

MissSingerbrains Mon 25-Feb-19 00:03:58

clairemcnam Mon 25-Feb-19 00:22:13

Never ever tracked mine, and I have always had very heavy periods. CBA. I have been lectured a few times by GPs though when I have said I had no idea when my last period was.

LimeKiwi Mon 25-Feb-19 00:29:48

40 something here and always never tracked - had 2 kids too.

ChanklyBore Mon 25-Feb-19 00:32:14

No tracking here. I just make up a date when asked when my last one was. I’d notice if they stopped. I notice if I have one when I have a big event, holiday or Christmas for eg

I am lucky in that they don’t impair my life at all and They start with an occasional smear rather than a sudden onset, so I don’t have any worry of suddenly having a period or have to carry sanitary stuff around with me. But I don’t know when I had my last one and I don’t know when my next one is due.

PickAChew Mon 25-Feb-19 00:32:43

I never did until last year. I'm close to menopause now and my last cycle was 6 months. Tracking absolutely needed.

clairemcnam Mon 25-Feb-19 00:55:00

Why is it needed? I am in peri menopause, periods are very irregular, I still don't bother.

ImNotKitten Mon 25-Feb-19 00:57:39

I track mine because they’re so painful that I try to avoid making plans on the first couple of days of each period.

halfwitpicker Mon 25-Feb-19 01:02:02

Only tracked it when trying to conceive.

Chouetted Mon 25-Feb-19 18:57:58

I track mine so that I can plan around it - also that if people who otherwise like me tell me I'm being seriously unreasonable, I can have a quick check and see if they might be right.

Chouetted Mon 25-Feb-19 18:59:18

Also, I don't get warning cramps like PPs have mentioned, it's just suddenly blood everywhere. Helpful to have an idea when that might be coming.

NottonightJosepheen Mon 25-Feb-19 19:02:52

I clicked on this because I too read that Guardian article yesterday, promptly downloaded an period tracker app and my period duly arrived today.

Mine is very regular, 32 ish day cycle but never really kept track. I just can't understand why I never did this sooner.

NameChanger22 Mon 25-Feb-19 19:04:42

I've never tracked, I just carry a tampon. My periods have always been light and last only 2 days, no period pains or PMT.

Why would I need to know if I am perimenopausal?

soulrider Mon 25-Feb-19 19:17:13

Mine gets tracked by the fitbit now but i never formally did before. They're eventful enough that I'd always know when the last one was and regular enough that i could work out when the next one was due.

contestingtheages Mon 25-Feb-19 19:22:28

I'm exactly the same. I don't know when I am due until I start to feel the distinct feeling I get when I am..

MrsMaisel Mon 25-Feb-19 19:57:16

Had to laugh - at the doctors today, filling out a form, and yet again hit the 'date of last period' question. Even worse than being asked for my NI number - I can't look it up anywhere! I just wanted to write, 'I guarantee I am not pregnant'.

NameChanger22 Mon 25-Feb-19 20:43:29

I got asked the date of my last period by a doctor a few months ago and I said "I dunno, a week or two ago". He then asked me if I could be pregnant. He must have heard the conviction in my voice when I said "DEFINITELY NOT" because he couldn't stop laughing.

Drum2018 Mon 25-Feb-19 20:53:57

Fitbit does it for me. I get notification on my phone when I'm allegedly fertile and then 2 days before my period is due. It came in handy at a doctors appointment recently.

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