How to calculate your menstrual cycle?

Are you the type of person who knows your menstrual cycle by heart? Or rather worrying about the date of your last period like the year 40? If so, rest assured: you are not alone. Calculating your menstrual cycle can be a real guessing game for some, and an exact science for others. Because there are simply a multitude of different realities. So if you're a little lost and want to find your way without having to worry... Look no further! This article is here to help you. So, how to calculate your menstrual cycle? We explain the basics of the female cycle and give you our best advice to learn to anticipate it easily.

Understanding the Menstrual Cycle: The Basics

What is the menstrual cycle?

The menstrual cycle is a natural process that takes place in a woman's body every month. Quite useful, since it prepares him for a possible pregnancy! It starts on the first day of your period and ends just before the next one. How it works ? Well, it causes hormonal variations that affect the uterus and ovaries. And which, therefore, leads to ovulation.

A “normal” cycle: Myth or reality?

We often talk about a “normal” menstrual cycle. However, this varies considerably from one woman to another. A young girl may potentially have irregular periods while an adult woman may be more accustomed to a regular cycle. And again!... To tell the truth, “normality” here depends on several factors:

  • general health;
  • medical conditions;
  • the stress.

And in this case, understanding that normalcy also encompasses these factors can help reduce a form of anxiety around the subject.

Average length of a menstrual cycle: The key figures

Studies show that the average length of a menstrual cycle is around 28 days. However, we repeat (it's never too much): this can vary greatly from one woman to another! And therefore last between 21 and 35 days. The ovulation phase generally occurs in the middle of the cycle, approximately on the 14th day. But keep in mind that these figures are above all averages, and that each woman can experience her own rhythm, with completely normal variations in terms of duration and regularity.

The phases of the cycle and their importance

The menstrual cycle consists of several phases. And each plays an essential role in preparing the female body for potential pregnancy.

The follicular phase

The first is the follicular phase. This begins on the first day of menstruation and ends at ovulation. During this period, hormones stimulate the growth of several follicles in the ovaries, each containing an egg. One of these follicles will then become “dominant”, and therefore… ready for ovulation! This phase remains crucial for preparing the body for pregnancy, because it influences the thickness of the endometrium, so that it can accommodate a fertilized egg.


The ovulation period (or fertile period) is a bit like the climax of the menstrual cycle. The dominant follicle releases the egg, which begins its journey to the uterus via the fallopian tube. The body triggers this event with a surge in luteinizing hormone (LH). With a little luck, the egg will encounter a sperm on its way for fertilization. This phase is equivalent to the fertile window of the cycle. It indicates when you are most likely to get pregnant.

The luteal phase

Finally, after ovulation comes the luteal phase . This last stage of the cycle marks the moment when the empty follicle transforms into the corpus luteum, then secretes hormones to maintain the thickness of the endometrium. And if the egg is not fertilized, then the corpus luteum disintegrates: drop in hormone levels... and presto, start of the next period! This phase, often marked by the famous premenstrual syndrome, serves to:

  • stabilize the cycle;
  • prepare the body to start a new one;
  • or support a new pregnancy.

Understanding these three phases will help you better understand your cycle, and the importance of the role it plays in female reproduction.

Cycle monitoring: Methods and tools

Tracking your menstrual cycle remains essential to understanding and managing your reproductive health. This will allow you to know yourself better, predict your fertile periods, and identify your irregularities.

The menstrual calendar: Why and how to keep it?

Many women use a menstrual calendar to help them track:

  • the beginning and end of their cycles;
  • the duration of their menstruation;
  • their premenstrual syndrome.

Practical, therefore, to anticipate your fertile period. It's simple: we note the 1st day of the last period as the start of the cycle, and we continue until the start of the next period!

Calculate and predict your cycle

How to calculate the arrival of your next period? Well, simply by noting down the length of time between each period to identify your personal “average”. We strongly recommend it if you are looking to conceive a baby, or to avoid pregnancy: you will more easily predict the arrival of your period and your ovulation cycle. The more familiar you become with your own cycle, the better you will be able to detect any unusual changes!

Modern tools to follow your cycle

Today, many digital tools exist to help you track your cycle. You'll find plenty of menstrual calendar mobile apps that offer great features like:

  • prediction of fertile periods;
  • calculating the rules;
  • a pregnancy calendar, if necessary.

You just have to enter your data over time to personalize your tracking. Practical !

In any case, whether you are a paper-and-pencil team or an App Store team: calculating your menstrual cycles remains very useful for getting to know yourself, and managing your life as a woman as best as possible.

Do you want to boost your chances of conceiving quickly? Discover our women’s fertility vitamins !

Understanding body signals

Certainly, the hormonal changes of the female cycle affect your fertility. But not only ! They also play a major role in your overall well-being, as well as your emotional and physical state. Understanding your body's signals then becomes essential to manage these variations.

Telltale signs of ovulation

We often observe the same signs of ovulation:

  • slight increase in your body temperature curve;
  • more fluid and transparent consistency of cervical mucus;
  • (sometimes) slight uterine contractions.

These indicators can help you identify your fertile window. Learning to recognize them will help you a lot if you want to conceive a baby, or avoid getting pregnant.

Symptoms associated with periods

Every woman experiences different PMS before her period arrives. But the most common are:

  • cramps;
  • bloating;
  • mood changes;
  • the craving for certain specific foods.

These signals reflect hormonal changes that prepare the body for menstruation. Their intensity differs greatly depending on the woman: they can be mild for some, and very debilitating for others.

Impact of the cycle on physical and emotional feelings

The different phases of the menstrual cycle also influence your emotional and physical well-being. We see that hormonal variations can:

  • cause mood swings;
  • affect energy and libido;
  • alter self-perception.

For example, the phase just before the next period can induce irritability and fatigue. Does the intensity of the premenstrual period mean something to you? Us too! The post-menstrual period can be characterized by a boost of energy and a strong dose of optimism. So recognizing these variations can help you manage them more effectively. And therefore, allow you to establish a better emotional and physical balance in your life.

Frequently asked questions about the menstrual cycle

You will have understood: menstrual cycles are full of mystery, and therefore... Can raise a lot of questions! Here are some answers that will undoubtedly help you silence some erroneous beliefs.

Managing an irregular cycle

We grant you: calculating the arrival of your next period when you have irregular cycles can be a real hassle. But there are plenty of solutions to relieve you. You can start by consulting a healthcare professional, to rule out certain underlying conditions. Sometimes, improving the quality of your cycle requires a lifestyle change such as:

So go ahead and talk to your gynecologist or midwife. They will be excellent advice.

Ovulating twice in a month: Is it possible?

Ovulating more than once in a menstrual cycle remains extremely rare. However, it is possible to release more than one egg in 24 hours during the same ovulation period. Which can lead, in some cases, to a multiple pregnancy.

Pregnancy and cycle: The changes

Not surprisingly, periods of pregnancy cause significant changes in the cycle. Starting with the cessation of periods for nine months, due to hormonal changes linked to gestation and fetal development. After giving birth, you may notice variations in the length and intensity of your first period. This is normal, it takes time for the body to return to its usual rhythm.

So, what do we take away from all this? Well, understanding your menstrual cycle remains an essential key to taking care of your reproductive health. Each phase brings with it its share of signals (and challenges). But with the right information and the best tools, you will have everything you need to better manage your cycle, or know your ovulation period like the back of your hand. And, therefore, improve your quality of life!

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