DIY PMS Tracker

Every month, I experience a few days when I feel drunk on a cocktail of unpleasant emotions – despair, dread, abject hopelessness, to name a few. Before I even fully recover from its hangover, I get my period and those feelings fade away like clouds after a rainy day. I have been menstruating for almost a decade now and I’m still not completely used to this. A few months ago, a friend sent me this post on Reddit. The statistician in me felt a sudden urge to track my menstrual woes and look for patterns. And now I know that the next time I feel like my life is falling apart, I probably just need a tub of ice cream. I encourage you to do the same. What’s the point, you ask? Read more to find out!


Overview of the Menstrual Cycle

Menstrual cycles, just like fingerprints or zebra stripes, look different for everyone. The length, intensity, symptoms, etc. can differ drastically from person to person. They not only depend on one’s genetic constitution and age but are also directly or indirectly influenced by external factors like diet, physical activity, mental health, and even the climate. 


The menstrual cycle is more than just a few days of bleeding. The whole cycle is a collection of different phases, and bleeding (also called menses) is just one of them. These phases are like a rollercoaster ride of hormones that travel to and fro between the brain and the ovaries (two major hormones you should know about are estrogen and progesterone aka Timon and Pumbaa of menstruation). Here’s a short summary:

  • Menses – this phase is basically the period. The lining of the uterus breaks down and bleeds out. Levels of estrogen and progesterone are low. The first day of the period is considered the first day of the menstrual cycle!
  • Follicular phase – the period from the start of the period to the day of ovulation (release of the egg). Estrogen level slowly increases and uterine lining begins to thicken again.
  • Luteal phase – the time between ovulation and the beginning of the next period. Progesterone levels increase, peak, and then drop.


Keeping track of this super complicated process can be challenging, to say the least. Well, today is your lucky day because I have just the thing for you!

Source: Reddit

Tracking your Way Through the Cycle

Before we talk about tracking PMS, let’s discuss what it exactly is. PMS or premenstrual syndrome is “a recurring pattern of emotional, physical and behavioural changes in the days before your period that impact your daily life. These include headaches, bloating, irritability, back pain, joint or muscle aches, and sleeping and digestive issues.” You’d be surprised to know the extent of impact one’s menstrual cycle can have on their body – skin, hair, bowel movements, energy levels, libido, mental health, etc. These effects extend beyond just the period of PMS. For example, my skin looks its best when I’m ovulating. 


Being more aware of these changes and their patterns can help us plan our day-to-day accordingly and be prepared for whatever our bodies may have in store for us next. Moreover, it can help us identify factors that increase or soothe PMS symptoms (for ex- sleep duration, diet, etc.). It is also important to keep an eye out for menstrual disorders you might be struggling with. You can find the tracker template below (this one only has 28 days, you can add more at the end depending on the length of your cycles). You can track whichever symptoms/changes that feel relevant to you. 


Full disclaimer – this is a long-term activity. It will take you a few months to identify any patterns but in the end, I assure you it’ll be worth it! In fact, there exist many online tools/resources that can do all of this for you for free! The app I have been personally using for the last few years is Clue (It has over 30 tracking options: birth control, cramps, emotions, skin, hair, sleep, sex, pain, moods, cervical fluid, and more).

Source: Reddit


Thanks to patriarchy and capitalism, discomfort and pain associated with menstruation are shoved under the carpet and romanticized. Ignoring PMS symptoms, or menstrual health in general continues to be glorified at home and in the workplace. As such, listening to your body is itself an act of resistance and self-love. Pain, as a neurological phenomenon, is our body’s way of telling us what it needs. But in the case of menstrual and reproductive health, we are subconsciously encouraged to break this bridge of communication with ourselves. We deserve better. Our bodies deserve better. And it is time we repaired our bonds with it.


Cover Image:


1 thought on “DIY PMS Tracker”

  1. Pingback: DIY PMS Tracker - Pratisandhi - World Times News

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

Browse by Category