Especially for women who are trying to conceive or need to track their periods for medical reasons, it can be confusing when a period arrives at a different time than expected. Especially if a period arrives in the evening, it’s hard to say if that’s the first cycle day, or not. Here are some ways to help you make that decision:
- Count based in 24 hour blocks. Count using a timeline that suits you; many women choose from midnight to the following midnight.
- Count from flow, not spots. Spotting is common before periods, but is not counted as part of a cycle. Don’t count the first day until red menstrual flow begins.
- Remember that change is common. Even the most regular of women sometimes experience changes in their cycle.
- Be consistent. Whatever way you decide to count your cycle days, be consistent and count the same way each month.