What is a period calculator, and why should I use one?
From iPhone apps to web-based Java Script calculators, period forecasters are everywhere. These handy pieces of code and software are making life easier for women and men throughout the world. If you aren't using one, here's how you're missing out.
What are period forecast calculators?
Period forecasters, calculators, and trackers are all programs that help you track and predict your menstrual cycle. Different types come with different bells and whistles, but all of them do the same basic thing: tell you when you can expect your next period.
What are they for?
There are dozens of uses for period calculators. Here are some of the most common:
Convenience – It's just nice to know when to expect a visit from dear Aunt Flo.
Vacation planning – If you suffer from cramps or other uncomfortable symptoms of PMS, you'll probably want to make sure you're not on your cycle when you head out to the beach.
Fertility planning – A woman wanting to conceive needs to know exactly where she is in her menstrual cycle throughout the month.
PMS control – If PMS hits you hard, knowing when to avoid certain foods (or situations) can be a godsend.
Simply knowing when to expect your period, and being reminded of its approach, can help you control the emotional side effects of PMS. It's easier to think, “Well, according to my forecast calculator, I could be going through PMS right now. So I might be more emotional than I realize,” than it is to hear, “Is it your time of the month?”
But the best benefit of all is never being surprised by a red dot in your underwear. When your forecast says to expect your period, put on a pair of period panties and a sanitary pad and never be caught unaware again.
How do I use one?
Most period calculators will ask you a series of questions to determine when you'll probably get your period and how long it will last. Enter your information honestly and to the best of your knowledge, and it'll give you a fairly accurate estimate of when to expect your next period. Some will even tell you when you're most likely ovulating, and when to expect the first symptoms of PMS.
How do I choose one?
That's going to depend largely on the features you want most, and how you want to use it. If you just need a quick calculation to know when to plan a trip, go online and find a standard web-based calculator. If you're looking for something that will send you a weekly (or daily) forecast right to your inbox, download an app.
So if you've never tried a period forecast calculator, give one a try. You've got nothing to lose but a few minutes of your time, and the potential for gain is enormous. Like so many modern helpers, you'll probably wonder how you ever lived without one.