Wouldn't it be great never to be caught by surprise by your period again? No more underwear, sheets or days ruined by the unexpected arrival of this month's bleed… is it possible?

Tracking your cycle can help you understand your body's rhythm and learn the signs of an approaching period. Read on for tips to help predict your period (and always know when to put on a pair of period undies in preparation!).

Tracking your cycle correctly may also help you predict your ovulation, but please note this article is about predicting periods only and should not be used as a way to predict your fertile window. 

Starting your tracking journey

First, set yourself up with a way to log your symptoms throughout the month. If you're an analog gal, a notebook that fits on your bedside table and in your handbag could work well. If you're a digital-diary-doer, you can find free or paid apps. 

We'll go into the what of what you'll be tracking, but a quick note on the when and why:

When to track is up to you, but a good way to stick to a routine and log every day is to make it a night-time ritual in bed. If you don't think you'll make time tonight, log when you can during the day. You might prefer to do it each morning and reflect on the day before. Find a routine that suits you.

The why is to empower yourself to understand, appreciate, love and work with (not against) your body. Knowing where you're at in your cycle can help you choose what to eat, what to do and what to expect of yourself. Knowing when your period is coming can also help you take control of life, as you learn the best times to enjoy or avoid certain things.

What to track

Cycle length

Most cycles are 21 to 35 days long, with 28 days being a typical average cycle length. If your cycle is much shorter or longer than 21 to 35 days, it might be a good idea to check in with your doc (if you haven’t already). 

Start your tracking simply: Mark each day as 'period' or 'no period'. The first day of your bleed marks Day One of a new cycle. Over a few months, you'll get an idea of your average cycle length and period duration. Some people have irregular lengths, so determining the average is easier for some than others. 

Cervical mucus

The consistency of your cervical mucus (healthy vaginal discharge, a.k.a the stuff you find in your underwear between periods) can give you clues about where you're at in your cycle. Right after your period, you likely won't have any discharge. 

As you get closer to ovulation, your discharge will likely start to appear and become increasingly 'watery' in consistency. At first, it can seem sticky and white, then creamy, smoother and more cloudy in colour, and then more stretchy and watery (kind of like egg white!).

While you're seeing cervical mucus, you can assume your period isn't yet around the corner. Once you've ovulated and the discharge has mostly stopped, you know you're probably in the second half of your cycle, and your period could be coming within the next two weeks or so (depending on your cycle length). 

Sex drive

'Sex drive', or the feeling that you would like to have sex, can be influenced by many things, including environment, circumstance, stress, body image – plenty of stuff! The fact that you do or don't feel like having sex isn't a guarantee that you are or are not about to have your period, but it can factor in. 

Leading up to your period, in the phase where you might experience 'PMS' (premenstrual syndrome), your body is creating less oestrogen (which can make you feel sexy, confident and social) and more progesterone. The hormone progesterone can make you feel sluggish, bloated, tender and tired; therefore, your sex drive can take a dip. So, if you're not exactly feeling down to clown, your period might be nearby.

Breast tenderness

The hormone progesterone rises as your period approaches, which can cause swelling in breast tissue. If your breasts feel tender or sore, your period could be approaching. Become familiar with how your breasts feel at certain times of the month and conduct self-breast exams (where you feel your breasts for lumps or changes).

Once your period arrives, breast soreness usually goes away. The best time to do a self-breast exam is in the lead-up to ovulation. If there's anything new or something you're unsure about with how your breasts feel, let your doc know.


Ahhh, period pimples. As though you're not already feeling tired, sore, bloated and moody enough, why not throw in a zit or 10 to really give your self-esteem a challenge? (You’re beautiful always and all that jazz, but realistically when you’re feeling like this, sometimes you don’t wanna hear it.) Make sure to give yourself some extra love when your oestrogen rises again to make up for some of the blah of this stage.

The rise in progesterone that occurs in the lead-up to your period can make your skin oilier and lead to zits (you might notice your hair getting greasier too). If you know your period is coming, you can drink more water, avoid too much fatty or sugary food, and prioritise your skincare to help avoid breakouts. 


If you notice your mood 'swinging' or changing rapidly, or if your mood takes a noticeable dip toward irritable or sad, your period could be very close. The hormone changes you're experiencing between ovulating and bleeding (when you might experience 'PMS') can impact your mood and leave you feeling less resilient and more generally annoyed at the world.

These moods are temporary and natural. If you're struggling consistently or severely with your mood, it could be more than progesterone at play, and it's a good idea to speak to a professional.


The hormones at play in your pre-period days can make you crave sweet and salty foods! So if you notice you're reaching for the chips or chocolate more than usual, it could be a heads up your period is on its way.

Giving in to the cravings can be super cathartic, and it's nice to do it in moderation. But remember that a poor diet can intensify those uncomfortable PMS feelings like bloating and acne. Some dark chocolate can help ease cramps and boost your mood, so give this a go to satisfy your choccy cravings. 

You've got this

It might take a while before you have enough self-collected data to start accurately predicting your periods. Even collecting three cycles' worth of info to discover an average can take a quarter of a year! But don't be disheartened. Reflecting on your physical and emotional reality each day can help you get to know yourself better, regardless of when your period is coming.

Hopefully, monitoring how you feel can be a mindful and enjoyable practice for you! Once you do get in the swing of predicting your period, you can use it to your advantage. You can start choosing not to say yes to a beach day when you think you'll be bleeding (or do, if that's what you'll enjoy!). Maybe you'll benefit from reminding yourself that your housemates or partner aren't all of a sudden the most inconsiderate people on the face of the earth, and maybe you're just slightly more irritable this week.

While you're experiencing mood shifts in the lead-up to your period, remember that sometimes it's your hormones talking. Your feelings are valid, and what you're experiencing is real. Sometimes taking a moment to consider if what is bothering you has been or would be bothering you this much when your hormones weren't so progesterone-heavy can help you find some much-deserved calm on those more challenging days.

We hope you enjoy the process of tracking your period! When you predict that it could hit you overnight, give the Wunderthings Sleep Tight a go, or consider wearing a daytime pair of our period undies if you're out and about on what might be the first day of your cycle. Happy tracking and happy perioding!

October 14, 2022 — Lucy Wright