Anyone going through infertility knows that there are lots of unpleasant ways that it affects your daily life. And if you’re seeking medical treatment as I have been, those unpleasant-but-necessary changes include keeping a careful record of your menstrual cycles, many doctor’s appointments and ultrasounds, a loss of privacy, pills, shots, yucky side effects of medication etc., just to name a few.
I remember almost three years ago when my husband and I first started trying to conceive, I thought, “I should probably keep track of my periods so that when I get pregnant it won’t be hard to figure out the baby’s due date.” Oh, how naive and innocent I was back then! Of course I assumed I’d only need to “keep track” of one or two periods since getting pregnant is so easy, right? Riiiight…
Anyways, I knew I should track my cycles and use that data to pinpoint which cycle day I ovulate (still haven’t been able to do that, thank you very much irregular cycles). But I didn’t want to write that info on my wall calendar where anyone who visited our apartment could see it (awkward). I wanted a calendar that would be small enough for me to take with me in my purse to doctor’s appointments yet big enough to write notes on the days when I needed to. I looked for small free calendars on the internet but I couldn’t find anything that had what I was looking for, so I made my own.
The days of the month are numbered at the bottom of the calendar squares, and so I write the cycle days at the top (obviously those never match up and it’s hard for me to keep track of which cycle day I’m on unless I do this). If I am supposed to take a certain medication or if I have a follicle check ultrasound on a certain day, I write that info in the middle of the square. When I go to doctor’s appointments, I flip over the month page to the back to write down questions I want to ask the doctor and take notes. I’ve been doing this for almost 3 years, and I keep all 30+ month pages together with a paper clip or clamp in case the doctor asks me about how long a specific past cycle was, etc. I don’t know that it’s a perfect system, but it’s worked well for me, and there have been several appointments when I’ve been glad I had my data with me on my calendar! If I hadn’t been keeping track of my cycles, I wouldn’t have been able to show my doctor proof that my periods are irregular (for example one time I had a cycle that was 27 days long and then the next month was 40 days long).
And let’s be honest, keeping a record of your health is never a bad idea even if you’re not dealing with infertility. So if you’re looking for a quick and easy way to keep track of your health info, I hope you’ll give my free calendar method a try! Just scroll down to the links and click to download the PDF to your computer. Once you download the file, just take a look and decide which pages you want to print (there are two months to a page). After printing the pages, just cut them in half and trim around the edges with a paper cutter if you want. Paper clip/clamp them together and you’re set! I’m including 2017–2015 so that you have the option of transferring over past records to have it all in one place if you want to (and if anyone wants to go back farther than that just comment and let me know, I can upload older years as well). If you try out my little system be sure to come back and tell me what you think!