Most of the women have gone through the phase when their menstrual cycle is confusing and unpredictable. This is often frustrating for women who are trying to conceive or who are on birth control. Knowing how to count your menstrual cycle does have a number of advantages, the primary one is that it puts the woman in control of her sexual health. This also makes sure you do not have an unwanted pregnancy. To calculate this, all you will have to know is the dates of your previous period. Once you have them, it is a matter of pure mathematics, unless there are any specific changes you have gone through.

Vital Information

The length of the menstrual cycle is the number of days it lasts. It should not be confused with the number of days, which the period lasts. The day on which your period starts is said to be the Cycle Day 1, which is the start of the new cycle. The normal length is 28 days, and the length of the period can be 3 to 7 days. Although this are the general statistics, most of the women have their own unique tendency. In some cases, the length can stretch to 31 days, and in other cases, it can be as small as 21 days.

If you are planning on starting your family, you certainly need to know how to calculate your cycle to get pregnant. For this, you will have to count the number of days from day one of your period up to and inclusive of the day before your cycle starts. Make sure this count is not inclusive of the first day of the next cycle, as that is going to the day one of the next cycle. We will understand, this better with the help of an example.


Let's say, you got your previous menstrual cycle on the 2nd of January, and the next on the 28th of January. So now, you will have to count the number of days inclusive of the 2nd of January and exclusive of the 28th of January. Hence, the length is 26 days. It is important to note that the length of the period has no bearing on the length of this cycle. Whether the periods last for 5 days or 7 days, the length will remain 26 days.

To calculate the average length, you will have to carry out the same procedure for the last 2 to 3 cycles. You will calculate by summing up each individual length, and then divide by the total number of cycles to derive the average.

Ovulation Cycle

If you are trying to get pregnant, you will want to know your ovulation cycle. You will have to calculate 14 days after the first day of your menstrual cycle. Normally, this is the day when you would ovulate. Although this is normal, you give or take a couple of days. Therefore, if you are trying for a baby, you know which are the fertile days, and in case you are not then, you will want to take the required precautions.

In case you have noticed that you have not got your period around the stipulated date, then you will have to think about the possible reasons for the delay. There are numerous reasons other than pregnancy for a delayed or missed period. In some cases, the cycle can be delayed for as many as 7 days too. If it is more than that, then you can talk to your health care professional to find out the exact cause of the problem.

Disclaimer: This Buzzle article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.