The first day of your last period, often abbreviated as LMP, refers to the first day of bleeding during your most recent menstrual cycle.
This first day doesn’t count as spotting when your period is about to come, it’s the actual bleeding that counts as the first day.
The first day of your last period means a lot for various reasons and should not be taken for granted in any way. Noting it down will save you unnecessary stress when needed as well.
For some of the reasons why the LMP is so important, take a look at the next section.
Why Is the First Day of Your Last Period So Important?
1. Finding out the Estimated Due Date
The first day of your last period is usually used in estimating the due date when you become pregnant. This date, with other factors like ultrasound measurement, can help your doctor or healthcare provider determine when you are likely to give birth. This information will also help them to monitor your baby’s growth at each stage throughout your pregnancy. So, while you might not be keen on paying attention to the first day of your period, from now on, do well to note them down.
2. Informs You About Your Next Period
Yes, the first day of your last period will likely inform you when you are to expect the next. For instance, if you have a 28-day menstrual cycle length, counting from the first day of your LMP will automatically inform you when you are to expect your next period (the beginning of a new cycle).
3. General Menstrual Cycle Tracking
Not only does it help in finding out about your next cycle, this information will help in tracking the phases of your current period. That is, the bleeding phase, fertile period, and ovulation. It will help you know if these phases come at the appropriate time or if there’s something wrong.
4. Identifying Potential Health Issues
Imagine discovering you had irregularities in your cycle without knowing. That can be embarrassing. But, your LMP can keep you informed on any irregularities or the regularity of your cycles. It can help you identify potential health problems like irregular periods or conditions like polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS).
5. Fertility Awareness
If you’re trying to conceive or prevent pregnancy, knowing your LMP is the first step. It will help you identify your fertile window, which is the time you are most likely to conceive. Then, with it, you can make the decisions that suit your choice.
6. Informs You of Your Health
Changes in your menstrual cycle, including the first day of your last period, can provide insights into your overall health. While sudden irregularities may be signs of medical conditions that require immediate attention, it could be the changes in your lifestyle or what you eat. However, if you do not know your LMP, it could be dangerous.
7. Helps With the Right Diagnosis
Have you ever been to the doctor and you were asked for your LMP? Well, I have. It can be embarrassing if one does not know. Detailing one’s LMP basically helps medical professionals rule out or include some conditions based on your symptoms. However, without it, you might be required to take some tests you might consider unnecessary.
The overall message is the first day of your last period is a date that shouldn’t be taken for granted.
How to Determine the First Day of Your Last Period
To find the first day of your last period, you need to recall the date when your most recent period started. You can usually find this information in your diary, calendar, or memory.
This could be hard if you’ve not been taking notes of it. But here’s an alternative you can go for. Some period tracking apps make it easy to record and retrieve this data. So, simply download one of those tracking apps and use them every month.
Once you’ve identified the first day of your last period, you can use it for various purposes, such as tracking your menstrual cycle, if you need it for your doctor’s appointment, your next menstrual period (the first day bleeding of the next cycle) or calculating your due date if you’re pregnant (it might be impossible to use the apps if you’ve not tracked your LMP before you got pregnant).
But, here’s a simple way you can track your LMP if you’re pregnant:
- Try to recall when you might have conceived. This is typically about two weeks after the first day of your last period. If you’re unsure, think about significant events or dates that might help you pinpoint when conception occurred.
- Calculate your approximate ovulation date. Ovulation usually occurs around the middle of your menstrual cycle, which is typically 14 days before the start of your next period. So, if you have a 28-day cycle, ovulation typically occurs on day 14.
- Finally, count the ovulation day, that is, 14 days backward. This calculation will give you an estimate of your LMP.
What If You Don’t Remember the First Day of Your Last Period?
If you find yourself in a situation where you can’t recall the exact date of your last period, don’t worry. Many women face this challenge, and there are steps you can take to estimate your LMP:
- Keep Records Moving Forward
- If you’re pregnant, speak to the doctor to determine the gestation age.
- Consult a healthcare provider.
- You can also track your pregnancy symptoms.
In the end, the significance of knowing the date of the first day of your last period lies in being informed about your health which is what truly matters.
Understanding Your Menstrual Cycle
The menstrual cycle is the regular natural change that occurs in the female reproductive system. It is measured from the first day of one period to the first day of the next period. The cycle length can vary from woman to woman and can even vary for the same woman over time. The average cycle length is 28 days, but it can range from 21 to 35 days.
Phases of Menstrual Cycle
The menstrual cycle is divided into four phases: the menstrual phase, the follicular phase, the ovulatory phase, and the luteal phase.
The menstrual phase is the first phase of the menstrual cycle. It is when the uterus sheds its lining, which results in bleeding. This phase typically lasts from 3 to 7 days.
The follicular phase is the second phase of the menstrual cycle. It begins on the first day of menstruation and lasts until ovulation. This phase is characterized by the development of follicles in the ovaries, which contain eggs. The follicles produce estrogen, which thickens the uterine lining in preparation for a potential pregnancy.
The ovulatory phase is the third phase of the menstrual cycle. It occurs when the ovary releases an egg into the fallopian tube. This phase typically lasts for one day.
The luteal phase is the final phase of the menstrual cycle. It begins after ovulation and lasts until the start of the next menstrual cycle. The empty follicle that released the egg becomes the corpus luteum, which produces progesterone. Progesterone prepares the uterus for pregnancy by thickening the uterine lining. If the egg is not fertilized, the corpus luteum breaks down, and the next menstrual cycle begins.
Understanding your menstrual cycle is important for tracking your fertility and identifying any irregularities. By tracking the length of your cycle and the timing of your periods, you can better understand your body and take control of your reproductive health.
Determining the First Day of Your Last Period
Determining the first day of your last period is crucial for tracking your menstrual cycle and predicting the next one. There are different ways to determine it, and in this section, we will cover two of them: tracking your menstrual cycle and using period tracker apps.
Tracking Menstrual Cycle
One way to determine the first day of your last period is by tracking your menstrual cycle. This involves keeping track of the first day of your period and the number of days it lasts. The first day of your period is considered the first day of your menstrual cycle.
To track your menstrual cycle, you can use a calendar or a menstrual cycle tracking app. Mark the first day of your period on the calendar or in the app. Count the number of days until your next period starts. This will give you an idea of the length of your menstrual cycle.
Using Period Tracker Apps
Period tracker apps are a convenient way to track your menstrual cycle and determine the first day of your last period. These apps allow you to log the start and end dates of your period, as well as any symptoms or changes in your cycle.
Most period tracker apps use algorithms to predict when your next period will start based on your previous cycles. This can be helpful for planning and preparation.
Some popular period tracker apps include Clue, Flo, and Period Tracker. These apps are available for free or for a small fee, and they can be downloaded from the App Store or Google Play.
In conclusion, determining the first day of your last period is essential for tracking your menstrual cycle. You can do this by tracking your menstrual cycle manually or by using period tracker apps. By keeping track of your menstrual cycle, you can better understand your body and plan accordingly.
Any Other Questions?
We hope this post has been able to answer your questions on the first day of your last period.
However, if there are any other concerns, do well to inform us in the comment section below.