Every cycle is a new thing, which is why we don’t predict future cycles based on past ones. A charting woman takes every day as it comes. This is something I really emphasize with my clients— we can’t assume anything about tomorrow, and so we attend closely to the cycle biomarkers and symptoms of today. Then in retrospect we can see what patterns were developing, and understand the overall picture of all of those individual cycle days combined. While we don’t predict, we can assess or cycles retrospectively to understand whether or not they fall within normal cycle parameters.
Now, these numbers don’t automatically mean you are healthy or unhealthy. Just because your cycles fit into the normal range doesn’t mean you are ovulating, or producing healthy cervical fluid quantities and qualities, or having a sufficient corpus luteum.
Likewise, one long cycle with delayed ovulation out of the blue doesn’t automatically mean you have a hormone imbalance like PCOS. What we look for is overall patterns in light of your reproductive stage, and whether those patterns are repeating in multiple cycles— built upon those daily, detailed, diligent observations of your body’s signs.
So with that said, here are some general parameters by which to evaluate your cycles!
• SHORT: less than 24 days
• NORMAL: 24-36 days
• LONG: longer than 36 days
• MENSTRUAL FLOW: 3-7 days with at least one medium to heavy day (based upon ml measurements from cup or # of pads/tampons)
• HEALTHY LUTEAL PHASE: 9-18 days (average 12 days)
• IDEAL DAYS OF CERVICAL MUCUS: 6 days of increasingly estrogenic mucus with at least 2-3 days of mucus with high/peak estrogenic qualities