If your periods deviate from what is normal for you – that is, if you have a couple periods that are only two weeks apart, for instance – those are called irregular periods. They can be brought on by a variety of issues with your menstrual cycle. Periods that occur every two weeks are usually caused by an imbalance in your hormones.
What are Irregular Periods?
A typical menstrual cycle is 28 days long, but your “normal” cycle could last anywhere between 21 & 35 days. The bleeding may last from three to seven days. Patterns that deviate from this norm are designated as being irregular.
If you have very frequent periods, like a period twice in one month, on multiple occasions, the technical term for this condition is metrorrhagia. It can affect women of any age, but it is more often seen in women who are close to menopause.
Your body goes through immense changes each month, to prepare for any possible pregnancy. That’s what is referred to as your menstrual cycle. Roughly once a month, your uterus will prepare for the arrival of an egg by building up a thick lining, the endometrium.
At the same time, your hormonal changes will prepare your uterus for a potential pregnancy. If no fertilized egg embeds itself in the uterine wall, the body sheds the excess lining off. That is your period, and you’ll probably have them until you’re about 50, although women vary greatly in the age at which they begin menopause.
There are some times when you may have your period twice in one month. Keep reading to discover more about this condition.
Having a Period Twice in One Month: Is that Normal?
The simple answer is “yes”. Your cycle begins on the first day of the period you are currently on and runs until the first day of your next period. The length of the period may vary. 28 days is the average length of a menstrual cycle. But if your period is as short as 21 days or even as long as 35 days, that’s still considered normal.
So, if you have a 21 day cycle, you can end up with a period twice in one month. Most women typically have 13 periods each year. This means that they have two periods in one month, at least.
Individual Differences in Periods
“Normal” menses vary from one woman to the next. Yours may be about the same number of days each month or longer or shorter some months. Some women have cramps, while others do not experience pain. Whether your period is heavy or light, unless it is excessively so, it is still considered to be “normal”.
If you’re still a teenager, irregular periods are more common. They may occur once every three months or so, or more than once per month. Some young women miss periods some months and have more than one period in other months. This is because your body is adapting to all the changes as you grow older.
When should you Worry?
If your periods come earlier than 21 days apart, you should consult with your gynecologist. Most causes of frequent bleeding are very much benign, but it’s a good idea to rule out any possible underlying issues. If you lose too much blood each month, you could become anemic.
Some sexually transmitted diseases, hormone problems and clotting issues may cause you to bleed more. When your gynecologist examines you, he or she can determine whether or not you will require medications for infections or iron supplements, which will help you from becoming anemic. After you have it checked out, you can relax, knowing that you’re addressing the issue properly.
What Causes an Irregular Period?
Irregularities in your menstrual cycle, like having a period twice in one month, may be caused by a variety of factors. Here are some of them:
- Polycystic ovary syndrome
This is a fairly common disorder in the hormones that causes small cysts on your ovaries. This leads to irregular periods.
- Premature ovarian failure
Primary ovarian insufficiency or premature ovarian failure is a condition where you lose normal ovarian function at an age younger than 40 years. This can cause less frequent periods.
- Uterine fibroids
These non-cancerous growths occur in your uterus. Bleeding between periods, along with heavy period bleeding, can be caused by these fibroids.
- Pelvic inflammatory disease
This infection of your reproductive organs may cause irregular periods.
- Excessive exercise, extreme weight loss or eating disorders
Any of these conditions may disrupt your normal menstruation. So can increased physical activity or eating disorders, including anorexia nervosa.
- Breastfeeding or Pregnancy
Delayed or missed periods are symptomatic of pregnancy. After you deliver a child, breastfeeding will usually delay the resumption of regular periods.
Any kind of stress, whether caused by upcoming exams, deadlines at work, financial worries or arguments can potentially change your cycle on a temporary basis, until they are resolved.
- Thyroid problems
The lining of the uterus can be thickened if you have thyroid disease. This causes more bleeding during menstruation.
What Can You do about Irregular Periods?
If you experience a period twice in one month, there are various healthy habits you can adopt that will help in regulating your menstrual cycle:
- Keep your body well-hydrated
Water is vital to your overall health, and helps your body to flush toxins away.
- Eat plenty of vegetables & fruits
Iron and vitamin C are lost when you bleed heavily. You can recover some of what you have lost by eating leafy green vegetables and broccoli, and lots of citrus fruits.
- Do regular but gentle exercise
Do easy, slow-paced workouts each day. This includes walking, calisthenics or stretching. Choosing to add restorative yoga to your daily routine will help with PMS and in relieving tension and muscle cramping.
- Keep a calendar of your periods
Use a journal during your periods so you have the dates written down. This is helpful for noticing any patterns that are irregular for you.
- Use herbal remedies
Imbalances in hormones can be relieved somewhat by herbal remedies like aloe Vera, ginger and sesame seeds.
If you experience your period twice in one month on a regular basis, speak to your gynecologist or general physician. Medication can be helpful for you. Seek your doctor’s input. Oral contraceptives are sometimes used to regulate periods. Be sure to have regular pelvic exams, so that any problems that affect your reproductive system can be diagnosed early.
When should you see your Physician about having Irregular Periods?
- Your menstrual cycle is less than 21 days or more than 35 days long
- Your periods are longer than seven days in duration
- You have a sick feeling and fever when you use tampons
- Your bleed more than spotting between periods
- Your periods are so heavy that they soak one tampon or pad per one or two hours.
- You’re not pregnant, but you have no periods for 90 days
- You have very painful periods
- You were previously regular but now your periods are erratic