It's bad enough to deal with your period once a month: cramps, mood swings, ruined underwear ... but twice?
It turns out that getting your period twice in a month is not that abnormal. "The average cycle should occur every 21 to 35 days and last from two to seven days," explains Lakeisha Richardson, an obstetrician-gynecologist based in Greenville, Mississippi.
So, if you're at the short end of that spectrum, those mathematics could easily translate into getting your period twice in a month. About 40 to 60 percent of women will have some irregular periods throughout their lives.
But if you are part of that group (quite unfortunate), you should know this: "Irregular bleeding can have different implications depending on age, medical history and family history, so it is important to seek guidance in a gynecologist if you have habits. of bleeding persistent, recurrent or worrying, says Alyssa Dweck, gynecologist and author of the book "The Complete From The A to The Z For Your V".
Although most of the reasons are totally benign, seeing your doctor can help identify the cause. Here we tell you what could be happening and what you can do to get your cycle back on track:
1. You forgot to take your contraceptive
Lack of birth control pills or forgetting your Depo-Provera injection will always cause irregular bleeding. Every time you do not take a contraceptive method correctly, you will bleed because you have a sudden withdrawal of hormones. However, this type of bleeding is not an emergency.
If you continue with your control by following the instructions, the bleeding will subside. Just make sure you use a backup method of contraception to prevent pregnancy until your next period.
2. You are pregnant
I know: pregnancy means lost periods. But believe it or not, some women bleed irregularly if they are pregnant. Soiling during pregnancy is very common, especially in the first trimester and can occur for several reasons, even after intense exercise or sex, or due to polyps (benign lesions that can grow inside the uterus or cervix and bleed spontaneously).
Obviously, this can be ruled out with a simple pregnancy test, but try not to wait too long, because an ectopic pregnancy can occur (that is, when an ovum is implanted outside the uterus), which can also cause irregular bleeding and become an emergency that can endanger life if left untreated.
3. You have uterine polyps or fibroids
Uterine problems, such as polyps or fibroids (benign lesions or tumors that can grow in the uterus) are very common and may be related to hormonal problems. Uterine polyps can cause bleeding between periods, especially if touched, such as during intercourse, and fibroids can cause back pain, bloating, anemia, pain during intercourse, and spontaneous bleeding not associated with the menstrual cycle.
4. You have an infection
Vaginal and cervical infections are incredibly annoying for a number of reasons, among others, that can cause bleeding outside of your period. Inflammation or infection of the cervix with bacteria such as bacterial vaginosis or trichomoniasis can cause irregular bleeding.
Infections should be treated immediately, because research has shown that sexually transmitted diseases, such as trichomoniasis, increase the risk of contracting HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases.
5. Your thyroid is not working properly
An underactive or overactive thyroid gland can cause your period to occur twice in a month. The thyroid gland is regulated by the hormones produced and regulated in the same area of the brain, the pituitary and the hypothalamus, as the hormones that control menstruation and ovulation. When one is off, the other could be affected. "
This is diagnosed with a blood test and is usually treated with medication.
6. You have PCOS
Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome is a hormonal imbalance that affects between 8 and 20 percent of women, according to the National Institutes of Health. It is the result of less frequent ovulation or lack of ovulation, which leads to an imbalance of estrogen, progesterone and testosterone. One of the many symptoms includes irregular bleeding.
Other commonly associated symptoms include acne, difficulty maintaining weight, growth of hair in typical places of men (such as the upper lip or chin) and fertility problems. If you think there is a possibility of having PCOS, schedule an appointment with your doctor to be evaluated.
7. You have precancerous or cancerous cells
When found in the uterus and cervix, precancerous and cancerous cells can cause irregular bleeding. Suffice it to say that a tumor that grows on the cervix or uterus may bleed erratically. One study even found that irregular periods are more likely to lead to ovarian cancer, so early detection is key.
These are diagnosed with an ultrasound, a uterine biopsy, a Papanicolaou test and a cervical biopsy, respectively, so if you have ruled out other causes, go for a gynecology and obstetrics exam.
8. You are very stressed
High levels of stress can cause more frequent periods or total loss because the hormones that cause the ovaries to ovulate each month originate in the brain.
Basically, when you are overwhelmed at work or worry about the drama of relationships, those hormones can fail and affect your cycle in a negative way. If you know that lately you have mentally stretched to the limit, consider doing some yoga or meditation exercises, or talking to someone who can help you manage your stress. You will be surprised how much it can help your mind and body.
9. You have been traveling recently
If you come back from vacation and find a period earlier than expected to welcome you into your home, you may be able to blame those vacations for your irregular bleeding. Depending on how far you have left home, traveling too much can interrupt your period.
Interfering with your circadian rhythms, such as changing time zones or working night shifts, can cause changes in the hormones that trigger your cycle.
10. You are in the early stages of menopause
Perimenopause, which can start as early as the mid-thirties, can cause irregular periods, including those that are more frequent and heavier than usual.
There is not much you can do here (you must let nature take its course), but there are ways to alleviate the general effects of perimenopause, such as medications or other therapies, if your obstetrician has confirmed that this is what is happening.
11. You've gained a lot of weight
The rapid increase or loss of weight and the excessive amounts of exercise can also affect the hormones that stimulate ovulation, changing the typical pattern of your cycle.
Generally, if you are doing extreme exercise or have been underweight, your body turns off the ovulation process, but if you are overweight, you may see that irregular bleeding occurs more or less frequently than normal.
If you think your weight may be to blame for your irregular periods, check with your doctor.