The menstrual cycle, whether perfect or imperfect, is a thought that is always prevalent in every female’s mind because of the love-hate relationship with it. It causes pain when it arrives and worries when it arrives late. Normally a menstrual cycle is said to be 20-38 days long. But, there would be many women who would have had an early period at least once in their lifetime.
It is said by medical health experts that a period cycle moving a few days up or down from its usual date is not a cause of concern. So, what is that downside? The downside is the reason behind this article. This article will tend to all your doubts about the early period, its causes, and whether or not it is a cause of concern.
Read on to get learned!
Why is my period a week early?
If your menstrual cycle is completed a week early or in other words, the gap between your two menses is less than 20 days, then there could be some reasons that need to be looked at. Let us gloss on each of the possible underlying reasons one after the other
Adolescence or puberty for females starts from the age of 11-13. This is the age when the reproductive hormones in the female body get functional and stay that way till females reach their menopause stage.
Since the female body has just begun with the female reproductive stage of life, there can be some irregularities before it gets on track. This involves both a shorter and a longer menstrual cycle than what I typically told.
This age is also the age of fluctuating hormones, mood swings, acne, and hair development on reproductive organs and armpits.
2. Perimenopause or around menopause
For the most part, the two times females observe most hormonal imbalance is puberty and menopause. Perimenopause is the stage leading to menopause or the end of the reproductive years for a female. This stage is experienced by females in their late forties.
This too is a prevalent cause for both late and early periods. In addition to causing late and early menses during this phase, hormonal imbalance can also cause hot flashes, lighter or heavier flow than you normally experience, mood swings and irritation, irregular sleep patterns, dry vagina, and missed periods.
3. Vigorous exercise
When you exercise too intensely without consuming as many calories as you are burning your body runs out of adequate energy to produce and regulate reproductive hormones. These reproductive hormones are responsible for monthly ovulation that results in periods.
Athletes who do enormous weight training, gymnastics, ballet, swimming, and many such exercises can experience irregular or no periods at all.
4. Weight instability
When your body faces unsteady weight like too much gain or loss, it can result in period irregularities as well. During a rapid weight loss, due to reasons like dieting, bypass surgery, and eating disorders like bulimia the body enters starvation mode.
As a result, your body’s top priority becomes using its energy for the most basic functions like breathing and it does not produce sufficient reproductive hormones.
Stress is the root cause of a myriad of diseases and period irregularities are one of them. Stress and anxiety can cause the hormonal balance of the body to go haywire. Sudden stress due to a traumatic experience or any major change can cause major weight changes in addition to causing sleep and concentration problems. All three of these reasons negatively affect your menstrual cycle.
6. Blood-thinning medication
Anticoagulants not only cause blood thinning blood may also result in heavy bleeding flow, irregular and prolonged periods. Anticoagulants are released naturally in the body to thin the endometrial lining of the body that needs to be shed during the periods. To take extra anticoagulants means inviting the early period since the same process that had to start in its own time, starts early.
7. Contraceptive pills
Hormonal birth control pills contain hormones like estrogen and progesterone. These are reproductive hormones that directly affect the menstrual cycle of females. Hormonal birth control pills and placebos can determine the date of your next period.
Other contraceptive options like intrauterine devices can cause some menstrual irregularities like sudden or daily bleeding for the first two to three months since the date it was installed inside the body.
Apart from period irregularities, nausea, headache, sore nipples, and cramps are some other side effects of contraceptives.
8. Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs)
Sexually transmitted diseases are the ones that get transferred due to fluid infusion from an infected person’s body. Some examples of sexually transmitted diseases or infections are Chlamydia, gonorrhoea, AIDS (HIV), syphilis, and herpes. These STDs can cause blood laden discharge and spotting during menses. These are chronic health conditions that also have side effects like intense pain during sexual intercourse, pain in the abdomen, and burning sensation while urinating.
9. Polycystic ovarian syndrome/ disease (PCOS/PCOD)
The polycystic ovarian syndrome is a very common ailment that affects almost 4 out of 10 females. It is caused due to several fluid-filled cysts on the ovary that hinder the normal hormonal and ovarian functions.
It is said that different people with PCOS can suffer from different problems. Some symptoms of PCOS include hirsutism, irregular periods, excessive weight gain, irregular and missed periods. In some people, all the symptoms of PCOS might be prevalent and in others only one or two.
10. Thyroid disease
Thyroid, just like polycystic ovarian disease, is a common problem among females. In this condition thyroid, an essential body hormone that plays a vital role and maintaining the metabolism and menstrual cycle is either over or under-produced by the body.
This causes several problems like a faster than usual heart rate, sleeping problems, weight loss and weight gain, heavy blood flow during periods, and irregular periods.
The takeaway: Why did your period come early?
As we just shed light on a few of the many underlying reasons that can be the cause of early periods, you must have realized that some are not a cause of concern and the others that are, can be treated with proper medication.
If you are experiencing any symptom out of the ordinary apart from just an early period, consult your gynaecologist and you will find a solution for sure!