You Have A Thyroid Disorder
It sounds strange, but your thyroid can actually affect your period. The thyroid gland is regulated in the pituitary-hypothalamus axis of the brain, as are the hormones that regulate ovulation and menstruation, says Dr. Dweck. When one aspect of the axis is disturbed, so might be other aspects.
Other indications of an over- or underactive thyroid issue can include appetite and weight changes, difficulty with temperature regulation, hair changes, feelings of anxiety, and heart palpitations, according to Dr. Dweck. If you think you might have a thyroid disorder, talk to your doc about getting tested. Thyroid issues are common and treating them is important to maintaining both fertility and overall health.
Watch a doctor explain what you can do to help a thyroid disorder:
Vaginal Infection In Women
Women with pelvic inflammatory disease caused by gonorrhea and chlamydia infection can sometimes have irregular bleeding or spotting during their menstrual cycle. This bleeding is usually lighter than you menstruation with other symptoms like
- Low abdomen pain
- Vaginal itching and pain
If you notice these symptoms, then your early period may be due to an infection. Inform your doctor as vaginal infection can easily be treated with antibiotics.
Change In Normal Routine
Changes in your normal routine can affect your hormones and cause your period to come early or late. For example, some research suggests that people who switch between day and night shifts, like nurses, often experience irregular periods. Switching time zones may have similar effects.
Researchers dont know exactly why this happens, but it may be related to a disruption in your circadian rhythm. This may, in turn, disrupt the sleep hormone melatonin.
More research is needed to explore a connection between melatonin and reproductive hormones.
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What Are Irregular Periods
You have irregular periods if the length of your menstrual cycle keeps changing.
Your periods may come early or late.
The average menstrual cycle lasts 28 days, although it’s normal for it to be a bit shorter or longer than this.
After puberty, many women develop a regular cycle with a similar length of time between periods. But it’s not uncommon for it to vary by a few days each time.
How Can I Reduce My Risk Of Early Menopause
Most causes of early menopause are beyond your control. Smoking cigarettes is the only lifestyle factor that may cause early menopause. You can reduce your risk of menopause by quitting smoking. The other causes of menopause like health conditions, surgeries or treatment for cancer are unpreventable in most cases.
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Stopped Or Missed Periods
There are many reasons why a woman may miss her period, or why periods might stop altogether.
Most women have a period every 28 days or so, but it’s common to have a slightly shorter or longer cycle than this .
Some women do not always have a regular menstrual cycle. Their period may be early or late, and how long it lasts and how heavy it is may vary each time.
Read more about irregular periods and heavy periods.
When To See Your Doctor
If your periods seem irregular, or youve missed a period but know youre not pregnant, its a good idea to talk with your doctor ASAP, as there are many reasons and conditions that could be causing the issue.
Your doctor can properly diagnose the reason for your late or missed period and discuss your treatment options. If you can, keep a record of changes in your cycle as well as other health changes. This will help them make a diagnosis.
If you have the following symptoms, contact a doctor immediately, or call 911:
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What Does It Mean If You Start Your Period Early
Depending on how early the period is, how heavy it is, the type of the discharge and many other factors, an early period can mean many different things.
It can be a simple change in the menstrual cycle, a disease, the effect of a drug or other activity. At times, it might not even be a period but another bodily process such as ovulation or implantation.
Normal Vs Early Period
First, lets clear up some terminology.
- Your menstrual cycle is the number of days between periods. So day one of your cycle starts on the first day of your period and the last day of your cycle is the day before your next period begins.
A typical cycle lasts about 28 days. If your cycle is less than 21 days long, or more than 35, it may signal an underlying issue .
- Your period is when youre actually bleeding, and can last anywhere from two to seven days. Anything that falls within this range is considered normal, but you know whats typical for your body.
Changes in menstrual cycle length can be caused by many things, such as age, underlying health conditions, and hormone fluctuations.
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How Much Of A Delay Is Normal In Periods
Worried about a late period, but know youre not pregnant? Missed or late periods happen for many reasons other than pregnancy. Common causes can range from hormonal imbalances to serious medical conditions.
There are also two times when its typical for your period to be irregular: when it first begins, and when the menopause transition starts. As your body goes through the transition, your cycle can become irregular.
Most people who havent reached menopause usually have a period approximately every 28 days. However, a healthy menstrual cycle can range from every 21 to 40 days. If your period doesnt fall within these ranges, it could be because of one of the following reasons.
You Have Gynecological Or Medical Conditions
If you have any problems with your uterus or ovaries, your period may stop or become irregular. Visit a gynecologist if you’re experiencing any abnormal changes.
If you’ve made any recent lifestyle changes and your period comes a little early, then you probably don’t need to worry. In the end, You have to think about whats normal, Dr. Millheiser says. When periods come a little bit earlier, especially if it’s in the context of a couple days or a week, we generally don’t get concerned about that. You generally dont have to worry about small changes in the timing of your period unless it starts occurring more frequently than every 21 days.
Instead of being worried that your period came early, be happy your body is responding to external factors and its aware of what’s going on in your life.
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Whats The Difference Between Early Period And Miscarriage Symptoms
A miscarriage is the loss of a pregnancy. Most miscarriages take place during the first trimester. It often happens before the person is aware of the pregnancy, so it can be difficult to differentiate between a particularly heavy period and a miscarriage.
A miscarriage may cause more cramping and back pain than a normal period.
If you believe you have miscarried, seek immediate medical attention.
If youve expelled any unusual tissue and are able to collect it, bring it with you. Your doctor will assess the tissue and use it to make a diagnosis.
Your doctor will also perform a pelvic exam and ultrasound to determine whether a miscarriage took place. In some cases, they may need to remove lingering tissue from your uterus.
How you manage your period will depend on what you think is causing it to come early. In most cases, an early period will resolve itself in a month or two.
You may be able to get your cycle back on track if you:
Youre Suffering From Premature Ovarian Failure
Premature ovarian failure or primary ovarian insufficiency occurs when women have loss of normal ovarian function prior to 40 years old, explains Dr. Richardson. If your ovaries arent working correctly, they wont produce the right amounts of estrogen or release eggs when theyre supposed to, which could lead to shortened and irregular cycles, she says.
Premature ovary failure typically shows up around age 27, but occurs in one in 1,000 women between the ages of 15 and 29 and one in 100 women between the ages of 30 and 39, according to RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association. The most common symptom of premature ovarian failure is infertility and amenorrhea , says Dr. Richardson, and its diagnosed by ultrasound and blood testthe hormone levels would be consistent with menopause.
Translation: If you think you may have premature ovarian failure and want to get pregnant in the future, talk to your doc about getting tested as well as your fertility options.
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Why Did I Get My Period Twice In One Month
These are some reasons your period started early or occurred twice in a month:
- You have a short menstrual cycle
- You had very stressful weeks or months
- Youve taken emergency contraception
- You have vaginal infections
- You forgot your last period date
- Your birth control pill was not taken properly
- You just started a birth control pill
- You have polycystic ovaries
Doing Too Much Exercise
The stress that intense physical activity places on your body can affect the hormones responsible for your periods. Losing too much body fat through intense exercise can also stop you ovulating.
You’ll be advised to reduce your level of activity if excessive exercise has caused your periods to stop.
If you’re a professional athlete, you may benefit from seeing a doctor who specialises in sports medicine. They’ll be able to give you advice about how to maintain your performance without disrupting your periods.
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Uterine Or Ovarian Cancer
Cancer of the ovary, the uterus and other parts of the female reproductive system may alter your menstrual cycle in various ways including making it shorter, longer or inactive. You may also easily mistake the bleeding from a cancerous tumor for a period.
Unlike a period which starts or is preceded by premenstrual symptoms before a dark brown discharge follows for the next four to five days, a discharge from cancer is different both in color and consistency.
The cancer discharge occurs at any time including after menopause, after sexual intercourse, between periods and at other random times. It is also of different colors including brown, pink, watery, pale and at times foul-smelling.
Besides the early periods, cancer has other symptoms such as
- Longer and heavier periods
- Back, leg and abdominal pain
- Loss of appetite
If you observe any of these signs in a group, ensure you get tested for cancer for early treatment.
When To See Your Gp
See your GP if you’re not pregnant you’ve had a negative pregnancy test and you’ve missed more than 3 periods in a row.
If you’re sexually active and you have not taken a pregnancy test, your GP may advise you to take one.
They may also ask you about:
- your medical history
- any emotional issues you’re having
- any recent changes in your weight
- the amount of exercise you do
Your GP may recommend waiting to see whether your periods return on their own. In some cases you may need treatment for your periods to return.
You should also see your GP if your periods stop before you’re 45 or if you’re still bleeding when you’re over 55.
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You Have Uterine Scarring
Scarring in the uterus can lead to shorter periods. This is known as Asherman Syndrome, a rare condition that most often occurs in women who have had multiple dilation and curettage procedures, says Dr. Richardson. D& C ‘s are often used to empty the uterus following miscarriage, as an abortion method, and to treat certain gynecological conditions.
Women who have Asherman Syndrome have shorter cycles or amenorrhea because only the areas of the uterus that are not scarred are capable of bleeding. The more scarring that is involved, the less bleeding will occur.
This condition would be diagnosed by hysteroscopy, says Dr. Richardson, and the adhesions would have to be removed surgically in order for your flow to return to normal and to improve your ability to conceive, if desired.
Causes For An Irregular Period
So what’s abnormal menstruation? And that would be periods that occur less than 21 days or more than 35 days apart. If you miss your periods for more than three cycles, flow that’s much heavier or lighter than usual, periods that last longer than seven days, periods that are accompanied by severe pain, cramping or nausea or bleeding or spotting that happens between your periods or with sex.
You said they came two weeks early. Now, that would be probably less than 21 days, so it means this period was abnormal. But you don’t have to see a doctor for this unless it happens all the time or unless you’re pregnant. So what do you have to see a doctor for?
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Start Tracking Your Period
A good trick to get to know your flow and cycle is to start tracking it. Keeping track will help you understand the rhythm of your menstrual cycle and easily detect irregularities. This means you will also know when any spotting may be due to ovulation. You can use an appfor this or simply make a note on your paper or online calendar.
Can I Still Get Pregnant After Being Diagnosed With Premature Menopause Or Early Menopause
Both early and premature menopause affect your ability to get pregnant because youre not ovulating. However, unless youve gone 12 consecutive months without a menstrual period, you can still get pregnant. This is because in the years leading up to your final period, or if you have POI, theres a chance ovulation still happens. If getting pregnant or having children is important to you, work with a fertility specialist to explore your options.
Its possible to get pregnant through in vitro fertilization after menopause. You can use eggs from a donor or your own eggs . Any eggs that are left after menopause typically arent viable. Surrogacy and adoption are also options.
A note from Cleveland Clinic
Premature and early menopause describe menopause that happens before its expected. Most women or people assigned female at birth reach menopause around age 51. With premature menopause, this happens before age 40. Early menopause is reaching menopause before age 45. Talk to a healthcare provider if youre under 45 and have signs of menopause like irregular periods, spotting between periods, hot flashes or vaginal dryness. Your provider can order blood work and discuss your health history to help diagnose these conditions. Treatment is available to give you relief from unpleasant symptoms of menopause.
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Should I Watch For Any Problems
Most girls don’t have any problems with their periods. But call your doctor if you:
- are 15 and haven’t started your period
- have had your period for more than 2 years and it still doesn’t come regularly
- have bleeding between periods
- have severe cramps that don’t get better with ibuprofen or naproxen
- have very heavy bleeding
- have periods that last more than about a week
- have severe PMS that gets in the way of your everyday activities
What Is The Difference Between Premature Menopause And Premature Ovarian Failure
Premature menopause isnt the same as premature ovarian failure, although some people use the terms interchangeably. Healthcare providers now refer to premature ovarian failure as primary ovarian insufficiency .
POI is a condition where your periods stop suddenly and spontaneously, either early or prematurely. POI isnt the same as premature or early menopause, because with POI, theres a chance your period will come back. People with POI may still ovulate, menstruate or become pregnant. With early or premature menopause, you dont ovulate or menstruate, and you lose the ability to get pregnant.
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When To See A Doctor
Parents and caregivers may wish to seek medical advice if a child has a menstrual period or develops other features of puberty before they reach 8 years of age.
This can indicate that a child is entering puberty sooner than they should, which doctors refer to as precocious puberty.
Meanwhile, female adolescents who do not show signs of breast development by the may have delayed puberty.
Delayed puberty can happen for numerous reasons, including insufficient body fat, genetics, and problems affecting the ovaries.
Treatments for issues concerning the onset of puberty vary, depending on the underlying cause.
- difficulty sleeping
Temporary Reduction In Fertility
2016 study , this is common. Doctors believe hormone imbalances or structural abnormalities, like benign growths, cause this bleeding.
The study authors analyzed data from the menstrual cycle of 549 females to see whether there was a link between intermenstrual bleeding and infertility. They found that there was a connection people with intermenstrual bleeding were less likely to get pregnant during that menstrual cycle.
However, the bleeding did not affect their chances of becoming pregnant in future cycles. This means that if a person has infrequent intermenstrual bleeding, it likely does not affect their overall fertility. However, if a person frequently has this bleeding, they may want to contact a doctor, as there may be an underlying cause.
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