A normal monthly menstruation usually occurs on a 28 day cycle, yet not everyone receives a regular period every month. Many women are often surprised with an early period that can sometimes cause confusion. While irregular periods are certainly inconvenient, they are fairly common among women and can be caused by a variety of circumstances that affect normal bodily cycles of menstruation and ovulation.
Early menstrual periods can be the result of anything from lifestyle choices to hormonal imbalances and other health-related gynecological issues that can have an impact on the regularity of a normal menstruation cycle. Here are some of the main reasons for getting your period earlier than anticipated:
1. Unbalanced hormones
A shift in the balance of hormones is often the culprit of early period cycles. Using oral contraceptive birth control pills can cause the menstruation cycle to begin at an earlier time than usual, especially if you skip a pill or two, since the hormones produced by the body become disrupted by the artificial hormones in the pill. Other forms of contraceptives, such as IUDs, can also cause an imbalance of hormones that can also affect your period and change your ovulation cycle. You may also experience effects of abnormal bleeding after you stop taking the pill. Hormonal disorders, which can result from diseases such as endometriosis, can also be a reason for period cycle irregularity and should be checked out if the early bleeding occurs after you have taken yourself off contraceptives.
2. Psychological effects
Stress is a common factor in the case of irregular periods, and dealing with psychological anxieties can have an effect on the body’s processes. Dealing with extra stress and anxiety can trigger physical responses and disrupt the normal body systems that regulate ovulation and menstruation. As a result, cortisol, the stress hormone, can have an effect on the production of estrogen and progesterone in the body. While stress and anxiety often cause late periods as well, it can disrupt the nervous system enough to cause your period to come earlier than expected.
3. Gynecologic conditions
Some menstrual conditions can cause early menstruation, as well as bleeding in between periods that can appear as an early period. Polycystic ovarian syndrome is a condition that affects the level of hormones present, which can lead to period irregularity. Women who have this condition release luteinizing hormones that increase the levels of estrogen and progestin, which aids in ovulation. Endometriosis can also cause early periods as well as very painful menstrual cycles.
4. Implantation bleeding
Sometimes, what you may think is your period coming early may not be your period at all. Many people mistake implantation bleeding for their period, and so the abnormal bleeding you are experiencing could be a sign of early pregnancy if you are sexually active. Implantation bleeding happens when an embryo is implanted in the uterus, causing some abnormal bleeding before your actual period begins.
5. Lifestyle choices
Factors related to your life, including diet and exercise, can have a great effect on the regularity of your period. Excessive and strenuous exercise can disrupt your body’s menstrual system and result in an earlier period. What you eat also has an effect on whether your period comes early or late, and how bad it is. Excessive weight gain and loss cause fluctuating hormone levels that can result in an early period.
6. Menopause and puberty
Going through menopause causes the hormone levels to fluctuate within the body, which can result in irregular period cycles that can start as early as 10 years before menopause actually begins. Since menopause results in the ceasing of the ovulation cycle in a woman, as a woman approaches menopausal age, their period may become more sporadic. On the other hand, adolescents experiencing the first few years of their period will often find that it takes a while for their menstrual cycle to regulate and mature, and so early periods are quite common during this time.
In order to better regulate your menstrual period, you should change up your lifestyle routine to get your cycle back on track. Eating a healthy, balanced diet and avoiding any dramatic weight changes can regulate your hormone levels and assure a regular period.