The majority of adult women have a menstrual cycle that ranges from twenty-four to thirty-eight days, and that is the range of what most experts consider normal and not alarming.
For teenage girls starting to become more regular, normal menstrual cycles can last thirty-eight days or even longer. Every woman’s cycle can vary from month to month, sometimes a shorter menstrual cycle is possible, as well as irregular cycles and irregular periods.
The cycle can vary month to month, which is totally normal, but it can result in your cycle coming a few days later than the last one and lasting a few days longer.
Some women are fortunate enough to have shorter menstrual cycles regularly, which can lead to having one period at the beginning and then the next one at the end of the same month. In this case, you just have short menstrual cycles and you have absolutely no reason for concern.
So, when should you be concerned? If you have irregular periods and you experience vaginal bleeding outside of your regular menstrual cycle and suspect that you are having a second period, you will need to do some investigating.
Menstrual cycle or just spotting?
The first thing you need to do is determine whether your vaginal bleeding is spotting or a menstrual cycle for the second time of that month, causing you to have two periods in one month.
Here is how to tell these two kinds of vaginal bleeding apart:
Some of the characteristics of spotting include:
- The blood that comes from spotting will usually be dark red or brown in color
- The flow of this vaginal bleeding will be so light that you will not be able to bleed through your tampon or completely fill a pad
Some of the characteristics of traditional menstrual bleeding include:
- The blood flow is heavy enough to soak through a pad or tampon every few hours, just like it would be when having a regular period.
- The period blood is very likely to be dark red, red, brown, or pink.
Possible causes for having two periods in one month
There are several factors that can play a role in a woman having two periods in one month and bleeding irregularly. Getting familiar with the cause of the issue is the only way to receive helpful treatment.
Some of the most common causes for having two periods in one month are listed below.
Some women experience irregular bleeding during pregnancy, and mistaking this irregular bleeding for your period is rather common.
If you are sexually active, get two periods in one month, and think that there is a possibility of you being pregnant, the best thing to do is take a pregnancy test, especially if you happen to experience some lower abdominal pain that feels like menstrual cramps.
Taking the pregnancy test is going to solve the dilemma of whether you are experiencing irregular bleeding as a result of being pregnant.
Another option is an ectopic pregnancy. Ectopic pregnancy happens when the fertilized egg implants itself somewhere else rather than the uterus.
Ectopic pregnancies are dangerous and they require immediate medical attention from medical professionals.
Feeling really stressed can be the reason why your period comes twice a month.
Stress can shorten menstrual cycles, but it can also cause you to miss your period as well. Stress can be the thing that messes up the length and regularity of your menstrual periods, and managing it can be very beneficial.
If you are not able to manage stress on your own, seek the help of your community (family and friends), as well as professional help.
A Thyroid Disease
Both thyroid disorders, hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid gland) and hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid gland leading to too much thyroid hormone), can cause your menstrual cycle to become shorter.
That can lead to having two periods within one month and bleeding irregularly between your regular periods. Both hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism are easy to diagnose, and they can also be successfully treated.
This thyroid condition is typically treated with some medication, thyroid hormone replacement therapy, and a bit of lifestyle adjustment.
Uterine fibroids are abnormal noncancerous growths that sometimes develop on the inside of the uterus.
Uterine fibroids are usually benign, but they can create some issues just by existing in the uterus. Uterine fibroids might be the reason behind heavy bleeding between periods.
You might think you have two menstrual periods in one month if you mistake this bleeding for your menstrual cycle.
The most common treatment for uterine fibroids is a myomectomy, which removes fibroids while preserving the uterus.
Pelvic Inflammatory Disease
A condition that causes the female reproductive organs to get infected due to bacteria moving from the vagina or cervix into that body area is called pelvic inflammatory disease.
This bacteria is caused by sexually transmitted infections. One of the symptoms of this disease is irregular uterine bleeding, in which you may experience bleeding between menstrual cycles and blood clots.
In order to treat this issue, your doctor will have to do a few tests and perform a pelvic exam.
Not Taking Your Hormonal Birth Control as Scheduled
Taking your hormonal birth control is all about the schedule, and forgetting to take birth control on the said schedule can lead you to experience irregular bleeding instead of a normal menstrual cycle.
This happens because birth control causes hormonal fluctuations. The solution to this issue is simple; the cycle is likely to return to normal after you continue taking your birth control medication according to schedule.
If your period does not return to its normal schedule after you start taking your birth control regularly again, speak to your primary healthcare provider, a maybe some adjustments to the dosage of the birth control are needed.
Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)
Polycystic ovary syndrome (often called PCOS, shortened) is a hormonal condition that causes your reproductive hormones to be out of balance.
It causes many different symptoms and side effects, such as irregular periods, heavy periods, heavy bleeding, irregular menstrual cycles, painful periods, abdominal pain, heavy menstrual bleeding, rapid weight gain or extreme weight loss, unscheduled bleeding, and many other symptoms.
Irregular bleeding is a common symptom of polycystic ovary syndrome, and this bleeding can sometimes be mistaken for menstrual bleeding, aka period.
The symptoms of PCOS are often uncomfortable, and this condition should be treated by a professional healthcare provider.
Possible risks and complications of irregular bleeding
Frequent bleeding can cause anemia in some women due to a lack of iron in the blood. While your doctor is doing other results to determine the cause of your abnormal bleeding, make sure to request checking of your iron levels.
Some of the most common symptoms of anemia can include:
- Irregular heartbeat
- Shortness of breath
The treatment prescribed to you will depend on the underlying cause of your frequent bleeding.
If you just recently started menstruating, or if your period is naturally shorter, it is very likely that you will not need treatment.
However, if your doctor is concerned about possible anemia, they might recommend adding iron supplements into your diet and eating foods that are rich in iron.
Getting your period twice in one month is nothing to worry about most of the time, especially if it happens just once or you know you have a shorter cycle.
However, if you notice that you have two periods each month for several months, make sure to visit your healthcare provider to solve this issue. Your doctor will provide solutions to balance your hormone levels and regulate your monthly menstrual bleeding.
You might need to try a few different treatment options, but increasing the length of your menstrual cycle is possible, and it can help you get back to having one period each month.