Here again so soon? Early periods can sometimes take you by surprise but the causes can often be managed with simple changes. We’ll have a look at what can cause an early period and share some tips on how to get a regular menstrual cycle.
Why is my period early?
An early period can be bleeding again just days after your last period or for example two weeks before you expect the next one to arrive. It can be caused by hormonal and lifestyle changes that disrupt the balance of your body.
Unbalanced hormones are the main cause for an early period. They can become unbalanced by:
- Taking (or forgetting to take) contraceptive pills, or emergency contraception
- Stress or anxiety can release stress hormones that can alter your flow or cycle.
- Abrupt weight loss or weight gain
- Not getting enough sleep can leave you lacking energy and your period may become irregular.
- Puberty or menopause. When your body goes through changes, hormones fluctuate.
Why is your period exactly two weeks early?
Apart from unbalanced hormones, an early period, or what seems to be an early period, can also appear during ovulation - which is usually no reason to be concerned. The ovulatory phase occurs more or less around two weeks after you’ve had your last period.
It’s quite common to see some spotting during ovulation, and you can see it as a signal of knowing that you’re ovulating. It will usually not have the same colour as your regular period, but more of a brownish or pinkish complexion.
Early Period or Spotting
Many women experience some sort of spotting during some menstrual cycles, which can easily be mistaken as the beginning of a new period. Why spotting occurs and what it means can have many different reasons and explanations. The most common is (again) unbalanced hormones.
But in case you’ve had unprotected sex and the spotting occurs 3-5 days after you’ve had intercourse, it may be a sign that a fertilized egg has implanted itself in your uterus. This is called implantation bleeding. If this might be the case, consult your doctor.
Early periods and PCOS
An early period could also indicate the beginning of an irregular menstrual cycle, which is also caused by an imbalance in your regular lifestyle. But it can also be an indicator for Polycystic Ovary Syndrome. More on that in our section about PCOS and irregular periods.
3 easy steps to better manage an early period
Since early periods are commonly caused by unbalanced hormones, consider some lifestyle changes that can help to re-balance your cycle.
1) 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. Also be sure to keep track of the days of your ovulatory phase, so you can easily conclude if it’s just regular spotting caused by ovulation.
2) Take care of yourself - physically and emotionally
If you’re not getting enough sleep, feeling extremely stressed about something and are not permitting yourself a healthy diet, your body will react accordingly by either causing an early period or skipping a period.
Also, keep in mind that too much sugar and fat can increase your period flow, but lack of sufficient calories signals your body to skip ovulation, hence your period.
Your menstruation is like a health report card, so if you normally have a regular menstrual cycle that suddenly goes whack, it could be a sign that you need to slow down and take better care of yourself:
- Eat healthily and maintain a balanced diet throughout the month. Avoid rapid weight gain or loss, as this can change your hormone levels and make your period early, or delayed.
- Sleep well, and make time every day for relaxing. Your body needs extra energy during menstruation to keep your cycle regular.
- Relax. If you have a busy lifestyle, or stressful job, try to make sure you de-stress at the end of each day. Anxiety and emotions can put extra stress on your body, which will affect your hormonal balance. Put your feet up, it’s good for you!
3) Use a product that works for you
Using the right menstrual product can make early periods easy to manage. Menstrual cups are healthy and non-absorbent and can even be worn when you have a very light flow, or in the days before your period arrives – meaning you can be ready for anything!
Check our page Get Started with a Menstrual Cup to find out more. It's also proved to be practical when you’re about to enter the ovulatory phase and don’t want to stain your underwear with spotting, just pop in your menstrual cup. The medical grade silicone does not dry you out and you can wear it for up to 12 hours without any worries.
When to see a doctor
Early periods are generally caused by common lifestyle factors but can sometimes indicate other health problems. If you have been sexually active and could be pregnant, visit your doctor for a consult – early periods can sometimes be a sign of pregnancy or implantation bleeding.