The menstrual cycle occurs in all females from the onset of puberty to the menopause in middle age. Normally the menstrual bleeding lasts for two to seven days. Usually the cycle repeats once in every 28 days (lunar month). A menstrual cycle occurring once in 21 days to 35 days is usually considered normal. Before we go in depth about irregular periods let us understand the menstrual cycle.
What Is The Menstrual Cycle?
Normally, once every 28 days, the uterus prepares itself for implanting the fertilized egg by growing a new lining known as the endometrium. When there is no fertilized egg to start pregnancy, the uterus lining sheds off along with the blood from the newly formed blood vessels. This is often called the menstrual flow or period. Menstrual cycle refers to the first day of one period to the first day of the next menstrual period. It varies anywhere from 24 to 35 days in different women.
What Are Irregular Periods?
The periods are said to be irregular if they deviate from the regular cycle like:
- If having a period every two weeks
- If the bleeding lasts more than 10 days
- If having more than one period in a month
- If the period does not occur for more than 35 days without any specific reason
Is It Possible To Have Two Periods In A Month?
Yes. As we already mentioned, the normal menstrual cycle can occur every 24 to 35 days. Therefore, for a woman who has a menstrual cycle every 24 days (short cycle),it is possible to experience two periods in one month if her previous period starts during the first two days of the month. Most women experience 13 periods annually, which indicates that she will experience two periods in a month at least once.
When To Be Concerned About Having Two Periods In A Month?
If you are getting period more than once in 24 days, which means you are getting periods once in two weeks, then you should be a little concerned. You should seek medical attention as this can make you anemic due to excessive loss of blood. In addition, there are chances that you might be having some underlying medical condition which requires immediate treatment.
Therefore, if you are experiencing periods twice in a month for two consecutive months and the blood flow is heavy accompanied with unbearable cramps and pain, never hesitate to seek medical attention.
Reasons For Periods Occurring Every Two Weeks
Menstrual cycle abnormalities like having periods twice in a month can be due to many reasons. Some of the important causes are discussed below:
- Extreme weight loss or gain: Regular periods can be disturbed if you undergo extreme weight loss or gain for some reason. The hormones which control the frequency and duration of the period will get affected due to this extreme weight gain or loss
- Uterine issues: The issues that affect the uterus like fibroids, endometriosis, cysts, polyps etc. can cause irregular periods and heavy bleeding
- Sexually transmitted infections: Sexually transmitted disease can result in bleeding in between the periods which can be misinterpreted as periods
- Stress: Any kind of stress be it financial, academic, career, family etc.can cause temporary changes in the menstrual cycle.This is because both stress and menstruation are closely related to hormonal variations. The changes can last for a couple of months
- Intake of certain medicines: Intake of certain medicines can affect your menstrual cycle. Bring to your doctor’s notice if you are experiencing two periods per month when you are undergoing some kind of treatment. He might probably change the medicines which can solve your issue
- Excessive exercise: Increased physical activities with or without an intention of weight loss can bring about disruption to the menstrual cycle
- Eating disorder: Eating disorders, such as being anorexic (encountering reduced appetite and aversion to food) which results in severe weight loss can lead to irregular menstrual cycle and missed periods
- Birth control pills: Sometimes, the body requires more time to adjust with the hormonal contraceptive pills. The “break-through” bleeding that happens in between the periods is sometimes mistaken for periods
- Onset of menopause: If you are above 45 years, the irregularity and having periods once every fortnight can be an indication of onset of menopause
- Premature ovarian failure: Premature ovarian failure, also known as primary ovarian insufficiency refers to a condition in which the normal ovarian function is lost before 40 years of age. It can bring about irregular or more frequent periods
- Pelvic inflammatory disease: This usually happens when the bacteria (mostly sexually transmitted) from the vagina spreads in the uterus, fallopian tubes or ovaries. Irregular menstrual period is one of the outcome of this condition
- Polycystic ovary syndrome: Small cysts that appear on the ovaries as a result of hormonal imbalance describes the condition of polycystic ovary syndrome. This can increase the frequency of the periods
How To Deal With Periods Occurring Twice In A Month?
As you are losing a lot of blood, it is important to manage the frequent periods wisely along with the treatment to minimize its impact. Bringing about some lifestyle changes can help to solve the issue to a certain extent. Here are some measures that will help you to manage your irregular periods in a proper way:
- Maintain a period calendar: Maintain a detailed journal, which marks the exact date of period, nature of bleeding, the number of pads changed and duration of bleeding. This will help you in the future for both getting prepared for the next period and giving the doctor an exact picture of the irregularity
- Drink lots of water: Stay well hydrated if you are experiencing irregular periods
- Include fruits and leafy vegetable in your diet: Increase the consumption of fruits and vegetables
- Undertake simple exercises: Though exercising excessively is not a good choice, simple exercises like stretching, walking etc. will help to manage the irregular periods
- Say NO to alcohol and smoking: Poor lifestyle habits like drinking alcohol, smoking, use of narcotic drugs etc. results in irregular periods. Following a good lifestyle is essential for the success of any kind of treatment that is undertaken for dealing with irregular periods
- Herbal remedies: Aloe Vera (juice), ginger (juice), jaggery (powdered), sesame seeds (powdered) etc. are some of the herbal home remedies that help to manage the irregular periods
- Stress relief measures: Practicing yoga, meditation and other stress relief measures like listening to music or reading book will help to avoid the stress, one of the main cause that triggers irregular periods
- Decrease the intake of refined carbohydrates and junk foods: Minimize the usage of refined carbohydrates like Maida and other junk food and carbonated and caffeine beverages for effectively managing the irregular periods
How To Treat Periods That Occur Every Two Weeks?
Treatment entirely depends on the cause. Irregular periods due to excessive exercise, eating disorders, contraceptive pills or taking a particular medicine for some purpose etc. can be rectified by avoiding such circumstances.
Several tests are done to find out any associated uterine issues. This can be diagnosed with the help of pelvic examination, ultrasound etc. Once the cause is known, treatment is directed accordingly, which can include alternative medicines like hormone regulating supplements, medication, surgery etc.