What can bring on a period early, is it normal, and when should you see a doctor?
There are many potential causes of an early period. This is normal, and if it only occurs occasionally, there is probably nothing to worry about.
Hormonal shifts, such as those that occur during puberty and perimenopause, are a common cause of premenstrual symptoms.
Menstrual irregularities can have many causes, including polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and endometriosis.
This article discusses the symptoms and treatments for several causes of an early period.
When people talk about puberty, they're usually talking about the time when teenagers become sexually mature.
The female reproductive system begins producing the hormones estrogen and progesterone at the onset of puberty, which play a role in the development of the characteristic physical changes associated with womanhood.
Some examples of these modifications are:
- increased stature and girth
- increased adipose tissue accumulation in the hips, thighs, and buttocks
- increased size of the breasts
- enhanced hair development in the genital and limb areas
- alterations to the skin, including more oil production, pimples, and acne
The hormonal shifts that occur during puberty do more than just alter the female body physically; they also prime it for reproduction.
Women typically get their first period between the ages of 12 and 13, as stated by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG). Some people's menstrual cycles are shorter or longer than the average of 28 days.
The average time between cycles for teenage girls is 32 days. ACOG data shows that the average duration of labor is 2 days. While the majority of periods during the first few years of menstruation last between 21 and 45 days, longer or shorter cycles do occur. Sixty percent to eighty percent of women have menstrual cycles that last between 21 and 34 days by the third year.
The first six years of menstruation are the most likely to be erratic.
The onset of puberty is a physiological process that typically does not require medical attention.
When females experience an abnormally early or late onset of puberty, however, medical professionals may suggest hormonal therapy.
The medical history of an adolescent will be examined if doctors have concerns about a possible issue with puberty.
They may also order lab tests and scans (both radiological and medical) in addition to a physical exam.
When you should see a doctor
If a girl begins menstruating or displays other signs of puberty before the age of eight, her parents and caregivers may want to get her checked out.
Precocious puberty, a medical term for a child entering puberty before their biological clock dictates it to, may be the result. ”
Meanwhile, girls and young women who don't start developing breasts by the time they're 13 may have delayed puberty.
Many factors, such as low body fat, genetics, and ovarian issues, can lead to a delay in puberty.
When treating problems associated with puberty, it is important to identify the root cause.
In most cases, perimenopause, the period leading up to menopause, starts between the ages of 47 and 51.
Hormone levels, especially estrogen and follicle stimulating hormone (FSH), may be affected. As FSH levels rise, some women experience early menstruation.
Because estrogen levels drop during the transition, women typically experience periods that are lighter and less frequent.
Besides these symptoms, perimenopause can also bring on:
- intervals that are either longer or shorter
- differing degrees of blood loss
- Dryness of the Vagina
- sexual desire shifts
- flashes of heat
- Disruptions in one's mood and a tendency toward anger
- inability to fall asleep
The perimenopausal transition is the period of time just before menopause when the body goes through a natural change. There is no medical emergency here.
Perimenopause and menopause can bring on mild to severe symptoms, but they can be mitigated with lifestyle changes and medical interventions.
What follows is a list of transitional symptoms, along with advice on how to deal with them.
- Hot flashes: sleep with the air conditioning on, drink lots of water, and stay away from stimulants like caffeine, alcohol, and spicy foods. When hot flashes are severe, hormone therapy and possibly antidepressants can help.
- Menstrual Irregularities: Low-Dose Hormone Contraceptives May Help
- OTC pain relievers are useful for treating muscle cramps and aches. Tense abdominal and spinal muscles can benefit from a warm compress as well.
- If you suffer from vaginal dryness, try using a lubricant or vaginal moisturizer.
By looking at the patient's medical history and perhaps performing some simple tests, a doctor can determine if perimenopause has begun.
They will inquire as to the timing of the last period and any accompanying symptoms.
The doctor may request bloodwork to check hormone levels, thyroid function, and lipid profile in order to rule out conditions that present similarly to perimenopause.
When you should see a doctor
Any significant shifts in menstrual cycles should be discussed with a doctor. Additionally, those who are currently experiencing perimenopause should consult a medical professional if they have:
- profuse bleeding that can soak through a pad or tampon in less than 2 hours
- excessive bleeding; more than 80 ml
- changed or emerging symptoms, especially if they are interfering with your daily routine
- discomfort or bleeding during or after sexual activity
Spotting or bleeding in the genitalia between menstrual cycles may be a sign of an STI such as chlamydia, gonorrhea, or syphilis.
Nevertheless, symptoms are not always present with these bacterial infections. When symptoms do occur, they typically manifest as:
- a discharge of yellowish color from the vaginal or urethral openings
- Continual need to urinate
- sexual or urinational discomfort
- Continual Rectal Discharge or Bleeding
Sexually transmitted infections are extremely common. It is estimated by the CDC that 20% of the population of the United States is living with a sexually transmitted infection at any given time.
Antibiotics are the standard treatment for sexually transmitted infections prescribed by doctors. The appropriate formulation and dose must be tailored to the specific condition being treated.
Most sexually transmitted infections (STIs) can be detected through a simple blood test at a local clinic or doctor's office.
Tests for gonorrhea and chlamydia are conducted with urine samples or vaginal swabs, while syphilis testing is done with blood samples.
Tests of cerebrospinal fluid may also be performed if a physician suspects that infection has spread to the central nervous system.
Medical attention and when it's necessary
Regular screening for gonorrhea and chlamydia is recommended by the ACOG for all women under the age of 25 and those at higher risk of infection.
There are many things that can put you at risk for a sexually transmitted infection.
- not consistently using condoms
- being diagnosed with or having recovered from a STI
- engaging in sexual activity with a number of different partners
- being with a partner who has had multiple sexual partners
- engaging in sexual activity with a person who carries a sexually transmitted infection
If a person develops any STI symptoms, they should see a doctor without delay.
When a fertilized egg implants into the uterine wall, it is possible for there to be some minor bleeding, also known as spotting. This typically happens a couple of weeks after conception, when a woman is expecting her period to start.
Because the blood from an implantation bleeding lasts longer inside the body, it appears much darker than a regular period.
Some additional symptoms of implantation bleeding include:
- Stomach aches
- a feeling of pain or discomfort in the breasts
- alterations in thermal status
About 15%-50% of all pregnancies experience bleeding around the implant.
Due to the fact that implantation bleeding is a common occurrence in pregnancy and rarely causes harm, it is not medically necessary to treat it.
In most cases, implantation takes place 6-10 days after ovulation, right before a woman's period is due to start.
When a person's period is overdue but they notice light bleeding, they may want to take a home pregnancy test.
Reasons to Visit the Doctor
Those who experience any of the following symptoms should contact their doctor immediately:
- the burden is too great or the duration is too long
- Painful menstruation
- a discomfort in the midsection, lower back, or pelvis
- increased need to urinate
- sexual discomfort or pain
Find out what to expect from implantation bleeding by reading up on the topic.
To those in the medical field, a pregnancy loss before 20 weeks is referred to as a miscarriage.
Possible after-effects of a miscarriage include:
- bleeding, either light or heavy, from the cervix
- vaginal bleeding that clots up like a toilet paper roll
- Experiencing abdominal or backache
Pregnancy loss affects up to 26% of all pregnancies, according to some estimates, but may affect as many as 10% of all pregnancies if all causes of pregnancy loss are considered. Early pregnancy loss is more common, and it sometimes occurs even before the mother realizes she is pregnant.
When a pregnancy ends in miscarriage, the placenta is passed out of the body via the vagina.
A pelvic exam can reveal whether or not any of this tissue has remained inside the body.
The doctor may prescribe medication or suggest surgery if the patient does not pass the tissue on their own.
The doctor may examine a sample of the patient's vaginal discharge, as well as perform a pelvic exam and possibly a hormone test.
If a pregnancy loss is confirmed by these tests, it is certain.
What constitutes a need for medical attention
Those who experience any of the warning signs of a miscarriage must immediately seek medical attention.
Infection can occur if pregnancy tissue is left in the uterus after a miscarriage.
Examples of indicators to keep an eye out for are:
- Continual Menstrual Bleeding
- muscle pain or cramping that is extremely painful
- discharge from the uterus that has a bad odor
One in ten women of childbearing age will be diagnosed with polycystic ovary syndrome.
The cause is unknown, but insulin resistance and hormonal imbalances have been implicated.
Because menstrual irregularity is a common symptom of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), it is possible that PCOS could result
Besides these, you might also experience:
- An Abundance of Hair
- Having oily, acneic skin.
- sacs of fluid-filled tissue that line the ovaries
The prevalence of PCOS among women aged 15 to 44 is 5-10%.
Medication can be used to treat PCOS and alleviate its symptoms.
Birth control pills, which can help regulate a woman's menstrual cycle, and anti-androgen medications, which inhibit the effects of androgens (male sex hormones) and alleviate unwanted hair growth and acne breakouts are two examples of what a doctor might prescribe.
The following medical procedures may help a doctor diagnose PCOS:
- On the subject of pelvic exams, your doctor may be on the lookout for a swollen clitoris or enlarged ovaries.
- A physical examination may include measuring vital signs like blood pressure and body mass index and looking for telltale signs like acne, hair loss, and skin discoloration.
- Checking hormone levels can be done with a simple blood test performed by a doctor.
- A sonogram is an image made possible by an ultrasound scan that can be used to detect ovarian cysts.
Reasons to Visit the Doctor
In the event of early or irregular periods, one should consult a doctor to rule out polycystic ovary syndrome.
If you or a member of your family has PCOS, or if you are overweight, you may be at a higher risk of developing the condition yourself.
In endometriosis, tissue that looks like the uterine lining grows in places where it shouldn't.
The menstrual cycle may be affected by these effects.
- intense bleeding
- Detecting a pause in the Menstrual Cycle
- midcycle bleeding
- Periodic Irregularities
- abnormal bleeding
Hormones and genetics have been hypothesized to be involved, but no definitive cause has been identified.
Women in their 30s and 40s appear to be at greatest risk for developing endometriosis, but anyone can be at increased risk if they meet the following criteria:
- they are childless
- a close relative already suffers from it
- menstrual cycles last no more than 27 days for them.
About 1 in 10 American women are overweight or obese. S according to the Office on Women's Health, endometriosis affects approximately
Medications, including but not limited to those listed below, are often used in the treatment of endometriosis.
- NSAIDs, or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs
- Hormone contraceptives
As an alternative, surgery may be performed. A 2018 meta-analysis found that 95% of patients who have lesions removed underwent pain relief after the procedure.
Endometriosis can be diagnosed when a doctor:
- When conducting a pelvic exam, a doctor will check for cysts and scars in the pelvic region.
- To detect ovarian cysts, an ultrasound is a useful imaging tool.
- If an ultrasound reveals cysts, the doctor may prescribe medication. Pain relief from birth control pills and reduced estrogen production from gonadotropin-releasing hormone agonists are both options. Improvement in pain is a possible indicator of endometriosis.
- The doctor may perform a laparoscopy to examine the endometrial-like tissue. Furthermore, a biopsy could be done.
Identifying the Right Time to Visit the Doctor
If one has the following symptoms, medical attention is recommended:
- Period cramps are extremely uncomfortable.
- Backache Low Backache
- stomach ache
- periods between spotting
- problems digesting
An early period is not usually cause for alarm. A doctor should be consulted if a woman experiences unusual changes to her menstrual cycle or has any other concerns.
Some women experience unexpectedly early menstruation due to hormonal changes that occur during puberty and perimenopause.
Still, chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis are just a few of the STIs that can lead to irregular menstrual bleeding.
Also, the cramping and spotting associated with implantation bleeding and miscarriage can be similar to those of menstruation.
Keep in mind that implantation blood may appear significantly darker than period blood. For those who are unsure, a home pregnancy test can help determine the root of their bleeding.
When a pregnancy ends in miscarriage, the placenta is expelled from the body in the form of a bloody clot. It is imperative that anyone who suspects they are experiencing this seek medical attention without delay.
As of the most recent checkup, on October 28th, 2021
- Obstetrics & Pregnancy
- Sexual Illnesses & Health
- Care for Women / Gynecology
- Alimi, Y , et al (2018) Review of endometriosis clinical anatomy
- Perinatal hemorrhaging (2020)
- CDC (2021) According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 20 percent of Americans S are infected with a STI [Media Statement].
- Precocious puberty in the middle (2016)
- Syphilis, chlamydia, and gonorrhea (2020)
- Dugas, C , et al (2021) Miscarriage
- Endometriosis (2019)
- Ferrell, R J , et al (2006) In perimenopause, menstrual cycles lengthen later and more dramatically than previously reported [Abstract].
- Periodic bleeding that is heavy (2017)
- McLean, M , et al (2015) Sexual maturation disorders in women
- The menstrual cycle as a health indicator for young women (2015)
- Having polycystic ovary syndrome (2019)
- Having PCOS, or polycystic ovary syndrome, means that your ovaries have a lot of cysts (2020)
- Failure to conceive (2019)
- Coming of age for females (2021)
- Riazi, H , et al (2015) Scoping review of clinical methods for identifying endometriosis in the pelvis
- Santoro, N (2016) The transition from perimenopause research to clinical practice
- Su, R -W , et al (2016) Human and nonhuman primate implantation and pregnancy establishment
- Tang, C , et al (2019) Interruption of puberty
- Walker, M H , et al (2021) Menorrhagia
- First menstrual cycle (2019)
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