Why am I having two periods in one month?

what causes a woman to menstruate twice in a month
Medically reviewed by Dr. Mandy Liedeman

Overview

Experiencing two menstrual cycles within a month can be unexpected and concerning for many women. While it can sometimes be a result of a shorter menstrual cycle, it may also indicate an underlying medical condition. Factors such as stress, perimenopause, missed birth control pills, or pregnancy can contribute to irregularities in the menstrual cycle. However, frequent occurrences of this phenomenon may signal health issues like thyroid disease, endometriosis, uterine fibroids, or even cancer. In this blog, we will explore the causes behind menstruating twice a month, highlighting common and potential health concerns and providing guidance on when to seek medical advice.

Why am I suddenly getting my period twice a month?

Aside from variations in the length of your menstrual cycle, several other factors may contribute to experiencing bleeding twice a month. These factors can be tied to underlying health conditions rather than the typical menstrual cycle. Here are some common causes:

  1. Pregnancy

Irregular bleeding during pregnancy can occur, leading to confusion with menstrual periods. If you experience bleeding twice in one month and are sexually active, consider taking a pregnancy test to rule out pregnancy-related irregular bleeding.

  1. Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID)

PID is a condition where the female reproductive organs become infected after bacteria move from the vagina or cervix. Irregular uterine bleeding is one of the symptoms of PID, manifesting as bleeding between menstrual cycles.

  1. Birth Control Errors

Forgetting to take birth control medication on schedule can disrupt hormone levels, leading to irregular bleeding. Normalizing your cycle typically occurs after resuming regular birth control usage.

Experiencing irregular bleeding even after periods? Get the right diagnosis and treatment online!

  1. Stress

High levels of stress can shorten the menstrual cycle, potentially causing two periods in one month. Stress can also result in missed periods altogether. Anxiety, excessive physical activity, or drastic changes in body fat can disrupt hormone levels. Cortisol, a stress hormone, can interfere with reproductive hormone production, leading to irregular periods.

  1. Hormonal Imbalances

Hormones are crucial in regulating the menstrual cycle, with estrogen and progesterone being key players. Fluctuations or alterations in these hormones can significantly impact the monthly cycle, leading to irregularities.

  • Conditions such as Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) and thyroid disorders are known to disrupt hormonal balance. In PCOS, elevated levels of androgens can interfere with the normal production of estrogen and progesterone, resulting in irregular or absent periods.
  • Similarly, thyroid problems like hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism can lead to irregular menstruation by affecting hormonal balance, resulting in two periods within one month. These conditions can be diagnosed with a blood test and managed with medication.

  1. Unhealthy lifestyle

Unhealthy lifestyle habits such as excessive exercise or rapid weight loss can disturb the hormonal balance, resulting in shortened menstrual cycles or excessive bleeding (menorrhagia).

  1. Uterine Cancers

Irregular bleeding patterns may arise due to issues related to the uterus, such as fibroids, endometriosis, and polyps.

  • Fibroids: Fibroids are benign tumors of the uterus that may lead to prolonged and heavy bleeding, pain in the pelvis, and a frequent urge to urinate.
  • Endometriosis: Endometriosis occurs when the lining of the uterus develops outside the uterus, resulting in painful periods and heavy flow that may lead to infertility.
  • Polyps: Uterine polyps refer to abnormal growth on the lining of the uterus and can cause irregularity in menstrual cycles, leading to cases of abnormally heavy or unpredictable periods.

Unusual bleeding patterns show themselves as heavier than normal periods (menorrhagia), multiple episodes of slight bleeding between periods, and long-term menstrual bleeding called menometrorrhagia.

Common symptoms that may appear when a woman experiences these conditions include pain during intercourse or menses as well as pain in the lower abdomen region. Accurate diagnosis requires seeking medical advice and undergoing ultrasounds, MRIs, or biopsies tests.

Hormonal fluctuations like PCOS can be daunting. Consult a doctor to regulate your menstrual cycle!

How can I treat two periods in one month?

Treatment for frequent bleeding depends on the underlying cause. Natural short cycles or puberty onset may not require treatment. Anemia concerns require iron supplements, while hormonal birth control can regulate cycles and resolve anemia. Other treatments include:

  • Menopause: Hormone therapy to regulate periods.
  • Hypothyroidism: Thyroid hormone replacement therapy.
  • Hyperthyroidism: Various treatments are determined by the doctor.
  • Fibroids and cysts: Options include IUD, gonadotropin-releasing hormone agonists, MRI-guided ultrasound surgery, uterine artery embolization, myomectomy, hysteroscopy, dilation and curettage, endometrial ablation, or hysterectomy.

Lifestyle Changes

  • Stress: Manage stress with exercise, meditation, or therapy.
  • Weight Changes: Consult your doctor for weight management.
  • Reaction to Birth Control: Adjustments may be needed; discuss with your doctor.

Medication and Contraceptives

  • Medications and Birth Control: Some drugs and contraceptive changes can affect menstrual cycles.
  • Emergency Contraception: Can cause variations in periods.
  • Hormone-Affecting Medications: Consult a healthcare provider before switching medications or contraceptives.

Lifestyle Factors

  • Poor Diet: Nutritional deficiencies can impact hormones.
  • Excessive Alcohol Consumption: Disrupts hormonal balance.
  • Smoking: Nicotine disrupts the endocrine system.
  • Imbalanced Hormones: Wrong lifestyle choices can upset hormonal balance.
  • Incorporating a Balanced Diet: Balanced nutrition supports hormonal health.
  • Regular Exercise: Helps maintain hormonal balance and manage stress.
  • Healthy Lifestyle Choices: Adequate sleep and stress management promote hormonal balance and regular menstrual cycles.

What medication is used to stop menstrual bleeding?

When dealing with excessive menstrual bleeding, various medications can be used to manage and reduce blood loss. Here are two common medications:

  1. Tranexamic Acid (Lysteda)
  • Tranexamic acid is a medication specifically designed to reduce menstrual blood loss. It works by helping to stabilize blood clots, thereby decreasing the amount of blood flow during menstruation.
  • This medication is typically taken only at the onset of bleeding and can be effective in reducing the severity of menstrual bleeding.

  1. Oral Contraceptives
  • In addition to their contraceptive effects, oral contraceptives, commonly known as birth control pills, can also help regulate menstrual cycles and alleviate heavy or prolonged menstrual bleeding.
  • Oral contraceptives work by regulating hormone levels in the body, which can help to normalize the menstrual cycle and reduce the amount of blood loss during menstruation.
  • By controlling hormone fluctuations, oral contraceptives can effectively manage menstrual bleeding and provide relief from symptoms associated with heavy or prolonged periods.

These medications should be used under the guidance and supervision of a healthcare provider, who can assess individual needs and determine the most appropriate treatment plan.

Is it normal to have a period twice in a month?

No, experiencing two periods in one month is not normal, but it does not always indicate a serious health issue. It’s important to recognize that menstrual cycles can vary in length, ranging between 24 and 38 days. Therefore, having two periods in one month may simply be a variation within the normal range of menstrual cycle lengths.

However, if you experience persistent pain in your lower abdomen that doesn’t subside after a couple of days, it’s advisable to seek medical attention. Persistent pain could be a sign of an underlying health issue that requires evaluation and treatment.

Experiencing unusually heavy periods can also require a visit to the doctor. Heavy menstrual bleeding may indicate conditions such as uterine fibroids or hormonal imbalances that require medical management.

Worried about two periods in one month? Get birth control Prescription to regulate your cycle!

Complications and Risk Factors

Experiencing two periods in one month can sometimes be associated with certain complications and risk factors. Here’s what you need to know:

  1. Puberty and irregular periods

If you have recently started menstruating due to puberty, it’s common to experience irregular periods for the first year or two. This irregularity may include having two periods in one month as your body adjusts to hormonal changes.

  1. Family History and Risk Factors

Adults with a family history of conditions such as fibroids, cysts, or early-onset menopause may be at an increased risk of experiencing two periods in a month. However, having a family history does not guarantee that you will experience this.

  1. Complications Associated with Irregular Periods

Following are the risks and complications associated with menstruation twice in one month: 

Anemia

One potential complication of more frequent or heavy bleeding is anemia, which results from a lack of iron in the blood. Your doctor can assess your iron levels to determine the cause of abnormal bleeding. Symptoms of anemia may include:

While a single instance of having two periods in one month may not lead to anemia, prolonged heavy bleeding over several months can increase the risk.

Difficulty Tracking Ovulation

Having irregular periods, including two periods in one month, can make it challenging to track ovulation, especially if this experience is not typical for you. If you’re not planning on becoming pregnant, practicing safe sex is crucial.

Difficulty Conceiving

For individuals trying to conceive, abnormal bleeding patterns can complicate the process. If you’re actively attempting to become pregnant and experiencing heavy or irregular periods, it’s important to consult with a doctor for guidance and possible interventions.

Still not sure whether having periods twice in a month is concerning? Consult Now!

Consult a doctor

While experiencing two periods in one month may not always signal a serious issue, it’s important to seek medical advice if you notice any irregularities in your menstrual cycle. Here are some signs that require consulting a doctor:

  • Persistent lower abdominal pain
  • Very heavy periods affecting daily activities
  • Spotting or bleeding between periods
  • Pain during sexual intercourse
  • Increased menstrual cramping
  • Presence of dark clots during periods

FAQs about menstruating twice a month

What does a stress period look like?

Stress can disrupt hormonal balance, leading to spotting or changes in menstrual flow. This may manifest as small droplets of blood in underwear or a pink, red, or brown tinge to discharge.

Can a kidney infection cause bleeding like a period?

Women with kidney disease may experience irregular periods, including severe bleeding lasting more than seven days. Kidney infections can impact menstrual patterns due to their effect on overall health.

How many months can you have a period and be pregnant?

During pregnancy, menstruation ceases as the body produces hCG (pregnancy hormone). However, some individuals may experience spotting or light bleeding in early pregnancy, which can be mistaken for a period.

Your Doctors Online uses high-quality and trustworthy sources to ensure content accuracy and reliability. We rely on peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions and medical associations to provide up-to-date and evidence-based information to the users.

  • Potter, Linda S. “Menstrual regulation and the pill.” Regulating menstruation: Beliefs, practices, interpretations (2001): 141-154.
  • Jacobi, Mary Putnam. The question of rest for women during menstruation. GP Putnamʾs Sons, 1877.
  • Critchley, Hilary OD, et al. “Menstruation: science and society.” American journal of obstetrics and gynecology 223.5 (2020): 624-664.
  • Burgio, Kathryn L., et al. “Urinary incontinence in the 12-month postpartum period.” Obstetrics & Gynecology 102.6 (2003): 1291-1298.

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