Except for very unusual cases, having two menstrual periods in one month could be a sign of a serious medical condition that needs to be seen by a specialist.
Menstrual periods generally last from three to six days, and come in cycles of 21 to 35 days. Every woman’s is different, and of course, these standards can vary by a few days every month.
They can even come sooner, or later, than previous periods.
Sometimes you can have two menstrual periods in one month, and it’s important that you get to know any possible symptoms, and what to do, if this is happening to you.
What are the symptoms?
You might notice a few abnormalities in your normal menstrual cycle, along with light spotting, that could make you suspect that you will have two menstrual periods in one month.
First you need to determine whether it truly is a second period. Check to see if you are bleeding through a pad or tampon within a few hours.
If so, it should be bright red in color. It’s important that you take note of this, because sometimes women experience spotting when they’re in the first trimester of pregnancy.
What could cause two menstrual periods?
It’s not uncommon for adult women to have cycles from 21 to 35 days, and during adolescence these cycles could be from 21 to 45 days.
It’s important that you take note of your menstrual cycles so that you know what is a normal interval for your body.
If this interval suddenly gets shorter for no apparent reason, it could be caused by any of the following reasons:
- Beginning menopause
- Uterine fibroids
- Extreme weight loss or gain
- Birth control
It’s normal for some of these conditions to cause confusion. Miscarriages can also be caused by intense hemorrhaging.
That’s why if you suspect that you are pregnant, and you notice bleeding similar to that of a menstrual period, see a doctor immediately.
What are the risk factors?
If you have a family history of fibromas, cysts, or early menopause, you may be at a greater risk of having two menstrual periods within one month.
Consider getting a doctor’s appointment if:
- You experience pelvic pain that lasts longer than a few days.
- You have extremely heavy periods.
- You experience spotting between periods, which could be confused with a second period.
- You urinate frequently.
- You have pain during sexual relations.
- You have more menstrual cramps than normal.
- You notice dark clots during your period.
Could there be complications?
If you generally have regular cycles, a change in your cycle or suddenly having two periods in one month could be a sign of a medical condition.
In some cases, having two menstrual periods in a short amount of time could cause anemia. That’s why your doctor may have to review your iron levels, along with other tests to determine the cause of bleeding.
Anemia can cause symptoms like fatigue, headaches, weakness, dizziness, and even irregular heart beats.
What treatments should I follow?
Your treatment will depend on what’s causing your two menstrual periods. This is something that only your doctor can prescribe.
If your cycles are naturally shorter, or if you have recently started menstruating, you likely won’t need any kind of treatment.
It’s likely that your doctor will prescribe you an iron supplement, in the event of any possible anemia.
If you think your periods come too frequently, speak with your doctor about the possibility of taking contraceptives. This could help regulate your periods, along with the anemia that could be caused by heavy bleeding.
What should I tell my doctor?
Your doctor will probably ask you questions about your symptoms, and that’s why it’s important that you prepare for your appointment.
This could make it easier for your doctor to find the appropriate treatment as soon as possible. Here are a few questions your doctor could ask you:
- How long do your cycles generally last?
- When did you notice the frequency of your cycles change?
- How long do you bleed?
- How heavy are your periods?
- How quickly do you fill a pad?
- Is there clotting? If so…how large?
- Do you have any other symptoms?
Start counting on the first day you bleed to record how long your cycle is. Your cycle will end when you start to bleed again the next month.
Currently there are a lot of phone apps that can help track your cycle.
If you generally have a history of irregular periods, these will definitely help you identify the problem faster, making it much easier to share your information with your doctor.
Remember to work with your doctor to regulate your menstrual cycle and to balance your hormone levels. When hormones are off, it can greatly affect your mood, and it can even cause unexplained depression.
Changes in your menstrual cycle could be a sign of a health problem. It’s always important to talk about abnormal bleeding with your doctor. Do not take this lightly.