Most women have a menstrual cycle that lasts between 24 and 38 days. Now, we measure menstrual cycle length from the first day of this month's period to the first day of the next one. While we mentioned the average menstrual cycle length range, most women's cycles last 28 days. Of course, there are ranges of cycles, especially when younger women first start menstruating. But sudden changes in menstrual cycle length, including getting a period twice a month, should not be considered "normal."
In some cases, two menstrual cycles in a 30-day period simply means you have a cycle that’s on the shorter end. Or, it could be a temporary problem, related to stress, quality of sleep, nutritional changes or even the intensity of your exercise program. Typically, however, lifestyle-related concerns lead to fluctuating hormones and missed periods, not shorter cycles.
Instead, some conditions can affect your cycle, meaning you might get your period twice a month. So, if you’re wondering, “why did I get my period twice in one month,” the answer could be more complex. (In fact, it could be a lesser-known sign of uterine fibroids, one we need to highlight during Fibroid Awareness Month. And all year round) So, to help you figure out what’s causing your irregular period, here are four conditions that could trigger two or more monthly menstrual cycles.
Uterine fibroids are non-cancerous tumors that grow in or on your uterus. Still, these growths can cause several unpleasant symptoms, including painful, heavy periods or bleeding between cycles. For that reason, if you get your period twice a month, but also have pelvic pain, heavy cycles or these other fibroid symptoms, uterine growths could be responsible for getting a period twice in one month.
Endometriosis can also cause changes in your menstrual cycle. Sometimes, it’s hard to tell the difference between endometriosis and fibroids, because they cause similar symptoms. But, with endometriosis, your pain develops when uterine tissue forms in other parts of your body. Then, you may notice stomach pain, pelvic pain, heavy periods and bleeding between periods. At that point, it may seem like you’re menstruating more than once a month.
As we mentioned, diagnosis endometriosis is difficult. While your doctor may notice endometrial tissue on an ultrasound, you’ll need a small surgical procedure to get an accurate diagnosis.
When a woman enters menopause, that means she hasn’t had a period for one full year. But, in the months or years leading up to menopause, called perimenopause, your cycle goes through many changes. Some months, you may not have a period at all. (Or your flow could be very light.) At other times, your cycle may shorten, so it seems like you’re menstruating more than once in a 30 day period.
If your thyroid isn’t working properly, this could impact your menstrual cycle. After all, the thyroid gland regulates hormone levels in your body. So, if it’s under or overactive, your hormones will fluctuate and your cycle may change soon afterward.
Similarly, if you suddenly gain weight, your cycle may change. And that’s because weight gain can contribute to changes in your estrogen levels, which could alter when and how your period shows up.
As many women learned during the COVID 19 pandemic, stress and changes in your sleep cycle impact your menstrual cycle. During that time, many women got their period twice a month—or even more often. Fortunately, when stress is a trigger, your body will usually reset once you can relax or adjust to your new normal.
Recently, we learned of another surprising why the pandemic may have affected women's periods. A study in The British Medical Journal revealed that getting vaccinated for COVID can affect your period timing. Specifically, they learned that women's periods started about one day late, on average, after receiving the first dose of a COVID vaccine. Then, if the women received two doses within one menstrual cycle?
Well, the changes magnified. In this case, women's periods began four days late on average. But 13 percent of the women in the study experienced period delays of eight or more days. Meaning, the following month, those women may have experienced a period twice a month, since the delays appeared to be temporary, and most women's cycles returned to normal after one month. Additionally, many women reported having heavier periods after their COVID vaccines, but this study did not examine that reported effect.
As you can tell, so many things can make your period come twice a month. Sometimes, it’s hard to tell what’s causing the trouble on your own. So, how can you know when to worry?
Here’s the deal: you’re the person who best understands your body. For that reason, any cycle change that seems unusual to you is worth mentioning to your doctor. Are you concerned that fibroids could be give you a period twice a month? Reach out to our Houston area fibroid specialists and request an appointment. We’re here to discuss your symptoms and review all your fibroid treatment options.
Please contact our dedicated specialists to schedule a consultation today.
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