Early periods: is this normal?

Written by Marion Goilav

Relecture professionnelle

Reviewed by Charline midwife

Relecture professionnelle

Having your period late is distressing, but having it early can be surprising and make you wonder if everything's all right. In this article, we look at the possible causes of early periods and when medical advice may be useful.

Early periods: should you be concerned?

First of all, there's nothing to worry about when your period comes early. In fact, 30% of women will never have a regular period in their lives. If you notice variations in your cycle and your period comes early, don't hesitate to note the dates to see how often this happens. This way, you can tell your gynecologist at your next appointment and get his or her opinion.

Why do my periods come early?

A menstrual cycle that's shorter than usual can have many causes, as the length of your period can vary from month to month. Let's take a look at the most common.

A biological change

Over the course of her life, a woman goes through several biological changes. First of all, at the start of menstruation, periods are often irregular. The amount of hormones released into the body takes a little time to stabilize, which can lead to early or late periods. The menopause also influences the length of the menstrual cycle. Menstruation may be 10 or 15 days early at this time, alternating with very long cycles. Early periods are sometimes a sign of pregnancy, in which case they take the form of small bleeding spurts known as anniversary periods.

A change in morphology or lifestyle

Weight has a strong impact on menstruation. It's not uncommon for periods to become irregular, or even to stop altogether, if you lose a lot of weight. Sport can also be a factor. Physical exercise releases a host of hormones, including endorphins and dopamine, which can influence the cycle. A disruption in routine, such as a trip, can also upset menstruation, because the biological clock is out of sync.

A major source of stress

Stress causes chemical changes in the body, again through hormones. Cortisol, for example, can interrupt the secretion of reproductive hormones, thus disrupting the menstrual cycle. Note that stress can cause both early and late periods.

A chronic disorder or infection

Finally, early periods can be a sign of an STI (Sexually Transmitted Infection), or of illnesses such as ovarian cysts or tumors. That's why you shouldn't hesitate to ask your doctor's advice at your annual check-ups. If any other symptoms are present, consult your doctor immediately.

How can you tell early periods from spottings?

Outside the menstrual period, it's common to experience a small discharge called spotting. These are often brown, as the blood is present in small quantities and takes a long time to evacuate, stagnating in the vagina. It then comes into contact with air and oxidizes. Spotting generally lasts 1 or 2 days, unlike an early period, which lasts as long as a normal period.

If spotting is frequent and you're not using hormonal contraception, you may be suffering from a hormonal imbalance (in the sense of a progesterone deficiency). If this is a frequent occurrence, it may be worth discussing it with specialists in cycle disorders general practitioner, gynecologist or midwife. In some cases, dieticians, nutritionists or even naturopaths can also help.

Can I get my period early on the pill?

Periods on the pill are not "real" periods. This is because the pill contains hormones, and when you stop taking it for a few days, you experience withdrawal bleeding. The body no longer receives the usual hormones, and this causes blood loss. Early "periods" on the pill can occur if the pill is not taken regularly. In this case, withdrawal bleeding occurs earlier than expected.

Women with very irregular cycles may be prescribed the pill to remedy this problem.

How can I prevent early periods?

If you're prone to early periods, you can use external protection a few days before the "usual" start of your period. A panty liner, for example, will spare your underwear, but it's not necessarily advisable to wear them too often during the month. Menstrual panties are ideal. They're comfortable and, above all, very practical to use, just like conventional underwear. At Elia, we offer many different models to suit your needs. Light flow panties are ideal for this situation.

Early periods aren't always pleasant, but they're not serious and can have a variety of causes. To avoid unpleasant surprises, trust Elia panties.

FAQ about early periods

Is it possible to have your period 10 days early?

Yes, it's perfectly possible, especially for women approaching menopause. Hormonal imbalances can cause periods to arrive 10 or even 15 days late.

What causes early periods?

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