So, you’ve been to the loo and noticed that tell-tale spot of blood on your underwear – don’t panic. There are many causes of an early period – and they’re all pretty normal, so don’t worry. Check out the top five causes of an early period below:
1. You’ve changed your diet or exercise regime
Diet and exercise affect your hormones, and hormones control your menstrual cycle. If you’ve recently started a new diet or exercise regime, this may be the cause of an early period. Drastic weight gain or weight loss can also seriously change your hormone levels and throw your menstrual cycle off balance.
2. You’re stressed
Feeling stressed comes with a whole lot of chemical changes in your body, and is a common cause for getting your period early. But be aware – stress can also make your period late. It’s just a sign of your body reacting to what’s going on in your life.
3. Your routine has changed
Any major change in your regular schedule (travelling, holidays) can result in changes to how your body regulates hormones. The same goes for sleep. If you’ve recently made drastic changes to your sleep schedule, this can also affect the hormones that control your menstrual cycle and cause your period to come earlier than expected. These fluctuations will balance themselves out as soon as your schedule settles down.
4. Your period isn’t regular yet
If you’ve recently started getting your period, you’re more likely to experience irregular cycles – which might mean you get your period before you were expecting it! That’s because the hormones that control your menstrual cycle are a new thing for your body, and it hasn’t quite got the hang of them yet. It takes some girls up to a year to have a regular menstrual cycle. Until then, don’t worry if your period is a week early or late.
5. It’s actually spotting
Another reason you period is early is that it’s not actually your period. If your period comes early, and is really light, the blood you were surprised to see in your underwear may not be your period at all, but just spotting. Spotting is light pink or brown blood that shows up on the toilet paper when you wipe, or on your knickers. It’s enough to leave a small stain, but not enough to require a tampon or pad. Many women experience spotting during ovulation – the release of an egg from your ovaries – which happens right in the middle of your menstrual cycle, or about two weeks before your period is due. Others experience spotting just before their period comes.
Getting your period early usually means your hormones are a slightly off-balance. Fluctuations in your hormones from month to month are common and are typically nothing to worry about, especially if you’ve only just started menstruating.
To avoid stained underwear from an unexpected period or spotting, a lot of girls wear pantyliners like ALWAYS Dailies Fresh & Protect a few days before they’re scheduled to get their period. This way, if your period is a little early, you’re still protected.
Also, keeping Tampax on hand means you’ll be prepared if your period sneaks up on you. Tampax Pearl Compak are little and easy to stash in your bag. Plus, they use LeakGuard technology to keep you up to 100% leak free. So, next time your period is a week early, you can confidently go about your day without worrying about having an embarrassing period accident. We call that a win.