You went to the loo and saw that tell-tale spot of blood on your knickers. You got your period. But it’s early! There are a bunch of reasons for an early period – and they’re all pretty normal, so take a deep breath and don’t panic. Check out the top reasons for 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 regimen, this may be the culprit for why your period has come early. Drastic weight gain or weight loss can also seriously change your hormone levels and throw your menstrual cycle off kilter.
2. You’re stressed
Feeling stressed out comes along with a whole bunch of chemical changes in your body and can be a big reason for an early period. Be forewarned. Stress can make your period late, too. 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 – maybe you’re traveling or on holiday – can result in changes in your body’s hormonal regulation. The same goes for sleep. If you’ve recently made drastic changes to your sleep habits, this can affect the hormones that control your menstrual cycle. These fluctuations will right themselves 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 pretty new thing for your body, and it hasn’t quite gotten the hang of them yet. It takes some girls up to a year to get a regular menstrual cycle. Until then, don’t sweat it if your period is a week early or late. Just be sure to have some ALWAYS pads on hand for when those early period symptoms hit.
5. It’s actually spotting
Another reason for an early period is – surprise! - it’s not actually your period. If your period comes early, and is really light, the blood you were surprised to see in your knickers may not be your period at all, but just spotting. Spotting is light pink or brown blood that shows up on the tissue when you wipe, or on your knickers. It’s enough to leave a small stain, but not enough for 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.
What does an early period mean?
Getting your period early usually means your hormones are a little off. Fluctuations in your hormones from month to month are common and typically are nothing to worry about, especially if you’ve just started menstruating.
How to avoid being surprised by early period symptoms
To avoid stained knickers from a surprise period or spotting, a lot of girls wear panty liners 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 surprises you. TAMPAX Pearl Compak, for instance, 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 and forget the panic of having an embarrassing period accident. We call that a win.