Women commonly experience menstrual bleeding once per month, lasting for four to seven days. However, several reasons can lead to period disorders. This includes painful or irregular periods, early or delayed periods, period blood not coming out correctly, period lighter than usual, and even multiple periods a month. While occasional changes in the menstrual cycle are not unusual, frequently experiencing two or three periods in a month may indicate an underlying medical issue.
Menstrual cycle varies from woman to woman, it is still essential to consider causes that may lead to period disorders, especially multiple periods in a month. Here, we explore the causes of multiple periods in a month, discuss its associated problems and the available treatment options.
Causes of multiple periods per month
Period disorders can be a result of several pathological or physiological reasons. Pathological reasons are usually a result of some underlying medical issue than physiological reasons resulting from environmental factors.
Often, due to lifestyle changes such as diet, sleeping routine, or work environment, there can be fluctuations in the state of the rest of the body. As a result, periods disorder may occur.
Stress is a significant trigger for abnormalities in periods. Due to stress, the women's hormonal cycle can fluctuate greatly, resulting in multiple periods a month or more frequent periods.
Birth control pills
Birth control pills are one of those medications that affect the menstrual cycle. Birth control pills contain several hormones, especially progesterone, one of the main hormones that regulate the menstrual cycle in women. However, due to birth control pills, the hormones can fluctuate, resulting in period disorders. It may result in painful or irregular periods as well.
Imbalance in the hormonal secretions may result in period disorders as well. The primary hormones contributing to having a period three times a month include female sex hormones such as estrogen, progesterone, Luteinizing Hormone (LH), and Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH). Other than these, higher testosterone levels can also result in period 3 times in one month. Furthermore, anomalies in Thyroid levels may result in irregular periods as well.
PolyCystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS):
PCOS is a common disorder in women during their fertile years due to excessive production of certain hormones that causes multiple cysts within the ovaries. As a result, there is hormonal disturbance and physiological changes in the ovaries that result in numerous periods in a month.
When to see a doctor
Often, period disorders, even 3 periods in a month, are typical as long as it happens occasionally. However, other symptoms must be looked out for, even if this happens. The following symptoms shouldn't be ignored:
- Low blood pressure
- Painful sex
- Undefined weight loss or gain
- Pelvic pain
- Anemia as a result of heavy bleeding
Period 3 times in a month, along with these weird period symptoms, is a definite sign to seek medical help.
Diagnosing period disorder
A medical professional is supposed to perform a variety of investigations to make a diagnosis based on the signs and symptoms. The specific kinds of examination that may be performed as discussed in the following section:
Assessment of symptoms
The preliminary step in diagnosing a period disorder includes a complete assessment of your symptoms by a medical professional. The doctor needs to assess the complete history of the menstrual cycle to figure out the anomaly.
The physical examination is crucial to rule out inflammation in the vagina or the cervix. For this, a Pap smear test should be performed as there could be a severe underlying disorder such as cancer. Later, a physical exam, if required, may also be conducted.
Blood tests must be performed along with the physical examination and assessing the symptoms. Blood tests are crucial to rule out the possibility of hormonal imbalance.
The treatment of multiple periods in a month depends on the underlying cause. It may begin from treating the weird period symptoms, then ruling out the cause of multiple periods per month, and finally, treating the root cause. Therefore, after a diagnosis is made, the treatment starts.
The treatment may include the following:
Dietary modifications are an integral part of treating period disorders. Stress eating, as well as poor dietary choices in general, need to be rectified. A balanced diet with varied nutrients should be taken. It will help reduce inflammation in the cervix and help prevent excessive weight gain that can cause insulin resistance and consequently period disorders.
Exercise is proven to have a significant effect on regulating mood and reducing stress. It also helps maintain weight which in return prevents PCOS and insulin resistance.
Hormone therapy is becoming increasingly popular to treat hormonal disorders that help correct the issue of multiple periods. However, specific issues have been observed because of hormonal therapy, which includes weight gain, mood flips, and in extreme cases, early menopause.
Several drugs can help treat the weird period symptoms and rectify the problem. For symptomatic treatment, the primary concern, in most cases, is to prevent pain for which over-the-counter drugs such as Acetaminophen, Ibuprofen and Naproxen can be prescribed. Likewise, taking iron supplements may also be advised. In some cases, Metformin helps treat PCOS as well; hence, it is often prescribed in case of irregular periods. Lastly, in the case of hypothyroidism, Thyroxine can be prescribed as well.
Surgical intervention often becomes necessary if the period disorder is due to uterine fibroids or endometriosis. For Fibroids, the affected part of the uterus and the fibroid are excised. For endometriosis, the unnecessary tissues are removed. If that is not a possible option, a complete hysterectomy is done.
All in all, more frequent periods than usual can be uncomfortable for women and can disrupt their daily activities and deteriorate the quality of their life. Thus, it is inevitable to seek professional medical help. If you are experiencing multiple periods a month, you can schedule an appointment with one of the doctors from our website to rule out the cause and treat it accordingly.