Comparing yourself to others can be a foolish endeavor because you are your own (beautiful) person. The same goes for your menstrual cycle; we’re all unique, after all.
If you experience an irregular period you are not alone. Studies show that 30% of women experience irregular periods. One example of an irregularity in your cycle is having multiple periods in a single month.
Spotting vs. Menstrual Bleeding
If you think you’re experiencing multiple periods it’s crucial to figure out if you’re actually bleeding (having your period) or spotting, which is very common and may occur after 3-5 days of your regular period.
If you’re having a period, you should expect more blood, and to soak through your pad or tampon every few hours. Period blood will also typically be bright red at the beginning of your cycle (although this can vary). If you’re spotting, you won’t bleed enough to fill a pad or tampon and the blood from spotting is usually dark red or brown.
Some Reasons for Multiple Periods
If you are experiencing multiple periods, it may be due to the length of your cycle. When menstrual cycles are typically shorter, you could have your period at the beginning and end of the month.
If your period suddenly gets shorter (and you experience multiple periods) it could be due to a variety of factors including those also attributed to missing a period: stress, medication, weight loss, fibroids, hyperthyroidism or hypothyroidism.
When is it a Problem?
Having what appear to be multiple periods could be a symptom of a medical condition such as an STI, which can cause discharge and bleeding, pregnancy, which can cause spotting, or miscarriage. Excessive bleeding could also signal anemia.
If you are concerned about any irregularities in your cycle, it is best to speak with your doctor asap.