ZocdocAnswersWhat causes periods to arrive early?

Question

What causes periods to arrive early?

I'm a middle-aged woman, and my periods are usually very regular. But this month, my period came almost a week and a half early. What does it mean when a period is this early? Is it a sign of some kind of trouble?

Answer

When women experience a sudden change in the regularity of their cycle, ti can be a source of anxiety and worry. The best thing to do if you are concerned is bring the issue up with your primary care physician or OBGYN at your next visit. Knowing your past medical history is essential to being able to sort out the possible causes of having a period early. The most common reason women (who are typically regular) have an early period is something called anovulation period. What happens is mid month when your ovary fails is to deposit an egg into you fallopian tubes. This subsequently results in failure to produce a normal gland called the corpus luteum. This gland is responsible for producing the hormone progesterone which is around for the last 14 days of your cycle. After those 2 weeks, the corpus luteum degenerates, progesterone levels decrease, and your period starts. Therefore, without the corpus luteum around, you will start your cycle shortly after when ovulation should have started (about 1.5-2 weeks early). These types of periods are most common very early in a women's life, but they can occur later as well. Only your doctor will be able to tell if this early period was something that needs looked at further. Good luck.

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