The menstrual cycle is a normal process that happens in a woman’s reproductive system. This cycle is defined as a series of changes that a woman’s body undergoes as it prepares for a possible pregnancy. This cycle includes the thickening of the lining in the uterus (endometrium) that enables it to hold a fertilized egg. This, however, happens only once a month or once in every 28 days. Nevertheless, if there isn’t any fertilized egg to start a pregnancy, then the lining of the uterus will eventually shed off. This is the reason why women are able to experience their monthly menstrual bleeding, which is otherwise known as menstruation or the menstrual period. This cycle or menstruation usually begins during the early years of puberty or in the early teens up to the average age of 50. The end of the menstrual period is called the menopause. Unfortunately, there are also a lot of problems that can occur from this particular cycle. Some women are said to experience two menstrual periods in just one month. But is this even possible? Can you get your period twice in one month?
The Menstrual Cycle
The entire cycle is normally 28 days in duration. This is measured from the first day of the menstrual bleeding (day 1) to the 1st day of the next menstrual bleeding or cycle. However, the standard 28 day cycle actually only occurs to approximately 15% of all menstruating women. Below are some of the other facts about the menstrual cycle.
- The menstrual cycle in teenagers or adolescents usually starts long (as long as 45 days) however, as years pass by, this duration tends to shorten.
- It is in between the ages 25 to 35 wherein the menstrual cycle of most women is regular lasting between 21 to 35 days.
- As women reach the age of 40 to 42, most of them will experience short and irregular cycles. This will then be followed by 8 to 10 years of long and unpredictable cycles until it reaches menopause.
Three Stages or Phases of the Menstrual Cycle
There are actually three phases or stages in the woman’s menstrual cycle. These stages are usually triggered by the changes in the hormones of women. The first part of the menstrual cycle starts with the shedding of the endometrium or the thickened lining of the uterus. This is the menstrual bleeding from the vagina. This period usually last from 4 to 6 days; however, most of the blood loss occurs during the first three days. This is also the period where symptoms like cramping at the pelvis, legs and back portions are experienced. Cramps can range from mild to very severe. This cramping is the result from the contraction of the uterus that helps in shedding the endometrium.
The first phase is called the follicular phase. During this stage of the cycle, the egg follicle on the ovary gets ready to release an egg. Usually, only one egg is released in one cycle. This process can be short or it can also be long, which greatly affects the length of the entire cycle. In addition to this, the uterus will also start to grow a new endometrium to prepare for any pregnancy. As we can see, the last 5 days of the follicular phase in addition to the ovulation day are the fertile window of the cycle. This is when the woman will most likely to become pregnant when there is no use of any birth control.
The Luteal phase proceeds the follicular phase. This stage is also called the premenstrual phase of the cycle. This stage starts on the ovulation day or the day when the egg is released from the egg follicle of the ovary. This can happen any time between the 7th to the 22nd day of the normal cycle of menstruation. During ovulation, some women can experience less than a day of red spotting or even lover pelvic pain or discomfort, which is medically known as mittelschmerz. However, these are considered expected and normal signs or indications of ovulation. Once the egg is fertilized by a sperm, it will then start to implant to the endometrium and can be the start of pregnancy. However, if the egg is not fertilized or does not implant, then the endometrium will now begin to break down. The luteal phase usually last from 13 to 15 days from the ovulation to the start of menstrual bleeding of a new cycle. It is during the premenstrual period where most women can experience different symptoms. Some women can become tense, irritated, annoyed, angry and even emotional during this period. Some can also feel nauseated or dizzy and can also experience headaches, constipation and/or diarrhea.
The third stage is considered the menstrual bleeding period or the period of endometrium shedding.
Possibility of Two Menstrual Periods in One Month
As discussed earlier, the duration of an entire menstrual cycle last for approximately 28 days. This means that a cycle usually takes place once in every month. This also implies that menstrual bleeding is only expected to happen once month. However, it is still possible for women to have their menstrual bleeding twice in one month. This can occur when the first menstruation occurs early in the month and the start of the next menstruation happens at the end of the same month. Let us say that the menstrual period of a woman started exactly on July 1; then we could clearly see that it is possible for the next cycle or menstrual bleeding to happen on the last days of the same month, maybe on July 28, 29 or even 30. Because of this, it is possible for women to have 2 menstrual periods in the same month. However, if the bleeding already happens frequently in one month (3 or more), then this could already indicate a problem with the reproductive system of the woman. This condition is medically known as metrorrhagia or the occurrence of frequent menstrual period. This can be caused by a lot of factors such as diseases and even ovarian cysts. This is why it is very important to immediately consult the doctor or the attending OB-GYNE of the patient in order for fast and proper interventions to be facilitated.