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What Causes Frequent Periods?

Nicole Madison
Updated Mar 03, 2024
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There are many reasons a woman may have frequent periods. Among them are such things as hormonal imbalances, stress, extreme diets, exercise, and side effects of birth control. A woman may also experience more periods than normal in relation to cysts that form on her ovaries and menopause. Even sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) may cause a woman to experience more periods.

Among the most common causes of frequent periods are hormonal imbalances. For example, a hormonal imbalance may cause a woman to ovulate more frequently than usual. In turn, this more frequent ovulation often results in periods that come earlier and more often. Some women may also experience spotting as a result of imbalanced hormones. Spotting, however, is not considered a true menstrual period.

Extreme changes in a woman's diet may affect the way the body functions as well as the production of hormones that cause ovulation and menstruation. As a result, a woman may have periods more frequently than usual. She may also experience more frequent menstrual periods because of extreme changes in the amount of exercise she does. It is worth noting that diet and exercise may also make a woman menstruate less frequently. For example, if woman dramatically reduces her caloric intake or engages in excessive exercise, she may cease to menstruate on a regular basis.

Approaching menopause may also contribute to frequent periods. As a woman gets closer to menopause, hormonal changes may cause her to ovulate more frequently. Since she is ovulating more frequently, she may also have menstrual periods that occur closer together. Some people theorize that more frequent periods are the body’s way of making it easier for a woman to get pregnant before menopause.

Certain medical conditions are also among the causes of frequent periods or at least vaginal bleeding that resembles a period. For example, if a woman has a cyst that grows on an ovary, it may eventually grow large enough to cause frequent bleeding from the vagina. Some STDs may also contribute to frequent periods. Additionally, pelvic inflammatory disease, which may develop as a complication of an STD, may cause abnormal bleeding as well.

Stress may also contribute to frequent menstruation. A woman who is dealing with a good deal of stress and anxiety may notice that her periods come more frequently and may experience bleeding between periods as well. The opposite may also occur, however, and a woman may instead experience fewer periods as a result of stress.

The Health Board is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Nicole Madison
By Nicole Madison , Writer
Nicole Madison's love for learning inspires her work as a The Health Board writer, where she focuses on topics like homeschooling, parenting, health, science, and business. Her passion for knowledge is evident in the well-researched and informative articles she authors. As a mother of four, Nicole balances work with quality family time activities such as reading, camping, and beach trips.

Discussion Comments

By anon313295 — On Jan 11, 2013

I eat a lot of vegetables. Could that be the reason for my frequent menstruation?

By pastanaga — On Dec 20, 2012

It's a good idea to take advantage of those sites which will allow you to track your periods, or at the very least, note down when they begin and end on your calendar. Sometimes it's difficult to see a pattern unless you're doing this.

It wasn't until I started doing this that I realized mine were further apart than usual and slightly irregular as well. It was really good information to have when I went to see the doctor and it did turn out to be a hormonal imbalance.

It's information that comes in handy in all kinds of way, even if you don't have irregular periods, so it's definitely worth doing.

By Fa5t3r — On Dec 20, 2012

@croydon - I've noticed that if I'm really stressed it will bring my period on sooner, so it might have been something like that which was affecting your friend.

I know when my mother was going through menopause she had much more frequent and heavier periods which were really annoying her. She was actually quite glad when they stopped altogether.

By croydon — On Dec 19, 2012

You can never tell how your periods are going to react to the stress you put your body under. I had a friend in high school who had been sexually abused when she was younger. She had developed some serious eating disorders as a result.

Usually when a woman is as thin as she was, they lose their periods altogether. But she told me she was having periods for three weeks out of the month. And she thought it might have been because when she had her period, her abuser would leave her alone. I don't know if her body knew that or if it was just her reaction to stress in general though.

She did get the help she needed and is much happier now than she was.

Nicole Madison

Nicole Madison


Nicole Madison's love for learning inspires her work as a The Health Board writer, where she focuses on topics like...
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