Factors that can contribute to irregular or early menstrual periods include excess weight fluctuations, certain illnesses, stress and hormonal issues, according to WebMD. Women who take birth control pills may also experience early or frequent menstrual periods.
Additional factors that can cause a woman's period to come early include benign growths in the uterus, ovarian cysts and infections of the reproductive system, according to Mayo Clinic. In certain cases, menstrual cycles can be regulated by taking birth control pills. It's important for women to schedule regular pelvic examinations to ensure optimal reproductive health.
Generally, the female menstrual cycle ranges between 24 and 35 days, with approximately four to five days of bleeding, according to Healthline. Certain women may experience healthy menstrual cycles that are not within this range. Those who are experiencing irregular menstruation should consult with a physician if symptoms are accompanied by foul-smelling vaginal discharge, severe pain nipple discharge or excessive facial hair growth. Tests to determine potential underlying causes of abnormal menstrual cycles include pregnancy tests, uterine tissue biopsies, blood tests to measure thyroid function and pelvic ultrasound tests. Treatments for irregular menstrual cycles depend on the underlying cause and can include hormone replacement therapy and surgeries to remove polyps or tumors.