Early Periods

Do you find yourself consistently dealing with periods that arrive earlier than expected? If this happens for more than two consecutive cycles and your menstrual cycle is shorter than 28 days, you're not alone. Many factors could be at play, from lifestyle choices to emotional stress, and even age. In this article, we'll dig deeper into why early periods occur and what can be done about it.

What Are Early Periods?

Early periods refer to menstrual cycles that come consistently up to 9 days earlier than the typical 28-day cycle. This pattern is considered significant if it occurs more than twice in succession. The amount of menstrual bleeding can vary—some experience a normal flow, while others might see scant or excessive bleeding.

The Underlying Reasons for Early Periods

When you experience early periods, your lifestyle can often be a significant contributor. For example, excessive physical work and an irregular diet can weaken the Spleen, a key element in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). A weak Spleen may lead to an early period.

Overwork and aging can affect another critical element in TCM, the Kidneys. When the Kidneys are weak, they fail to hold the blood properly, leading to early menstruation.

Diet also plays a crucial role. Consuming hot, spicy foods or being under emotional stress can heat up the blood, affecting your menstrual cycle. Finally, chronic illness, overwork, or even having many children in a short span can lead to deficiencies that cause early periods.

Treatment Options for Different Scenarios

In TCM, early periods are usually categorized under two broad terms: Qi Deficiency and Blood-Heat.

Qi Deficiency

When you have a Qi deficiency, the energy levels in your Spleen or Kidneys are low. Acupuncture and herbal treatments can help boost this energy and regulate your periods.


If your blood is 'hot,' your periods might arrive early because the hot blood pushes out of the vessels. Specific treatments can cool down the blood and regulate your cycle.

Full-Heat vs Empty-Heat

Sometimes, the body can have 'Full-Heat,' often due to factors like emotional stress or diet. This can be balanced with treatments that clear and pacify the body. 'Empty-Heat' usually occurs in older women and is a bit more complicated to treat, requiring more specialized approaches.

Prognosis and Prevention

The good news is that early periods can usually be treated effectively. However, treatment generally requires consistency and may take at least three menstrual cycles to show noticeable results. To keep your menstrual cycle in check, it’s important to get sufficient rest, manage stress, and maintain a balanced diet.

By understanding the factors that contribute to early periods, you can take proactive steps to manage your symptoms. Consult with a healthcare provider for personalized treatment options tailored to your needs.