Very light period should alarm you, because in most cases there’s a serious health problem that stands behind it. However, it doesn`t mean that scanty menstruation is always a pathology. For example, it can be the first symptom of the ‘interesting condition’, i.e. pregnancy. Side effects of the hormonal contraception can also cause scanty menses. Here we will try to give theoretical answers to main questions about light periods, their causes and consequences. Only your gynecologist can determine the true cause of this unusual symptom on practice.
Normal menstrual bleeding lasts for 3-7 days. During this period 50-150 ml of bloody discharge are excreted. Sometimes throughout menstrual cycle some disorders develop, and scanty periods are the most widespread among them. In such a case the blood loss is approximately 30-50 ml.
Scanty period is characterized by a decreased amount of menstrual discharge that looks more like spotting than bleeding. Its color may be light, or, on the contrary, dark brown. Usually there are no accompanying symptoms, but depending on the trigger of scanty period, a woman may experience nausea, headache, pelvic pain, lightheadedness, etc.
Possible Causes of Scanty Periods
Light period means that menstruation is either very scanty, or lasts just one-two days. Sometimes less bleeding during menses is passed genetically. In such a case you may find out that your relatives, for example, a mother or a sister, also have the same light blood flow in every cycle and it`s normal. Moreover, women with such scanty periods are not infertile, they also have problem-free pregnancies and give birthto healthy babies. However, it is better to consult a doctor before trying to conceive, as there are other possible causes of very light periods, either joyful or unpleasant, for example:
If your period was delayed and finally turned out scanty, seek additional symptoms, which are common for successful conception. If there were such pregnancy signs, as morningsickness, breast tenderness, mild abdominal cramping, frequent urination, taste changes and a rise in basal body temperature, do a pregnancy test. Remember, that it can show the false-negative result in case the level of chorionic gonadotropin (pregnancy hormone) is too low to be detected. If you feel pregnancy-like symptoms even after your light period, try to take one more home urine test or do a laboratory blood test.
- Hormonal contraception.
Both oral contraceptives and intrauterine devices (IUD) decrease such period characteristics as its abundance and duration greatly. That is exactly the reason why light period may appear. Besides, with the intrauterine spiral menstruation can cease completely. This symptom may lead to grave consequences, so if your period is missed and you are not pregnant for sure, don`t delay calling your doctor.
- Chronic endometritis.
Long-term usage of the intrauterine device, abortions or other surgical interventions into the uterine cavity may trigger various infections. In such a case a woman has strong pelvic pains, her body temperature increases greatly. If this condition isn`t treated properly and timely, its acute form turns into chronic. Scanty brown discharge instead of a normal period and spotting between periods are the most common symptoms of endometritis.
- Hypomenstrual syndrome (hypomenorrhea).
If periods occur more rarely than once in 35 days, are scanty and a woman is in child-bearing age, she may be dealing with infertility symptoms. Temporary disorders according to the type of hypomenstrual syndrome may occur due to stress, overworking, severe diseases or inflammatory processes, etc. If hypomenstrual syndrome is long-term, it’s associated with serious hormonal disorders, affecting any level of neuroendocrine system, responsible for the childbearing function.
Strict diets when organism lacks such indispensable nutrients, as vitamins and microelements, may also cause scanty periods. Moreover, low body fat also leads to unpleasant consequences, for example, to the total absence of menstrual bleeding, known as amenorrhea.
Is Scanty Period Always Associated with Gynecological Conditions?
If your menstruation is extremely scanty, it’s not necessarily a symptom of disease or abnormality. In some women this is a way in which the organism is adjusting to new conditions, internal or external ones. It is a well-known fact, that missed or light period, for example, can be experienced after a great stress or during trips.
In case of repeated scanty periods you may need to consult the highly qualified endocrinologist. Thyroid disorders, for instance, can also cause light menstruations. Gynecologist in his turn will advise you to pass the test for hormone levels and to do the ultrasound. Pelvic examination is also needed, as it shows cervical abnormalities and symptoms of inflammations.
What to Do if Your Period Suddenly Turns Very Scanty?
- If you are sexually active, do a pregnancy test.
- Consult your gynecologist in case the pregnancy test is positive, and if it is negative, but suspect symptoms continue to appear.
- Make sure you lead an active lifestyle, go outside for a walk every day.
- Avoid overworking and stresses, do not follow crash diets.
- Make 15-minute feet baths with water temperature 30-42 degrees Celsius 8 days before the expected date of period.
- Aromatherapy with oils of juniper and marjoram also stimulates hormone production.
Very light period may occur in puberty while the menstrual cycle is still establishing or before the menopause when child-bearing function is going out. The endometrium lining during such periods doesn`t develop as usually and ovulation is irregular. This happens due to the lack of sex hormone estrogens. If you have encountered this problem in childbearing age, consult your gynecologist. It is the best way to eliminate all your worries and to find out the true cause of your symptoms.