Too scanty periods with dark-brown spotting are referred to as hypomenorrhea. It may be physiological at the point when the cycle is just being established, when it is coming closer to climax or is influenced by the intake of hormonal contraceptive drugs. Pathological causes, that induce hypomenorrhea, include congenital development disorders and acquired diseases, such as cervical cicatrices, adhesions in the uterine cavity, hormonal disruptions.
Menstrual cycle is an important basis of the female reproductive function. Any disorder of the cycle, including reduction of bloody discharge during periods, may be indicative to certain gynecological diseases. There is a number of causes for scanty periods in the form of brown spotting. These causes are in their turn classified into physiological and pathological, as well as pubertal, premenopausal and other.
Normal conditions, accompanied by hypomenorrhea (scanty period)
Reduction ofbloody discharge to less than 35ml may be observed due to such physiological conditions as establishment of the cycle or decline of the reproductive function. In other words, hypomenorrhea may normally be observed within a year after the first period (menarche) and about a year prior to the menopause.
Such a nature of brown menstrual spotting is not threatening and does not require any medical correction. In some cases gynecologists may recommend the patient to pay special attention to her diet, using food, richer in vitamins and proteins. Women in premenopausal period can choose to artificially maintain their regular hormonal profile, by using certain products (such as soya or yam) or by taking special drugs.
At fertile age (favorable for fertilization) decrease of menstrual blood can be normal at the setting of hormonal contraceptives, which precipitate anovulatory cycles and affect the secretory (the one where it grows) phase of endometrium.
Pathological very light periods
We distinguish between two major categories of factors, inducing very light periods:
- Congenital anomalies;
- Acquired diseases.
The first group includes – genetic X trisomy anomaly (inappropriate number of sex chromosomes – 3 X chromosomes instead of 2), synechias (adhesions) in the uterine cavity, stenosis (contruction) of the cervical os. The first two conditions are accompanied by endometrial disorders, that is to say, reduction of the dimensions that influence the periods. The last condition – stenosis, appears in the form of a mechanical obstruction for the menstrual blood flow due to the blockage of the cervical canal.
Development anomalies may be corrected surgically, but unfortunately, correction is not applicable to congenital trisomy.
Acquired diseases – causes of very light brown spotting instead of periods
Periods can become scanty due to direct affection of the endometrial lining and its inability of proliferation, while preparing to pregnancy, and further “drop off” during a period; or due to technical impossibility of the blood’s discharge from the uterine cavity.
The above mentioned cervical stenosis is perhaps the last possible cause, which has a cicatrical nature. Chronic inflammation or previous surgical intervention may lead to excessive number of connective tissues and contraction of the cervical canal. There is no specific preventive means against this pathology. The only thing that can be done is protecting oneself from inflammations, induced by sexually transmitted infections, treating the revealed diseases in a timely manner, using birth control pills to prevent undesired pregnancy and to exclude abortions.
The same factors (inflammation, medical manipulations) can induce appearance of adhesions in the uterine cavity, while the mechanism of menstrual cycle disorders is not very different in nature – periods become scanty due to local atrophy of the endometrial lining. Whatever is the cause, preventive means against this situation are the same as in the case of stenosis.
Hypogonadotrophic cause for scanty periods with dark-brown blood is also common in our times. Deficiency of this hormone can be caused by permanent stress (nervous exhaustion) and critical weight loss. Detrimental lifestyle, including blind adherence to unreal regimen, imposed by the fashion industry, is fraught with disruption of endocrine balance, and consequently, decrease of menstrual blood.
It is hard to advise how to avoid stressful situations, but maintaining normal weight is possible through adhering to body mass index (BMI). It is equal to weight (kg) divided by height (m2). Values between 18,5 – 25 are considered a norm.
Reoccurrence of the symptom in the form of brown spotting instead of a period requires visiting a doctor, since it can indicate to various disorders of the woman’s health.