If you are experiencing a very light menstrual flow or the duration has reduced, you may be having a scanty period. Though it is normal for the color and flow of your periods to vary, but if these conditions are followed by symptoms like nausea, headache, vomiting, severe pelvic pain or a feeling of lightheadedness, you need to consult your doctor. So, are you wondering “Why is my period so light?” Read on to find out the various possibilities.
Why Is My Period So Light?
Though a light period should not alarm you significantly, it does have an underlying cause, which needs to be investigated. Here, we present the main possible causes:
A light period could be passed down in your family. Your mother, sister or any female relatives might encounter it once. If you have a light period, it does not mean that you are infertile. In fact, many women with a scanty blood flow are able to have normal deliveries. However, consult your doctor before trying to conceive.
If you have signs, like morning sickness, nausea, increased urination, abdominal cramping, tender breasts, accompanying your mild periods, you need to do a pregnancy test. Sometimes due to low levels of your pregnancy hormones, hCG (Human chorionic gonadotropin), you would get a false negative result. But if your symptoms persist, repeat your tests or perform a laboratory-based blood examination for confirmation.
3. Hormonal Changes
Several hormonal changes affect your reproductive tract and result in light discharges. One of the major factors could be that you may be entering your perimenopause or menopause. In perimenopause, the time between two periods increases and the bleeding becomes light. In menopause, your menses could be delayed and you may not have any periods for many months, or may notice light spotting until your period stops completely. Even birth control pills, especially those with hormonal medications, can delay or reduce your menstrual flow.
High physical or emotional stress could lead to disturbed periods. In extreme stress conditions, your body produces high levels of the stress hormone, cortisol. This increased cortisol level affects the production of the luteinizing hormone, which is responsible for a regular menstrual cycle. If your stress levels rise considerably and your periods can stop temporarily, then a condition known as secondary amenorrhea occurs. You should try to reduce your stress by listening to music, having vacations or even getting into therapies.
5. Eating Disorders
If you are suffering from eating disorders, like anorexia nervosa, you are bound to notice light periods. Since you are not eating enough, your body tries to compensate the loss of nutrients and reduces your blood flow. It is interesting to know that most of the feminine hormones are derivatives of sterols, a form of fat. Less body fat directly decreases the hormonal production, which in turn affects your periods. Athletes are at a higher risk, especially if they indulge in anabolic steroids to enhance their performance on the field.
Are you wondering “why is my period so light?” You may be suffering from hypomenorrhea causing your menstrual bleeding below average. This may cause no worries but can indicate ongoing problems which should be solved. Its causes include stress, overworking, certain hormonal disorders, inflammatory diseases or genetic predisposition. Find your cause and determine if it needs treatments.
7. Chronic Endometritis
If you have been using an intrauterine device, had abortions or some uterine surgeries, you could suffer from bacterial infections in your endometrium. These infections lead to pelvic pain, high fever or abnormal vaginal discharge. It can turn chronic very easily if left untreated for a long time. You may experience a brownish discharge or mild spotting between your menses.
8. Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)
PCOS occurs when very small cysts forms in your ovaries. These cysts are filled with fluid and are generally harmless; however, they could lead to hormonal imbalances. PCOS can reduce the menstrual flow or can completely stop it. In this condition, ovulation does not occur as in the case of a normal woman and even higher amounts of the male hormone, testosterone, are noticed. Besides light periods, this leads to acne and thicker facial and body hair.
9. Other Medical Conditions
If you do not fall under any of the above conditions and are still wondering “Why is my period so light?” then the answer lies in your medical history.
- Several conditions, like thyroid disorders, can affect the menses or cause an early menopause.
- Autoimmune diseases can affect your cycle. For example, Graves’ disease causes your thyroid glands to produce higher amounts of thyroid hormone, leading to a decrease in menstrual blood flow, fatigue, weakness, irritability and vision problems.
- Asherman’s syndrome may also result in light periods.
Note: A light period can be normal with no underlying cause for concern. However, if you notice some symptoms accompanying a reduced blood flow, you are excessively worried about “Why is my period so light?” or your periods stop over time, you need to consult a good endocrinologist for determining the cause and start treatment.