Reasons For Light Periods: Causes Of Light Menstrual Periods

A woman during her reproductive years faces many irregularities in her menstrual cycle. Heavy bleeding, irregular periods, or light menstrual periods are few of them. In light menstrual period there is less flow of blood than usual and often the duration of menstruation is short.

Of course, the period of menstrual cycle may not be same for every woman. Generally menstruation occurs after every 28 days and the flow remains for 4 to 5 days. In light periods, the flow may be for a day or two and that too it may be very scanty.

Young girls during their puberty years may have light periods; most often the cause is hormonal changes. However, adult women can also have light periods.

What Are The Reasons For Light Periods?

It may be normal for a woman to experience one or two cycles of light periods, however if it is regular happening, then she has to consult her gynecologist. There are several reasons for light periods; internal as well as external. Some common reasons for light periods are listed below.

  • Hormone imbalance: estrogen, predominantly a female hormone a necessary to build a thick inner lining of the uterus in anticipation for a fertilized egg to get embedded on the walls of the uterus. However, when there is low level of estrogen hormone, the inner lining of the womb is thin which causes scanty and light flow of menstrual blood. Correcting estrogen level will result into normal menstrual flow.
  • Stress: stress can have adverse effect on your periods. When you are under stress, especially before and during menses you may experience light periods. The reason is; stressful condition makes your blood to flow to other vital organs such as heart, brain, lungs etc. ¬†Once you are out of the stressful situation, your menses becomes regular.
  • Rigorous exercise: if you training for athletic competition or if you are doing rigorous exercise workout, your periods may be light and delayed.
    Once you stop doing rigorous exercise, your menstruation will return to normal.

What Causes Light Menstrual Periods?

  • Thyroid disease: thyroid secretes thyroid hormone T4, T3 and calcitonin. If the secretion is less for any reason, the pituitary gland in the brain releases excess of thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) to stimulate the thyroid for release of T3 and T4. When this occurs, you may experience light periods. Thyroid hormone supplementation corrects your menses cycle.
  • Birth control pills: often a women experiences light period after taking birth control pills. This is because; the pill contains estrogen and progesterone or progesterone hormones that bring changes in your body. This affects the lining of the wall of the uterus and results in less flow of blood. It may shorten the duration of menstrual days.
  • Pregnancy: light period may be earliest sign of pregnancy in some women. When the fertilized egg gets embedded on the wall of the uterus, there is mild bleeding during that period which may be manifested in the form of spotting or light periods. There may be other associated symptoms of early pregnancy such as morning sickness. Urine pregnancy test may be helpful to confirm pregnancy if you are suspecting it to be the cause.
  • Other reason: women and young girls who eat less to lose weight can be deficient in certain vital nutrients and minerals as well as hormones. This can results into light periods. Anemia is also one of the common reasons for light periods. Correcting anemia and life style can reverse the condition.

8 comments


  1. Geline

    I am 30 years old and I always had regular and satisfactory menstrual flow, but for some months now it has changed. It doesn’t flow for more than two days and I may not even use more than two pads for the two days. I am afraid that something may be wrong with me. I consulted a doctor who did a blood test on me and diagnosed anemia. I started taking the recommended blood boosters, but I didn’t get the expected result and the flow is still very poor. I need your advice on what should I do?

  2. Maria

    I am 48 years old now and I used to have a regular menstrual flow but for the last few years now my menstrual flow became lighter, lasting only 3 days. But since last month it started lasting for only days and this month I bleed twice. My normal menstruation was on December 14 which was lighter as usual and lasted only for 2 day and on December 21 I bleed again. My second menstruation lasted 4 days but it was also lighter.
    I don’t have anemia, not any stress and I am not on diet. I don’t have all the causes for light menstrual that you listed and when I told my doctor regarding my lighter menstrual flow she wasn’t even concerned. Her concern is why I would want my menstrual flow to be stronger than it is now.
    I am used to having a normal menstrual flow which always lasted for 5 day and a lot of thick or clotted blood flows out. But since when my menstruation became lighter nothing of this thick blood comes out anymore, which is my concern for this lighter menstrual flow.
    Do you have any idea what could be causing this or if I may have something that I do not know?

  3. PS

    I am 26 year old female and I have menstrual problem from last one year. I want to become pregnant now but due to my irregular period and light periods problem I am not able to conceive. I have got thyroid problem also. Kindly suggest wme some home treatment tips for improving my period problem so that I can get pregnant.

  4. CYN

    I am 34 years old female and I experience low flow of blood during mensuration. I think it lasts for 3 days only. I take a pill every month. What could be the reason for this?

  5. Sidra

    Hi Geline, that is happening to me also. Just wondering what was the outcome? Did you go to the doctor again, are your periods back to normal?

  6. Kate

    Typically I have normal flow periods (One to two days of heavy bleeding and then it trickles off). They are a bit different now and sometimes my period is off by a week or so, which has pretty much always been the case. However, my last two menstrual periods have been increasingly lighter than usual. This one came a few days early and I haven not even bled a full pad over the past few days. I am 28 years old and I am a bit freaked out because my paternal grandmother had early menopause in her late 30’s (She did have two children prior to that though). Anybody also experienced this and any suggestions please?

  7. Shami

    I am 37 years old and suffering from anemia. I missed my period for a whole month and now after being on a course of Primolut 3 times a day for five days I am having a very light mensuration after six days. I just wanted to know if that’s normal?

  8. Priscilla

    I am 30 years and my periods are regular. My cycle is 26 days and the duration of the periods is 3 days. I and my husband have been trying to conceive for last two years but the problem is that he has low sperm count. What supplement would you suggest that he should take?

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