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.
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.
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.