Period Problems? 8 Reasons Why Your Menstrual Cycle is Lighter

Last modified: March 1, 2019

Most women have not so nice words to say about their menstrual cycle and their period, be it before, during, or after those flow days. The usual complaints are heavy flow days, bloating, cramping, back pains, tender breasts, and the exhaustion that go with it.

So if your period suddenly becomes very light the whole time, it may appear like it’s a good thing. Less bleeding can make you more comfortable, but it could be a sign of something not so good. Something may have caused your entire menstrual cycle to change, or something worse could have happened.

A period that substantially lightens up could be caused by a hormonal issue or a structural one, something may have happened to an organ in your body.

Here are the reasons that may explain why your flow has suddenly become low.

1. You’re Pregnant

Most women stop getting their period once they conceive, but some continue to experience bleeding. So it’s not true that your menstrual cycle stops when you get pregnant. It may be true for most but for some it’s not.

Unusually light period or spotting could also signify an ectopic pregnancy, when an egg is implanted somewhere else other than the uterus. This condition can be very dangerous. When you are in doubt, just get a pregnancy test.

2. Too Much Weight Loss or Weight Gain

When you add or subtract too much pounds from your body, your body can freak out. And one of the ways that manifests is skipping a month of your menstrual cycle or by making your period become a lot shorter or lighter. Just remember that your body needs a healthy balance between protein, carbs, fats, and vitamins in order to function normally. Any drastic change won’t be good for your body.

3. Too Much Stress

Major life stressors like getting a medical condition that would require constant care from professionals or a family member dying can throw your hormones upside down and stop your period from coming. Over exercising can also make your menstrual cycle suddenly stop because of the stress that it puts on your body physically.

4. Hormonal Birth Control

One of the most common reasons for a change in your menstrual cycle or a lighter period is going on the birth control pill. Some doctors even prescribe it to women who have very heavy period. So if you just started the pill or gotten a hormonal IUD which made your period lighten up, just enjoy it.

5. Age

This doesn’t really mean that you’re old, but it could indicate that menopause may just be around the corner, but not always. It’s just that when women age, sometimes the cycles change too so it’s not necessarily a sign of infertility. There were just changes in your menstrual cycle. If you needed a super pad in your 20s and early 30s, you may need less protection in your late thirties. There may even be days when nothing really comes out but you get some bleeding the next day.

6. Cervical Stenosis

This is a rare and uncomfortable problem which occurs when the cervix narrows or closes up completely. Blood gets trapped in the uterus or is only able to trickle out slowly. If you get bad cramps despite having a light flow, consult your doctor immediately.

7. Scar Tissue In Your Uterus

Women who have gone through routine dilation and curettage (D&C) procedures mostly heal without any complications at all. But sometimes, severe scarring causes the walls of the uterus to stick to each other which causes Asherman’s syndrome. So if your period seems to have lightened up a lot or your menstrual cycle has gone haywire after you’ve had D&C, this could be the reason. You may need surgery to have the scar tissue removed.


8. Losing Plenty Of Blood During Or After Childbirth

Losing plenty of blood deprives your body of oxygen which could also end up damaging your pituitary gland and cause Sheehan’s syndrome, which is a rare condition. This will drastically reduce your gland’s production of hormones including those that control your menstrual cycle. You will most likely need hormone replacement therapy.

Menstrual Cycle Period Problems are Certainly No Fun!

Having a lighter period than the usual may not necessarily cause for an alarm but don’t ignore the change. Keep track of your menstrual cycle for a couple of months. If it doesn’t go back to your normal, make an appointment with your gynecologist immediately. You can also talk with an OBGYN free online. Our experts are standing by to assist and answer all your questions.

dr-richard-honakerRichard A. Honaker, M.D. — Chief Medical Advisor at YourDoctors.Online

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Submitted by Dr. Richard Honaker:

Disclaimer: This article provides general information and is not intended to diagnose, treat or cure any disease or medical condition. If you require specific advice, please consult one of our medical professionals through the app. However, in case of an emergency, please call 911.

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