3 Day Period


Every woman has a different menstrual cycle. Although the average woman has a period that lasts for five to seven days in a 28 day cycle, it is not uncommon to have a period for two to eight days. Some women may even go for months without their period. If you normally have extremely regular, week-long periods, then a sudden change to a 3 day period may have you worried. Before you panic, read through the following guide.

Is It Normal to Have a 3 Day Period?

A 3 day period is perfectly within the realm of normal. Although most women have longer periods, your body may just be designed to have a shorter, lighter period. If you normally have a period that lasts for a week, then a sudden change may be a reason to worry. You may want to talk with your doctor or have some tests run to make sure that there is not anything serious causing the sudden change.

What Can Cause a Woman to Suddenly Have a 3 Day Period?

The McClintock Effect

Martha McClintock was a researcher who ran a study on women in 1971. In the study, she looked at a group of women who lived in the same home and spent a lot of time around each other. She realized that the women who lived with each other had menstrual cycles that gradually matched up after the first few months. If you are living in a college dorm or are around several of the same women a lot, then your cycle may be just matching up to the women that you are around. If this is the case, then the cause of your 3 day period is entirely normal.

Changes in Estrogen

As you age, your estrogen levels will naturally change. Estrogen is produced in your fat cells, and it is the reason why your body creates a uterine lining every month. If you do not have enough estrogen in your body, your uterus may not be able to make a thick lining. When your period starts, it will be lighter because there is less to get rid of. This particular cause is normal in women who suddenly start working out excessively, older women and young ladies who are just starting puberty.

Birth Control Pills

When you start taking birth control pills, they will immediately start to regulate and change your period. Although your period will normally become more stable after a few months, it can vary greatly at first.

Medical Conditions or a Disease

If you have a disease or medical condition, it could be messing with the hormones that you need to have your normal period. In addition, the medication that you are prescribed for the illness can also cause menstrual changes. Normally, the medication will list this as a specific side effect on the side of the bottle or in the warning label.

Extreme Stress

When you are under stress, your body produces adrenaline and cortisol. These two hormones can limit your body’s ability to produce estrogen, which can change the length of your period. If you are under extreme stress, you may even skip a period until the stress in your life dies down.

Other Possible Causes

Since estrogen is produced in the fat cells, being severely overweight or underweight can change the length of your period. An eating disorder or excessive exercising can also change the length or intensity of your period.

Could a 3 Day Period Mean That I Am Pregnant?

One of the most unusual things that a pregnant woman may experience is her period. At the start of a pregnancy, implantation bleeding may happen as the embryo attaches itself to the wall of the uterus and creates a placenta. Since this breaks up a bit of the wall’s lining, it can cause some of the tissue to be expelled from the uterus. When this happens, you may notice spotting, but it will be much lighter than your period would normally be. If your period suddenly lasts for just one or two days, then it is possible that implantation bleeding could be the cause. You should take a pregnancy test or schedule a visit to your doctor if you think that you might be pregnant.

Having your period last for a shorter period of time is perfectly normal if you suddenly had a drastic weight change, an illness, a new exercise program or an injury. While this may be strange, it is normally not a sign of anything serious. If you think that there might be a problem, you should always schedule a visit to your doctor to get medical assistance.