Even if you normally have a heavier menstrual cycle, a very light period is not a cause for alarm. In the majority of cases, a very light period is not caused by anything serious. While there may be a more serious condition causing it, most women who have a light period have it for no apparent cause.
If you have a period that is light and similar to spotting, it could actually be implantation bleeding that you are experiencing. Implantation bleeding happens when a fertilized egg implants in the uterus, so it could be a sign of pregnancy. Other than pregnancy, one common cause of unusually light periods is hormonal contraception. When you start taking hormonal contraception, it changes your normal hormonal levels. This can cause your period to be lighter than normal. If you are not pregnant or taking contraception, there may be another gynecological reason at fault. It is best to talk over your symptoms with your gynecologist to find out the real cause of the sudden change in your menstrual cycle.
What Is “Normal” Menstrual Bleeding?
Normal menstrual cycles typically last for three to seven days. During this time, you will lose about 50 to 150 milliliters of menstrual fluid. If a menstrual disorder is present, you may only lose 30 to 50 milliliters. While there is a “normal” menstrual cycle that women typically experience, everyone has a unique physical chemistry. What is normal for you is not always normal for someone else. It is important to track your menstrual cycle so that you know what to expect from your body.
A very light period will often look more like spotting than an actual period. The blood can look dark brown or light in color. Normally, you will not experience any symptoms with a scanty period. In some cases, women may experience symptoms like pelvic pain, nausea, lightheadedness and headaches.
What Does It Mean to Have a Very Light Period?
Basically, a light period is just what it sounds like. It can either mean that the menstrual flow itself is extremely light, or it may mean that you just have bleeding for a day or two. Do not be panicked if your periods always seem to be lighter than average. Often, light periods are passed down genetically. In addition, there is no connection between having an overly light period and infertility. Many women with very light periods go on to have completely healthy pregnancies. If you are trying to conceive, talk to your doctor beforehand to make sure that there will not be a problem.
Causes of Very Light Periods
Some of the potential causes of a very light period include:
1. Hormonal Contraception
When you use intrauterine devices (IUD) and oral contraceptives, it can change the intensity and duration of your period. Basically, contraception can change your hormone levels so that you end up having a light period. If you end up missing your period entirely, make sure to call your doctor to make sure that there is not a problem and you may want to take a pregnancy test as well.
2. Dietary Changes
If you are not getting enough nutrients, your body will not be able to have a period. Women who are anorexic and Olympic athletes often stop having periods altogether. Your diet needs the calories and nutrients that your body needs or you may end up with a very light or absent period.
3. Chronic Endometritis
Different infections can be caused by an abortion, a surgical intervention or an intrauterine device. All of these infections can cause pelvic pain, light periods and a fever. If you have a fever, it is important to get treatment for the infection right away so that it does not cause life-threatening consequences. Other than infections, endometritis can also cause an abnormally light period. This condition may cause light brown discharge instead of a period or spotting between your periods.
Some women mistake implantation bleeding for their period. It generally occurs a few days before your period would begin. Before long, you may also have pregnancy symptoms like nausea, mild stomach cramps, taste changes, breast soreness and frequent urination. If this is the cause of your light period, then you can easily see by taking a pregnancy test. You can buy a pregnancy test at nearly any dollar store, so there is no reason not to take the test and eliminate at least one cause of your abnormally light period.
5. Hypomenstrual Syndrome
If you have a period less often than every 35 days or have abnormally light periods, you may have hypomenstrual syndrome. This could be a sign of infertility, but it can be caused by a variety of factors. Inflammation, overwork, hormonal disorders, stress and serious illnesses can all cause hypomenstrual syndrome to happen. If the cause is removed, then your menstrual cycle should return to normal fairly soon.
What Should You Do If You Have a Light Period?
If your period is very light, there are certain things you can do to make sure that your body remains healthy. Reduce stress with 15-minute foot baths and aromatherapy. Eat a balanced diet and avoid crash diets so that your body can create the right hormones. As much as possible, avoid overworking yourself and try to limit stress. You should also make sure to get enough regular exercise without overdoing it. A daily, 30-minute walk should be plenty of exercise for your body to stay healthy without getting too much exercise.