Why is My Period So Light this Month: Introduction
We’ve all heard those stories about people not knowing they were pregnant until the baby was coming out of them. How is this possible? Perhaps they just though their period was lighter than normal for some reason.
Very light periods, or Hypomenorrhea are one possible cause. Most people stop menstruating once they become pregnant, however a small percentage of people still have very light periods.
However, that’s just one possible cause—there are plenty more reasons why your period may be so light this month. Keep on reading to learn the rest of them, possible treatments for Hypomenorrhea, as well as when to see a doctor for this kind of menstrual disorder.
Aren’t Lighter Periods a Good Thing?
So, your period may be lighter than your usual menstruation, but on time. Is it a problem?
If you start to get lighter periods, you may feel like it’s actually a dream come true! Is it really?
Not really. It could be a sign that something has gone awry, and you really should check with your doctor to make sure everything is okay.
How Do I Know if I have a Lighter Period?
Perhaps the best indication that your period is lighter this month is if you are going through fewer pads or tampons, or having to change your menstrual cup less frequently.
For example, on the day of your heaviest flow, you may find that you have to change a jumbo tampon ever 4 hours, or empty your menstrual cup every 6.
However, during a lighter period, you may be able to change your tampon every 8 hours, or may not even need a jumbo tampon. You might be able to go 12 hours without emptying your menstrual cup.
You may also not have 1-2 days of heavy flow, but a consistent, lighter flow.
Or, your bleeding could seem more like spotting instead of a proper menstrual flow.
This lighter period may, or may not be accompanied by fewer symptoms of PMS, cramping, back pain, or mood swings.
How to Estimate the Volume of your Period with Pads or Tampons
Estimating your period volume using pads or tampons can be a little bit tricky. This is because most women change them out before they’re 100% saturated.
For example, if your sanitary pad can technically hold 10 ml, most women will find that it starts to get soggy and heavy and they’ll change it at 5-8 ml of fluid. Same with a tampon. Most women change them out before they start to leak.
If you use these disposable products, perhaps the best way to estimate period volume is to compare it to previous months in a relative kind of way.
For example, on the night of your heaviest flow, maybe you went through 2 jumbo tampons. However, this month is only 1 tampon so your period is roughly half as heavy.
Period Volumes with a Menstrual Cup
Using a menstrual cup like the Diva Cup is a much easier way to track the volume of your menstrual flow. Many menstrual cups have lines on them which can show you the volume every time you remove it.
Even it doesn’t, it’s easy enough to estimate the volume if you know the maximum capacity. For example, if it has a capacity of 30 ml, then half full would be 15 ml.
Symptoms of a Light Period
Here is a quick list of symptoms of a lighter period than normal:
- Fewer pads or tampons than usual (1/2 box vs full box for example)
- Shorter in duration (2 days vs 4 days)
- Consistent, light flow instead of heavier on the first day or two before tapering off
- Bleeding may resemble spotting
What is a Normal Period Flow?
The average woman loses around 20-30 ml of menstrual fluid each month. However, it can vary widely from person to person and also throughout an individual’s lifetime.
Over 80 ml of blood loss is officially considered a “heavy period.” This means that you’ll bleed through a jumbo tampon or pad in a hour or two, multiple times in a row.
The easiest way to estimate the volume of your flow is to use a menstrual cup like the Diva Cup.
What about an extremely light period? It could be considered to be 5-10 ml. However, anything less than around 30 ml is generally considered to be light. Check in with your doctor to find out if you have Hypomenorrhea.
Things to Consider
Here are a few things that your doctor may ask you if you visit them about this problem:
- Do you bleed for less than 2 days?
- Is your bleeding more like spotting than an actual period?
- Do you have a light, consistent flow instead of 1-2 days of heavier flow?
- Have you missed one of more of your regular periods?
- Do you have frequent, but very light periods?
Risk Factors for a Light Period
There are some people who are more prone than others. Some risk factors include:
Younger people who have just begun menstruating often have lighter periods.
People who are breastfeeding often have lighter periods than those who aren’t. They may also be delayed until breastfeeding is stopped.
High levels of stress over a prolonged length of time can impact periods. One of the most common ways is a lighter period.
Lighter than Normal Periods
Why is my period so light this month? Let’s find out some of the most common light period causes to be aware of.
There are various reasons why your period may suddenly become lighter than normal.
#1: Going Through Puberty
When people first start having periods, they’re often quite irregular for a couple of years. In particular, many young women find that their first year or two of periods are quite light.
I have a super light period this month? Am I pregnant?
Most people’s period stops when they get pregnant. However, some people keep having very light, or scanty periods and it can actually a sign of early pregnancy.
Quick note: spotting between periods could signal an ectopic pregnancy which is a dangerous condition. Please see your doctor.
My period is much lighter than normal this month…perhaps you’re pregnant? If you’re having unprotected sex, it’s certainly worth checking into.
Stress is a normal part of life, but too much for a prolonged period of time can cause some physical changes in our bodies. In this case, it can block the release or hormones that regulate the menstrual cycle.
One of the results of too much stress can be a really light period
#4: Birth Control Pills
Do you have suddenly have a period lighter than normal? Have you started a new hormonal birth control method?
Some doctor prescribe them for very heavy, or painful periods. The result if often lighter and/or shorter periods. Check with your doctor to find out if this will be a possible side-effect of the specific medication that you’re on.
My periods are getting lighter! You could just be approaching menopause.
Perimenopause is the 4-10 years before menopause when hormones start to fluctuate considerably.
The average age of menopause is 51.5, so perimenopause usually happens in the 40’s.
In terms of periods during perimenopause, just about anything can happen. Shorter, or lighter periods are certainly one of the possibilities, especially as you get closer to menopause.
Periods getting lighter? It may not be a big problem if you’re approaching menopause.
#6: Hormonal Imbalances
My period is lighter than usual! It could be a result of a hormonal imbalance.
Perimenopause is not the only time that hormone levels can get out of whack. It’s indeed possible at any phase of life for estrogen and progesterone levels to fluctuate.
This will result in irregular periods and is one possible reason why your period may be lighter this month.
For example, lower than normal of estrogen levels will cause the uterine lining to be thinner than normal. This will result in lighter bleeding than normal.
#7: Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)
PCOS is a condition which can often result in irregular periods. It’s when the ovaries produce excess amounts of androgens, the male sex hormones. One of the possibilities is a very light period.
Besides this, PCOS may cause your ovulation to become irregular, which can lead to acne, weight gain and excessive body hair.
#8: Excessive Dieting and/or Heavy Exercise
Is your period lighter than usual? Have you just started a new diet, or training regime?
If you have a very low percentage of body fat, or are seriously underweight, your body may go into “starvation” mode. This is where all available resources go towards keeping your alive. Since the reproductive process is not considered vital to life, your body may reduce, or stop producing these hormones.
#9: You’ve Lost, or Gained a Lot of Weight Recently
Significant changes in body weight can affect the menstrual cycle. Eating disorders are a very common reason for having no period, irregular, or light periods.
One reason why your period may be lighter than normal is if you’re breastfeeding.
When you’re breastfeeding, you may find that your periods are delayed in returning after you give birth. When you do start menstruating again, you may find that your periods are lighter than normal.
#11: Overactive Thyroid
Why is my period so light? You may have an overactive thyroid. Your thyroid releases hormones that control various bodily functions. So if your thyroid is overactive, it means that your body is producing too many of these hormones.
One possible result is very light periods, or missed periods altogether.
#12: Cervical Stenosis
My period is lighter than normal!
This is a rare, but very uncomfortable problem. It’s when the cervix narrows, or closes up completely. This means that menstrual fluid is trapped in the uterus, or can only trickle out slowly.
The clue that this might be happening to you is if you have bad cramps, but no period, or only a very light flow.
#13: Scar Tissue in the Uterus
Another possible cause of a really light period is scar tissue. This can happen with people who go through dilation and curettage procedures, where scarring can result. This can eventually cause the walls of the uterus stick together.
Surgery may be required to deal with these adhesions.
#14: Lack of Ovulation
Another possible cause of Hypomenorrhea is lack of ovulation. It’s officially known as annovulation and it can result in spotting, or a very light period. It’s basically when your body doesn’t release an egg, or ovulate every month or so. You may not release eggs at all, or you may skip months.
This condition results from endometrium tissue growing in places outside of the uterus. It can sometimes result in very heavy periods, but it may also result in lighter periods than usual. You may notice abdominal pain as growths grow.
Have you recently had an IUD inserted? This can result in some changes to your menstrual cycle, including a lighter, or heavier period. The change that can happen often is related to the type of IUD you use. Check in with your gynecologist for more details.
What Does a Light Period Mean?
There are a number of things a light can period mean. Some are serious problems, while others are not.
As you can see from the list above, some of the reasons why your period may be lighter than usual range from a hormonal imbalance to pregnancy. Check in with your doctor to find out what it means in your specific situation.
The reasons for, “Why is my period so light this month” are varied to the max! There is no one single across-the-board treatments for light periods.
The treatment for a super light period really does depend on the underlying cause of Hypomenorrhea. For example, if the cause of your very light period is a hormonal imbalance, your doctor may recommend using the pill (oral contraceptives).
However, if the cause of your light period is extreme dieting or heavy exercise, your doctor may recommend upping food intake and/or reducing the amount of exercise.
If you’re in perimenopause and your light periods are accompanied by other symptoms such as severe hot flashes, night sweats and weight gain, then your doctor may recommend hormone replacement therapy.
Please see your doctor for the advice and treatment most applicable to your specific situation. As you can see, there’s not one single recommendation that fits all!
Outlook for a Light Period
In most cases, it isn’t really a huge cause for concern, especially if it happens for only a month or two. There are a number of factors that can cause this including stress, changes in diet or exercise.
However, if it persists for more than a couple months, or your period cease altogether, check in with your doctor. If you miss your period, you may be pregnant if you’re sexually active. Take a pregnancy test to know for certain, or check with your doctor.
The outlook for this condition is good in most cases, although some things like scar tissue in the uterus or PCOS are harder to treat. Your doctor will work with you to figure out the underlying cause, and then suggest some treatment options for you.
Is your period lighter than normal and you’re seeking some additional help with that? After seeing your doctor, you may also want to consider trying some of these natural treatments for menstrual disorders.
Ginger is known to reduce menstrual pain and also help regulate the reproductive hormones. Use it for cooking, in smoothies, or ginger tea.
#2: Sesame Seeds
If you regularly have very light periods, consider adding some sesame seeds to your diet. Sprinkle them on all kinds of food—they’re delicious too!
Many women use cinnamon to help them regulate their periods, and also to reduce things like menstrual cramps.
This delicious spice can be added to all kinds of different things, but my personal favourite is one top of a bowl of oatmeal.
Don’t forget about this important thing! When you’re dehydrated, your body has a hard time functioning as normal. Drink lots of water to improve your overall health.
Fennels helps to improve blood flow, making it a natural home remedy for a very light period.
My Period is Lighter than Normal: Should I See a Doctor?
In general, if you notice any changes to your menstrual cycle, you should see a doctor. Some of these changes could include:
- Cycle length getting longer or shorter
- Flow getting lighter, or heavier
- The number of days bleeding changes
- You stop getting your period
- Spotting between periods
Check in with your doctor if anything is out of the ordinary, or just not quite right. Changes in the menstrual cycle can be caused by some pretty serious health conditions, so it’s worth getting it checked out. This includes a period lighter than usual.
Another situation to check in with your doctor is something like this. You have a normal period flow for years, but your periods are getting lighter month by month.
Less Bleeding During Periods than Usual
Why is my period so light all of a sudden? If you’ve found yourself saying that lately, keep on reading.
Let’s say that you normally go through a tampon every 4-5 hours during your period. Except that this month, you’re bleeding far less and only change your tampon every 8 hours.
Even then, your tampon isn’t really soaked through, and you probably could have worn it longer if not for the worry of Toxic Shock Syndrome.
What are you experiencing less bleeding, and is this a problem?
In general, when you’re not going through puberty or perimenopause, you can except your periods to be pretty similar to each other each month in terms of flow, duration, and time between cycles.
If you notice any changes, such as less bleeding than normal, you should see your doctor. There are some not so serious reasons why this can happen such as stress, or changes in eating and exercise patterns.
However, there are also some serious reasons why you may experience less bleeding than normal. Check with a medical professional to find out why.
Light Period Brown Blood
My period is lighter than usual and brown? Is this a problem?
Is your lighter period accompanied by brown blood? Then you’ll want to check this out to find out the possible reasons why, as well as whether or not it’s serious.
Spotting vs Light Period
Okay, so you have only a small amount of bleeding going on at around the time you’d expect your period. Is it spotting, or just a light period? It can be particularly confusing if your regular period doesn’t come in the next week or two.
Let’s find out more spotting vs light period.
What is Spotting?
Spotting is light vaginal bleeding that occurs between periods. There are a number of causes for it, including implantation bleeding if pregnant. That is one of the more common reasons that you may think your period is actually more like spotting.
Some of the symptoms of spotting include:
- So light that a tampon or pad may not be required
- Red or brown in colour
- Occurs not at the time of your regular period
What Causes Spotting?
Beyond implantation bleeding when pregnant, some of the other causes may include the following:
- Birth control, especially when starting a new one
- Fibroids or polyps in the uterus or cervix
- Trauma (rough sex, or something like a pap smear may irritate your cervix)
Spotting vs Light Period
There are three main ways that you might distinguish spotting from just a light period: amount, timing of bleeding, symptoms.
Amount of Bleeding
Spotting is often so light that is doesn’t require a tampon or pad. You may use nothing, or something like a pantyliner to deal with it.
Periods, even a light one will probably require the use of a tampon, pad or menstrual cup.
Timing of Bleeding
The second thing to consider is the timing. Does it happen at the time you’d expect your period to come? It’s probably your period, although it may be light for some reason.
If it happens at a time other than when your period should happen, it’s probably spotting.
Symptoms along with Bleeding
Some of the signs that you’ve started your period include bloating, tender breasts, cramps, fatigue, mood swings, or nausea. You may have symptoms of PMS in the week leading up to it.
With spotting, you may some bleeding, but it may not be accompanied by these things.
What about Periods that are Shorter than Normal?
Instead of lighter periods, you may have periods that are shorter than normal. Perhaps you normally have a period that’s 4-5 days long, but it’s suddenly 2-3 days. What are some of the causes and treatments for shorter than usual periods? Let’s find out.
Hint: Many of the reasons are the same as to why you might have lighter periods.
Puberty and perimenopause are times when hormones are changing. The result can be periods that are irregular. One way that they can be irregular is to be shorter one month, and longer the next, etc.
Things like stress, dieting, excessive exercise, weight changes, and changes in sleeping patterns can all cause your period to become shorter.
There are a number of medical condition that may cause your period to be shorter than usual, some of them serious and some of them not. These include:
- Ectopic pregnancy
- Ovarian cyst
- Thyroid disorder
Treatments for Short Periods
As you can see from the above information, there are a number of reasons why you might have shorter periods than normal, and some of them are quite serious.
Please see your doctor for a proper diagnosis and the treatment options available to you.
What about Missed Periods?
Okay, so instead of just having a very, very light period, you have no period at all. It’s officially known as Amenorrhea, and the most common causes are menopause and pregnancy. Beyond that, there are a few other reasons why you may be skipping, or missing periods:
- Birth control (some don’t allow for periods)
- Some medications
- Extreme dieting or exercise
- Stress or depression
- Thyroid or Pituitary malfunction
- Asherman’s syndrome (intrauterine adhesions)
- Blockage of some kind
As you can probably guess, the treatment for Amenorrhea strongly depends on the underlying condition. See your doctor if you’re skipping periods for a proper diagnosis and course of treatment.
Although you may think missing periods is a good thing, if you’re trying not to get pregnant, there can be some serious side effects to it. Check in with your doctor, okay?
What about Brown Discharge After Period?
Do you find yourself having some brown discharge after your period is done? It’s mostly normal, but sometimes not and requires medical attention. Learn more here:
How do You Make your Period Flow Lighter?
Perhaps you suffer from the opposite problem, an extremely heavy period. It’s officially known as Hypermenorrhea. You may be tempted to try something like extreme dieting or exercise in order to reduce your period flow, but these things are obviously not great for your health.
Instead, if you want to make your period flow lighter, you should check in with your doctor. A common treatment option is hormonal birth control which can help to regulate estrogen and progesterone.
Why is My Period So Light this Month? Have your Say!
Why do I have a light period? Or, why is my period so light all of a sudden?
As you can see, there are many possible reasons why this might be happening, along with the other menstrual disorders.
Has your period ever been lighter than normal? Did you find out the cause of it?
Leave a comment below and let us know your thoughts.