Every woman starting from puberty and until menopause has regular menstrual periods once a month. A normal menstrual cycle lasts from 21 and up to 35 days, always depending from one woman to another or from one cycle to another. Different menstrual flows are also normal from one woman to another or from one menstrual cycle to another. While some women have heavy menstrual periods lasting for more than a week, others have lighter menstrual periods for two to three days. You don’t need to worry as it is normal for menstrual periods to vary in intensity. However, if suddenly you notice a change in the intensity of your menstrual cycle you should look for other signs and symptoms that may accompany this change in the intensity of the menstrual periods. Usually, abdominal pain, pelvic pain, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, abdominal cramps, etc., accompany the changes in the menstrual flow. In this case, you should go and get a medical check – up.
Even though it is normal to have sometimes lighter menstrual periods than usual, sometimes the cause may be something more serious which requires medical attention. Some of the underlying conditions that could cause lighter menstrual periods include:
Hypomenorrhea – is a medical condition characterized by lighter periods. Usually, it is caused by stress, too much work, too much exercise, hormonal imbalance, inflammatory diseases but also genetics.
Stress – one of the ways that your body reacts to emotional or physical stress is by changing the flow of the menstrual periods. When in stress, the human body produces a hormone called cortisol, which will change and influence the production of the luteinizing hormone. Luteinizing hormone is one of the hormones that play an important role in the normalization of the menstrual cycle. Being under stress can make your periods become lighter for a certain amount of time, or even stop totally. Avoiding stress as much as possible, learning how to control it and meditations, music, vacations or long walks can help you control it.
Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome – is a medical condition that is characterized by small cysts within the ovaries. It is a condition that affects about 10% of the women worldwide. The cysts are filled with fluid and they are usually harmless. However, these cysts interfere with the work of the ovaries and production of certain hormones which will lead to ovulation problems. If no ovulation occurs, you will have lighter periods or not having periods at all. Other signs and symptoms of polycystic ovarian syndrome include: acne, weight gain, facial hair growth, excess body hair, etc.
Endometritis – is a condition characterized by the infection of the endometrium tissue by bacteria. It can be an extremely serious condition accompanied with severe pain which if left untreated can lead to infertility. Signs and symptoms of endometritis include: high fever, abnormal vaginal discharge, spotting, brown – colored discharge between the menstrual periods, etc.
Genetics – for some women it is normal to have lighter periods than normally. If, someone else in the family like for example: mother, sisters, aunts, etc., have had lighter menstrual periods, you will also most probably have the same menstrual periods. Normally, you should not worry about it as you can get pregnant and have a normal delivery.
Eating disorders – our body requires a certain amount of calories and different types of nutrients to be healthy and function normally. When a woman has an eating disorder, the body will not get all the nutrients necessary, or will get fewer nutrients than necessary for its normal function. In these cases, it is also normal to have lighter periods than usually.
Pregnancy – yes, you can be pregnant and still have menstrual periods. Even though it is a rare condition, some women continue to have menstrual bleeding even though they are carrying a child. Implantation bleeding occurs when the embryo gets implanted into the inner lining of the uterine wall. Since implantation occurs within the first two weeks after conception, it corresponds with the time when you should normally have your menstrual periods. Some women misunderstand this implantation bleeding as a normal menstrual period and don’t understand that they are pregnant until other signs and symptoms appear or by the time when there is a missing period. If, lighter menstrual periods are accompanied with sore breasts, frequent urination, stomach cramping, morning sickness you should take a pregnancy test and get a medical check – up. You are probably pregnant.
Dmitry Bronfman, MD, is a board-certified gynecologist who specializes in all aspects of contemporary women’s health, preventive medicine, pelvic pain, minimally invasive and robotic surgery, and general, adolescent, and menopausal gynecology.
Brooklyn Abortion Clinic