Light periods are common menstrual problems.It is characterized by an unusual light flow or a short duration of bleeding. The menstrual cycle usually varies from one person to another, but most women have their periods approximately every 28 days.
Each cycle lasts from four to seven days. If you are having a heavy flow, it may extend up to almost ten days.The amount of blood loss during a menstrual cycle ranges from about 20 to 80 milliliters (mL). Loss of blood less than 20 mL is considered as a light period.
Light periods may not be a medical emergency, but it is still considered as an abnormality. Therefore it is important that you get in touch with your doctor to seek help. Light periods may come with other symptoms, which vary depending on any underlying diseases, disorders or conditions.
Symptoms Along With Light Periods
- Abdominal pain or common cramps.
- Frequent infections, such as yeast or fungal infections.
- Missing menstrual cycles.
- Unbearable pain during sexual intercourse.
Causes Of Light Periods
1. Hormonal Imbalance
An imbalance of the hormonal level in your body is the most common cause for a light or scanty periods. Oestrogen and progesterone hormones work together in order to regulate your menstrual cycle. Obviously, if one is more than the other, it results in menstrual irregularities. Some of which are, heavy bleeding, light periods and absence of menstrual flow.
Here are 5 factors that could possibly hamper your hormone levels in your body:
i) Poor Eating Habits
Your body needs certain supplements, for example, vitamin A and cholesterol, to produce hormones. In case you have low progesterone levels, vitamin C can correct this issue. Rather than continually checking calories or limiting your intake of fats, proteins, or carbs, eat more adjusted and more beneficial meals.
ii) Chronic Stress
If you don’t manage your stress levels carefully, your body produces a hormone called cortisol. This hormone contrarily affects the amount of estrogen and progesterone produced. These two hormones are in charge of managing your monthly periods and prepare your womb for pregnancy.
iii) Birth Control Pills
Birth control pills contain a few kinds of artificial estrogen and/or progesterone (progestin). These cause spotting and creates an abnormal bleeding pattern or between periods.
iv) Sleep Deprivation
Not getting an eight to nine of sleep, will possibly cause your body to produce more cortisol. Cortisol, as we have seen, is a stress hormone. As you know, this has a negative influence on your menstrual cycle.
v) Breast Feeding
Breastfeeding adjusts your hormone levels. You may experience irregular or no periods at all. But, this isn’t alarming. Your period will be restored back to normal during the weaning period. However, some women might experience a permanent change in their menstrual cycle after childbirth.
2. Excessive Physical Activities
Women engaging in rigorous physical activities, such as athletes, are more prone to experience light menstrual flow. This is due to a number of reasons like a strict diet, excessive training, and low body fat percentage.
Experts have found out that there seems to be a link between your body fat and menstrual disturbances. Amenorrhea, that is, the absence of monthly periods is a common result. Although there’s no fixed weight, experts say that if your body fat falls below 15% of your body weight, your blood flow tends to become lighter.
3. Persistent Endometritis
Endometritis, should not be mistaken for endometriosis! Endometritis is a condition that causes an inflammation of the outer layer of your womb, the endometrium. One of its symptoms is recurring spotting or brown discharge in between your periods. Some of its possible causes are bacterial or fungal infections, surgery, abortion or long-term use of intra-uterine devices.
Endometritis isn’t a fatal disease if you are treated early with the required antibiotics. If not, it could lead to other serious health problems and sometimes even, infertility.
4. Sheehan’s Syndrome
Sheehan’s syndrome is a condition known to damage your pituitary gland. It mainly happens due to heavy bleeding during childbirth. Once this happens to you, there will a lack of supply of important hormones. As a result, in the absence of such hormones, you have scanty periods.
There are no ways of replacing the absent hormones in your body. There are of course medicines, but they should be taken under the prescription of a doctor.
5. Asherman’s Syndrome
Asherman’s syndrome is a rare medical condition that causes the formation of scar tissues in your uterine cavity. This is very common among women who have had repeated dilatations and curettage procedures involving removal of tissues inside the womb. Most of the people suffering from this condition have light periods.
There are two parts to the treatment for Asherman’s. Firstly, the scar tissue is carefully removed by the doctors. Then, to prevent the reformation of scar tissues different medical techniques are used, like, continuous in-clinic scar tissue removal procedures, oral estrogen therapy and placement of intrauterine device inside the womb.
You might consider pregnancy as a cause. Though it does not pose an immediate problem, it is one if it’s unplanned. Here is how you must check if you are ways pregnant:
Use a pregnancy test kit (pretty obvious). You can easily use this at home. The best time to take this test is a week after you missed your period and preferably during the morning.
Keep a watch for early signs and symptoms of pregnancy. Some of which are: morning sickness, tender and sore breasts, frequent urination, spotting or light period, extreme tiredness, nipple darkening, food cravings, and so on.
The best way to be certain is to see your doctor if you suspect you are pregnant. He or she can recommend a few blood tests that will confirm your pregnancy. Doctors can also perform an internal examination to evaluate the changes in your womb (uterus) and your cervix (the lower part of the uterus).
A light period and other menstruation-related problems might be genetic. Your genes are going to determine the time span of your first and last period and any menstruation abnormalities you experience. This is solely a genetic trait that has come down to you. You do not have much to do about this. Regular checkups and handling the reproductive health issues is the only option.
8. Being a Teenager
We generally get our first period during our early or mid-teens. When you are having your first period, your menstrual cycle is always irregular. Most importantly, the blood flow is very light. It takes a minimum of two or three years for your menstruation to become a regular cycle.
9. Taking Medications
Many anti-depressants, anti-psychotic and anti-anxiety drugs interfere with your menstrual cycle. Apart from making the cycle irregular, they result in lighter blood flow. This might happen frequently if your consumption of these drugs is very regular.
Before taking any new drugs, you must always consult your doctor. Too much of medicines for simple illnesses like a headache or a simple stomach cramp also results in lighter periods. If you tend to have medicines to ease out your period cramps, you are bound to experience light periods.
10. Sudden Weight Loss or Weight Gain
Gaining or losing weight suddenly in a short period of time might produce changes in your menstrual cycle. Experiencing irregular periods and absence of periods are very common. If you put on weight suddenly, you might see that you bleed for a few days very lightly in between cycles. Your periods are likely to turn to normal once you achieve a healthy weight.
Home Remedies To Get Rid Of Light Periods
Scanty Periods or Short Menstrual Flow is called Hypomenorrhea. We saw how hormonal imbalances, stress, emotional trauma and sorrow, low body weight and prolonged use of emergency oral contraceptives are some of the most common causes of light menstrual blood flow. You can cure this problem by following the mentioned natural Home Remedies given below:
The herb of Marigold, also called calendula, helps you in regulating irregular period. Additionally, it also aids as a treatment of scanty menstrual flow. It is also said to reduce the pain during menstruation. You can simply make a herbal tea with marigold heads or its leaves. Drink half a cup of the marigold tea at least 3 times a day.
- Fresh ginger tea is extremely beneficial for curing low menstrual flow. Take some fresh ginger, wash it and grate it.
- You can also cut them into thin slices, as per your convenience.
- Add these slices in a cup of water and bring boil them.
- Turn off the heat and let it soak in the pan.
- Let it steep for about 10 minutes.
- Now strain this mixture to remove the pieces of ginger.
- You can add a teaspoon of fresh lemon juice for an enhanced taste.
- Alternatively, you can add some honey or sugar as well.
- For best results drink this twice daily.
Consumption of unripe papaya is beneficial for treating scanty or short menstrual flow. It is also good for women whose menstrual cycles have ceased due to stress and tension. If you consume about 200g of raw or unripe papaya it can be helpful in the contraction of uterine walls. This helps you secure a proper menstruation cycle with the correct blood flow.
Parsley causes your uterus to contract and bring about the onset of an overdue menstruation. Basically, it corrects the irregularities. Drinking fresh parsley juice, helps you to treat both scanty and delayed periods.
You can also opt to have the parsley tea for the same benefits.
To prepare parsley tea, simply put a two or three tablespoons of fresh herb in a pot of boiling water. Cover and let it steep for about 20-30 minutes. Then, strain it and drink it twice daily for best results.
You can also have parsley juice along with a carrot or beet juice. Make sure you take equal amounts of both the juice and mix it. You can drink this infusion regularly until you get the desired results.
5. Sesame seeds
Sesame seeds are also considered extremely effective to fix the problem of scanty periods. Take about half a teaspoon of sesame seeds along with lukewarm water 2-3 times daily, starting prior to two days your due date for the cycle. Alternatively, you can also use sesame seeds in your daily diet.
6. Omega 3 fatty acids
You must try and consume foods rich in Omega 3 fatty acids because they play an important role in the production of hormones in your body. Which consequently helps you to find a cure for the problem of short or scanty periods. Some foods rich in Omega 3 Fatty acids are Flaxseeds, walnuts, salmon, sardines, and cod liver oil.
Zinc is the best mineral that helps your body to keep the levels of hormones like oestrogen, progesterone, and testosterone, stable throughout your menstrual cycle. Try consuming foods rich in Zinc, such as, oysters, raw pumpkin seeds, spinach, sunflower seeds and sesame seeds are best sources of Zinc.
Foods rich in iron is capable of curing the problem of light periods. Red meat, Liver, Oyster, pumpkin seeds, a few nuts and green leafy vegetables are excellent sources of iron. To improve the absorption of iron in your body, do not forget to consume foods rich in Vitamin C. Guava, strawberries, oranges lemons, papayas, and citrus fruit are good sources of Vitamin C.
9. Balanced diet
Try having a well-balanced diet which is rich in all essential nutrients. You must avoid skipping meals as that result is your body unable to absorb essential nutrients, which is another cause of scanty periods. When the proportion of your body fat falls below a certain level it affects the production of hormones. A stable level of hormone is important for the proper flow of menstrual blood.
Do not be panic if you notice that you are having light periods. It is a very common problem each of the women today face.
Avoid any consumption of unhealthy, canned foods and increase the consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables. Try to minimize your stress because stress is one of the main causes of a hormonal imbalance in your body.
Stress suppresses various activities of the different centers in your brain that stimulate the ovaries during the cycle. If you fail to secrete hormones such as estrogen and progesterone, you are bound to face problems with your menstrual flow.
Sometimes scanty periods might be a symptom of other medical problems. So first you must absolutely diagnose the exact cause/s for light periods.
If your light periods are not due to any serious medical conditions then you can go ahead and try out the various home remedies listed above! Still, it may also be a strong indication of underlying health problems that require a visit with your gynecologist.