There are various forms of menstrual irregularities that women face from time to time. Light menstrual periods is one of them. The medical term used for light periods is oligomenorrhea. In this condition, women experience lighter flow than what they do in their usual periods. Most of the time, even the duration of the period is lesser in comparison. Sometimes, it may lead to missed periods or unpredictable periods. It can happen to women of all age groups, but young girls in their adolescence more prone to this condition. One of the obvious reasons for light periods is hormonal changes that can be triggered by various factors.
In this following article, we will highlight the varied light period causes as well as their treatment forms. Continue reading for more details on the subject.
Both internal, as well as external factors, can trigger light periods in women. Some of these reasons for the light period have been given below:
- Hormonal Imbalance
- Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)
- Birth Control Pills
- Excessive Physical Exertion
- Other Reasons: Chronic Health Issues, Eating less
One of the most prevalent causes of a light period is hormonal imbalance, where the woman's body starts producing excess amounts of the male hormone testosterone and less amount of the female hormone estrogen. Lack of sufficient estrogen tends to thin the lining of the uterus, which results in lighter menstrual flow.
During menopause, the ovaries do not produce enough reproductive hormones like estrogen and progesterone and create a hormonal imbalance. As a result, menstrual flow decreases over a period of time before it comes to a complete halt. During this phase, menopausal women experience lighter period than usual and it is absolutely normal.
Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)
In this condition, small cysts are formed inside the ovaries and this causes various menstrual abnormalities. In some months, a woman may get heavy bleeding during a period and in others, it will be a lighter flow. They may even miss periods in some months. Such irregularities of the period are accompanied by pelvic pain and nausea.
Birth Control Pills
If you are experiencing lighter periods after starting a new birth control pill, then the pill could be responsible for that condition. The hormone present in these pills tends to bring about some changes in your body. As a result, the duration of the menstrual cycle and the blood flow during periods may decrease within the first few months.
Yes, the possibility of pregnancy cannot be ruled out. When you get a light period all of a sudden and there are some early pregnancy symptoms like morning sickness, take a pregnancy test as soon as possible. Even though it is rare, there are some women who get light menstrual spotting in their first month of pregnancy.
Mental stress often has an adverse effect on the menstruation. If you are under a lot of stress, just before the onset of your monthly period, it is likely that you get a light period. This is because your body assumes it is an emergency and diverts the blood flow to the brain, lungs and other vital organs of the body to ensure normal body functioning. Once the stress levels go down, the normal flow of period is restored.
Excessive Physical Exertion
Women athletes are prone to lighter periods because of their rigorous physical training sessions. When their physical activities are less intense, the menstrual flow usually returns to normal. Non-athlete women may get a lighter period after too much exercising or traveling.
Young girls and women who eat less to maintain a low body weight often get light periods. This happens because the lack of nutrition and low body weight affect the production of hormones in the body. Those women who are suffering from chronic health problems such as diabetes or osteoporosis can have this kind of problem. It can be triggered by thyroid problems or as a side effect of certain medicines.
Ascertaining the Cause of Light Periods
If light periods are experienced only once in a while, then you may not require any diagnosis or treatment. However, other cases require thorough investigation by a gynecologist. A physical examination will be conducted along with a blood test and a Pap test to ascertain the cause. The doctor may also conduct a pregnancy test if required. Your lifestyle and medical history are also taken into account.
Treatment of Light Periods
The treatment depends on the cause of light periods. Change in diet and lifestyle is recommended in most cases. Stress reduction is also important to keep the menstrual flow normal. When strenuous physical activities cause this problem, the doctor may suggest you to cut down on your training sessions. Ovarian cysts are often treated with birth control pills and other medicines containing synthetic hormones. Women who have high levels of testosterone may have to undergo androgen therapy as well.
Conditions that lead to light periods are treatable and are not always an indication of some major gynecological problem. However, to avoid any further complications, it is best to seek medical help as soon as you sense something is wrong.
Disclaimer: This article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.