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Scanty Menstrual Flow

Scanty Menstrual Flow

Hypomenorrhoea is the medical term for scanty menstrual flow, which is a common condition. Know more on the causes and treatment for this condition, in this article.
Ashwini Kulkarni Sule
Last Updated: Dec 31, 2017
Most women experience some kind of menstrual problem at least at some point of time during their life. Irregular periods, heavy bleeding, and scanty bleeding are some of the common menstrual problems that plague women. Often, there is no single common cause for these problems, rather, the causes often vary from woman to woman. In this article, we have explained in detail the various causes behind scanty menstrual flow. You can also find some treatment options for the same, at the end of this article.


The term scanty can be often misleading, as there is no measure for how much flow is considered normal. Generally, one can say that if you experience bleeding for less than two days, or you have less bleeding for consecutive periods, then you may be suffering from this condition. One must note that, scanty bleeding can be absolutely normal in women, who have always gotten their periods this way. Given below are some possible causes for scanty bleeding.

If female members of your family especially your mother, maternal aunt, grandma or sister(s) have always had scanty menstrual flow, the chances are that you will have it as well. Genetic makeup of a person, plays a vital role in deciding the duration and pattern of a woman's menstrual cycle. If this is the cause behind your condition, then you have no reason to worry. You will probably have normal chances of conception. It has been found that the rate of infertility in such women is about the same as that in women with an average flow.

Hormonal Imbalance
Estrogen and progesterone are the two female hormones which primarily regulate the menstrual cycle. If any of these hormones surge or drop beyond normal levels, your cycle may go for a toss. Lack of sufficient estrogen is often associated with scanty flow. This condition is more evident at the onset of menses during puberty or at menopause. Both these conditions are characterized by irregular ovulation, hormonal imbalances etc. Hormonal imbalance may develop at any other stage due to medical reasons such as lack of thyroid hormone or excess prolactin or androgens.

Uterine Deformities
The amount of menstrual flow is mostly determined by the thickness of the endometrium. The thicker the endometrium, more the bleeding. If you have uterine deformities such as a scarred uterine lining, then naturally, the total surface area of an endometrium is reduced. This directly impacts the amount of blood flow during menses.

Other Causes
Stress is primarily known to play havoc with your menstrual cycle. If you are stressed, then your menstrual cycle is the first to show signs of abnormality. Scanty, irregular periods can be a result of stress, as it directly interferes with hormone production by suppressing the relevant sites in the brain. Women on certain birth control pills may also experience this condition.


Scanty menstrual flow can be treated by diagnosing the condition first. A blood test is often the first course of action as it ascertains whether the condition is due to a hormonal imbalance or not. A thorough menstrual history of the woman is taken into account before initiating a treatment. No treatment is usually recommended for those who have inherited this problem. Hormonal imbalances can be treated by prescribing hormone pills. Uterine deformities can be treated only with surgery, that too if they are interfering with a woman's ability to conceive.

Thus, scanty menstrual flow may not be a reason to worry. Nonetheless, it is recommended that you consult a doctor, more so, if you have never experienced this condition before and/or you are within the reproductive age group. Older women should expect such menopausal problems at this stage.