Last updated on July 27th, 2018 at 05:15 pm
If perhaps you just noticed less bleeding during periods (scanty periods), it may not mean much. During the menstrual cycle and because of hormone imbalance, you may experience lighter than usual bleeding sometimes.
However, if persistent for many periods, it may indicate a problem.
In some women, lighter than usual period bleeding may be the first sign of pregnancy. This occurs because of implantation bleeding.
Other reasons for a light period are perimenopause, drugs, sexual intercourse with a vaginal tear, weight loss, hypothalamus dysfunction, contraceptives, abortion and thyroid problems.
When is period bleeding less than normal?
Period occurs because your hormones wash out the inner uterine covering called endometrium. The endometrium continues to get thicker and taller from the end of your period to when it begins again.
If period occurs very early or if natural hormones that control your menstrual cycle are affected, you may notice a scanty period.
Most women get their menses every 25 to 35 days. During period, bleeding last between 3 to 7 days in most women with blood loss about 40 to 60 milliliters.
Should your period last less than three days or blood lost during menstruation less than 20mls, you have a scanty period.
What causes scanty period?
If you get pregnant, it’s possible you could have light bleeding for a few days. This bleeding is lighter than period and occurs days or a week before you’re expecting menses.
This form of bleeding occurs 8 to 10 days after fertilization when the embryo burrows into the endometrium. This is called implantation and may happen with light cramps.
Other symptoms of pregnancy if you experience early scanty bleeding are
- Delayed period for days
- Change in your usual eating habit. You find you want specific kind of diet or you’re avoiding other types of food
- Increased body weakness and fatigue
- Increased vaginal discharge that is clear, milky or watery
- Voiding often than normal
- Breast pain, tenderness, soreness and nipple itching
- Mood swing
If you’ve had sexual contact with your partner, without using any form of contraceptive, it’s more likely you are pregnant. Depending on the level of Human chorionic gonadotropin, you may test positive for pregnancy.
If you experience symptoms that suggest pregnancy and test negative, always re-test for pregnancy at a later date.
2. Just after you had your first period — Menarche
If you just had menstruation flow for the first time, you may get worried when you experience a delayed period or a light bleeding during your menstruation. This is not abnormal as your reproductive and sexual hormones take some time to normalize.
However, most women get normal flow six years after menarche. Yours could be earlier.
3. Women just before period stops — Menopause
You already know women do not have period throughout their lifetime. At menopause, it stops.
Your ovulation and menstruation are controlled by hormones released from your hypothalamus, pituitary, ovaries, and follicles.
Before period finally ceases, women may have strange symptoms that include hot flashes, dryness of the vagina, irregular menstrual cycle and less than normal period bleeding.
These symptoms usually appear after 40 years but could occur earlier in women with premature ovarian failure.
If you start having scanty periods after 40 years, it may be first signs you are close to menopause.
4. You are taking contraceptive pills
Most women take birth control medication to lighten their period or stop it. These pills contain synthetic hormones — estrogen and progestin, produced during the menstrual cycle.
These hormones work by blocking ovulation and making cervical mucus unfavorable for sperm to swim through.
However, some women have complained of spotting while on these pills. Though, these symptoms clear in few months after starting the pill.
On the other hand, you can get pregnant while on these pills. This may happen for many reasons. The commonest reason is not taking your medication every day as prescribed.
5. Intrauterine devices (IUCD)
If you recently got a hormone or copper device inserted into the uterus, it’s likely the reason you may have a scanty period. Intrauterine devices work by preventing unwanted pregnancies and making cervical mucus unfavorable to sperm survival.
Vaginal bleeding after insertion of an IUD may be light or sometimes heavy. Light spotting after insertion resolve in the first nine months. If you continue to spot or become scared from heavy bleeding, you should talk to your doctor.
6. Recent Abortion
Are you worried your period is lighter after surgically terminating your pregnancy?
This may or may not indicate a problem. However, Asherman syndrome, which occurs due to adhesion and fibrosis of the uterine endometrium, could cause scanty periods.
Less than normal bleeding during menstruation, months after an abortion, is a sign something is wrong. You must explain you symptoms to a health specialist immediately. This is because Asherman syndrome may result to infertility if not properly treated
Other possible causes of scanty periods are
Physical or psychological problems like chronic stress, lack of sleep, perceived emotional issues and academic activities. In some women, it’s possible scanty period could occur after months of severe exercise and weight loss.
What steps to take?
Don’t panic. Most women with light period may not indicate a problem if it’s occurring for the first time. Depending on your age, you would want to start preparing for menopause or getting used to light flow after menarche.
Improved physical fitness and eating healthy may also help.
If you are finding difficult to get pregnant, a light period could be due to polycystic ovarian syndrome. Talk to your doctor about possible options. Samples from your urine and discharge will be cultured for possible infections.
Depending on what pills you are currently taking, you will be counseled adequately by your health physician. Still confused, talk to him/her again.
Finally, unprotected sex weeks ago and scanty early period may mean pregnancy. Take a home pregnancy test. If pregnant, inform your doctor.
Home remedies for less bleeding during periods
These are some ways you can increase blood flow during period. However, depending on the cause, a short period may need urgent care from your doctor.
1. Take a lot of water
Taking a lot of water during your periods may help prevent dehydration, cramps and scanty periods
2. Use ginger
Ginger, when used correctly, can help with short periods. Other uses are severe cramps during periods and fertility problems.
How to prepare:
You should cut ginger and place into water. Next, boil for 5 minutes before drinking.
3. Use cinnamon
Cinnamon can be used to either help your cramps and scanty period.
How to prepare:
Get warm water and mix your powdered cinnamon before drinking for 2 to 3 times in a day
4. Use parsley
Women with menstrual issues can use parsley to treat severe cramps, irregular menstrual flow and decreased flow during periods.
Still worried why you have less bleeding during periods than usual? Ask Us!!!