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Light Menstrual Cycles & Hormones

Understanding what a “normal” menstrual cycle is for you can help determine if you may be experiencing any irregularities and what to do about it. Women get their period in preparation for conceiving a baby. However, when the egg is not fertilized, the lining of the uterus sheds through your cervix and vagina. This is what your period is. Generally, this process happens on the monthly basis, but it can differ depending on the different circumstances. Most women get their period every 21 to 35 days and can last between two to seven days long. The flow of one's menstrual cycle can also signify the state of their hormones and lifestyle factors.

Light menstrual cycles are basically an unusual light flow or very short duration of blood loss. A light menstrual flow can be very concerning, especially when you experience…

  • Bleeding for less than two days

  • Bleeding very lightly, like spotting

  • You do not have a consistent, steady flow

  • You may have more frequent, light periods than your standard 21-35 day cycle

Other symptoms that can accompany light periods are…

  • Abdominal pain or cramping

  • Frequent infections, like yeast or fungal infections

  • Pain during intercourse

Having a light period can be due to a range of different factors, that may include…

  • Age. When a young woman begins her menstrual cycles, the length and flow can vary. As well as an older woman, who may be going through menopause. Usually, during this time, a woman may experience an array of other symptoms due to the hormonal changes she is undergoing.

  • Weight and Diet. Body weight and fat percentage can have a direct effect on your period. Being extremely underweight and losing or gaining an extreme amount of weight can result in hormonal imbalances that cause irregularities in one's menstrual cycle.

  • Pregnancy. It is unlikely that you will have a period when you are pregnant. However, early signs of pregnancy may consist of spotting around your usual period of time. This is called implantation bleeding. It occurs when the fertilized egg is attached to the lining of the uterus and can last for two days or less.

  • Breast-feeding. If you are breastfeeding, your menstrual cycle may not come back right away after giving birth. The hormone that helps your body produce milk prevents ovulation and delays your period from returning. It is common for your period to arrive months after if you are breastfeeding. However, it is important to note that you can still get pregnant while breastfeeding. That is because you will ovulate two weeks before your first post-pregnancy period. So, if you are having unprotected sex while breastfeeding and maybe spotting, it may be best to get a pregnancy test.

  • Birth Control. Depending on the birth control method you are using, it can prevent your eggs from releasing in your body. When this happens, your uterus does not create a thick lining. This can result in light menstrual cycles or skipping your period completely.

  • Stress. Stress alters your menstrual cycle hormones more than you think. If you are under high stress, you may skip a period or have a light flow. Once the stress subsides, your cycle should return to normal.

  • Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS). If you experience irregular menstrual cycles or have stopped menstruating altogether, it can be the result of PCOS. This condition causes hormonal changes in your body, where your eggs stop maturing. Hormonal imbalances can also cause weight gain, acne, infertility, and much more. It is best to consult your doctor if you are concerned about potentially having PCOS.

Overall, light menstrual cycles are most commonly due to hormonal imbalances. It is best to avoid treatment options that consist of medications that directly impact your hormones, because it may worsen the problem. Identifying the root cause of why this is happening can help you address your irregularities. The most effective way to do this is by getting lab work done to see where your levels are and exploring a plan of action to harmonize your hormones altogether. To learn more about, this no-nonsense approach, click here!


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