What Causes Hypomenorrhea and Why Your Period Isn't Heavy

Everyone's period is different, from the dreaded premenstrual syndrome (PMS; bloating and irritability are no joke) to the painful cramping to the debilitating fatigue. But if you notice a sudden, unexplained shift in your period, especially if you find yourself wondering "why is my period so light? " Some worry is completely reasonable. Even though hypomenorrhea, or lighter periods, isn't always a good sign, there are times when it is.

According to Amanda P., there is a great deal of variation in how menstruation manifests itself from one person to the next. Using the m D , M P H and Sexual Health Expert at Lure How much your endometrial lining has thickened over the course of the month is directly correlated with how heavy your flow is, she says. She explains that the hormonal response to ovulation and the shape of the uterine cavity play major roles in the development of the uterine lining.

As she elaborates, "everyone is different and has their own version of normal." This spans a considerable amount of time and blood, anywhere from four to six days and 10 to 40 ml. If your periods haven't changed significantly in the past few months, you probably don't need to worry.

Expert in reproductive endocrinology at the Southern California Reproductive Center, Lina Akopians, M.D., Ph.D., says that a hormonal issue or a structural issue (meaning something happened to an organ in your body) could be the cause of a period that lightens up significantly.

However, if you are curious as to why your period is so light, the following are some explanations to consider.

First, it may be an indication of pregnancy.

Having a missed period is a telltale sign of pregnancy, but some women still bleed or have a light period during pregnancy, according to fertility expert Janet Choi, M.D. D , New York City CCRM's director of medicine In fact, she has seen patients who have been trying to conceive get drunk after a light period finally arrives, only to find out later that they were actually pregnant the whole time.

An ectopic pregnancy (when an egg implants somewhere other than the uterus) is another possible cause of abnormally light periods or spotting. If you are unsure of your pregnancy status, you should take a test.

Second, you've made a drastic weight change, either way.

Changes in body mass can wreak havoc on your menstrual cycle, causing your periods to become irregular or unusually long. That's because putting on extra pounds causes your body to store more fat, which can disrupt your hormone levels. Likewise, if you're trying to lose weight but cutting back on calories, you may be putting your body into a stressful state and throwing off your hormone balance. Dr According to Akopians, "your body needs a healthy balance between protein, carbohydrates, fats, and vitamins," in order to function normally.

Your physical health is being negatively impacted by stress.

african american woman having a headache from working on a computer at home

skynesher // Getty Pictures

You are aware of all the ways in which stress can negatively affect your health. Normal, everyday frustrations shouldn't be enough to disrupt your hormone balance, but Dr. According to Choi, major life stressors like depression or losing a loved one can have this effect. She also notes that the physical stress of exercising too much can have an adverse effect on a woman's menstrual cycle.

4. Your thyroid is overactive.

When the thyroid gland becomes overactive, the body produces an excess of thyroid hormones, which can have negative effects on the body as a whole. Hyperthyroidism can also manifest itself in abnormally light or absent menstrual periods. Make an appointment with your doctor if you also have some of the other symptoms of an overactive thyroid.

To prevent pregnancy, you use hormones.

Pack of contraceptive pills with instructions.

TanyaJoy // Images by Getty

Hormonal birth control is a common method for reducing the intensity of a woman's period, and some doctors will prescribe it to women who suffer from exceptionally heavy periods. It is common to have lighter periods after starting the pill, the patch, the ring, or a hormonal IUD, as well as to completely skip cycles or to experience trace amounts of dark or light blood.

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) could be to blame for this issue.

Ovaries with polycystic ovary syndrome produce an excess of androgens, or male sex hormones. Small fluid-filled sacs, or cysts, can form in the ovaries of women with polycystic ovary syndrome. Hormonal shifts can prevent a woman from ovulating, which can cause a variety of unpleasant side effects like acne, oily skin, weight gain, and hair growth in unwanted places. Infrequent or absent menstrual cycles are another sign of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). When periods do occur, they may be more or less severe than usual. If you're experiencing any of these signs, see a doctor.

Early symptoms of menopause 7 You're already feeling the effects of menopause

Doctor's first response to a patient who complains about her tampons' decreasing effectiveness is to tell her to buy more. Choi takes a close look at his own age. Menopause could be on the horizon, but it isn't a given. She notes that while a change in menstrual cycles is not always indicative of sterility, "sometimes with aging the cycles change." A person who required the use of a super pad in their twenties and thirties may find that they require less protection after the age of thirty-five. ”

You have cervical stenosis, which is a narrowing of the canal at the top

The problem is uncommon but unpleasant, as Dr. According to Akopians, it happens when the cervix shortens or closes completely. This is possible following uterine or cervix procedures like LEEP for an abnormal pap or endometrial ablation for heavy periods. Premenopausal estrogen deficiency may also contribute to cervical stenosis. Which means that blood either cannot leave the uterus at all, or leaves very slowly. Talk to your doctor if you have severe cramping despite a light flow.

Problems stem from scar tissue in your uterus, which has developed over the past few years.

Although most women recover normally after undergoing a dilation and curettage (D&C), severe scarring can sometimes cause the walls of the uterus to stick together, a condition known as Asherman's syndrome. After a D&C, your period may become noticeably lighter. Scar tissue may require surgical removal.

You experienced significant blood loss during and after giving birth.

Dr. Smith says, "This is a very rare condition." Akopians If you lose a lot of blood, your body won't get the oxygen it needs, and you may develop a condition called Sheehan's syndrome. This causes a dramatic decrease in the production of all hormones by the gland, including those that regulate your menstrual cycle. Your menstrual cycle isn't the only thing affected by the hormones your body produces. If your primary care physician has any concerns, you will most likely be referred to an endocrinologist for further evaluation and possible treatment.

If your period is lighter than usual, it may not be serious, but you should still pay attention to the trend. Keep track of your menstrual cycle for a few months; if it doesn't return to normal, see a gynecologist.

Breastfeeding, number 11.

"Oxytocin (produced in the hypothalamus and released by the pituitary) stimulates milk production from the breasts when a woman is breastfeeding," explains Dr. Williams Hormones that signal the production of estrogen are reduced, and ovulation and progesterone production are stifled as a result. Therefore, women who breastfeed frequently tend to have light periods (or none at all) due to the lack of uterine lining buildup.

12) You're dealing with an eating disorder daily.

Eating disorders have a major effect on periods through a process called hypothalamic suppression, which Dr. Miller Hormones that stimulate ovulation and progesterone production, as well as estrogen production, are all disrupted as a result of this. ”

As a result, not only does the lining of the uterine wall not develop, but neither does the signal to shed it. Thus, over time, periods become shorter or disappear altogether.

As a result,

Don't disregard a lighter period than usual just because it isn't necessarily cause for alarm. If, after two months of keeping track, your cycle has not returned to normal, you should see a gynecologist.

You can reach the National Eating Disorders Association's 24/7 confidential helpline at (800) 931-2237 if you or someone you know needs assistance with an eating disorder. When you text "HOME" to the Crisis Text Line's short code (741741), a trained crisis counselor will be immediately available to chat with you.

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