Reasons for Light Periods


There can be many reasons why you may have a light period. Heredity can be one factor as well as medications, stress, hormonal or glandular imbalances and even too much exercise. Your healthcare professional can help you determine if light periods are normal for you, or if there is a problem that may need addressing.

Are light periods healthy?
Are light periods healthy? (Image: David Woolley/Photodisc/Getty Images)

Birth Control Pills

Some women are prescribed birth control pills not only for contraception, but to decrease heavy flows that may have been causing anemia or other problems. Birth control pills alter the lining of the uterus so that it will be less receptive to accepting a fertilized egg, and one way in which they do this is by making the lining thinner. A thinner lining means less menstrual flow.

If you have just started birth control pills, you may notice lighter periods especially after your body has adjusted. If this happens, then you can attribute this to the pills.

Birth control pills
Birth control pills (Image: Stockbyte/Stockbyte/Getty Images)


When you are stressed, your body actually interprets it as a signal that you are in danger. When this occurs, the body will direct blood flow from other parts of the body to the internal organs, brain, lungs and other more important areas.

If you are experiencing excessive or continuous stress especially around the time for your period, then you may have a lighter period. Once the stress is alleviated or reduced, your flow should return to normal.

Stress. (Image: Brand X Pictures/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images)

Too Much Exercise

If you have strenuous workout routines or are training for major athletic competitions, you will often have lighter periods. When the workout or training routine is altered to where it is less strenuous, the flow should return to normal.

If it doesn’t or if the flow stops all together, you should contact your healthcare professional to make sure there is nothing else causing this.

Too much exercise.
Too much exercise. (Image: Wendy Hope/Stockbyte/Getty Images)

Problems with Thyroid Gland

The thyroid secretes thyroxine (T4), triiodothyronine (T3) and calcitonin, which are hormones. Because it acts in conjunction with the pituitary gland, when there is a reduction in the thyroid hormone levels, for whatever reason, the pituitary gland secretes its own hormones that stimulate the thyroid to increase its hormone production. When this occurs, periods can be affected and may be lighter.

If you suspect that you are having trouble with your thyroid gland, have your health are professional run thyroid function tests. These will determine if there is a problem. If there is, it can be treated with medication and your period should return to normal.

Consult your doctor.
Consult your doctor. (Image: Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images)

Hormone Imbalance

Estrogen is another hormone that can cause lighter periods if its production is reduced. Estrogen is responsible for stimulating the lining of the uterus to thicken in preparation for pregnancy, and if there is not enough estrogen, the lining will not thicken properly. Again, the thinner the uterine lining, the lighter a period will be.

When the estrogen level is corrected, your period will return to normal. Your health care professional can prescribe medications that will accomplish this.

Medication can improve hormone imbalances.
Medication can improve hormone imbalances. (Image: Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images)

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