Lighter Than Usual Periods? Know These 9 Reasons

Women ideally get their periods every 21–35 days. Each woman has a consistency in her periods pertaining to the flow and the number of days of flow. In such case, any small change in the pattern could be worrisome. While heavy bleeding could keep you constantly irritated, light bleeding could temporarily make you feel relieved. However, it could indicate an underlying health condition, which might need medical attention.

Understanding what is light bleeding could be tricky. Some of the most common symptoms are bleeding for lesser than two days, missing a regular flow day, spotting, and frequent light periods much before your regular cycle.


Below are the reasons why you are experiencing the same.

Why Are Your Periods Lighter Than Usual

1. Body Weight

Sudden change in body weight causes light bleeding


Your body weight influences a lot of your health conditions. Menstrual cycle is one of them. If you are underweight, it is quite common to experience light flow. This is due to lack of appropriate proteins and fats for the normal functioning of the hormones. In simple terms, your body works towards looking after itself first than preparing it for the growth of another human being within.

Sudden weight gain or weight loss also have a similar impact. As your body is getting adjusted to its new form and metabolic rate, the nutrients might be used in a different way than before.


2. Pregnancy

Pregnancy results in spotting

Though missing a period is one of the common symptoms of pregnancy, some women might experience light spotting. It lasts for less than two days and could be well before your actual periods. It happens when the embryo attaches itself to the wall of the uterus, a process called implantation. This leads to a light shedding of that part of the uterus wall.


In rare cases, consistent light spotting could also indicate an ectopic pregnancy. It is a condition in which the embryo instead of attaching itself to the uterus wall, gets implanted elsewhere, like in fallopian tubes. It is a serious condition and should be discussed with your doctor immediately.

3. Hormonal Birth Control

Hormonal birth controls cause lighter bleeding


Some birth control pills work by obstructing the process of ovulation. As the egg is not released, your uterus produces only a thin lining. This, in turn, leads to lighter periods. In rare cases, you could even skip a period. These birth control methods come in various forms like pills, patch, shot, or ring. It is often experienced when you have recently started or stopped using the birth control method.

Due to this property, hormonal birth control methods are usually prescribed to women who experience heavy bleeding.


4. Age

Age impacts your bleeding pattern

Age impacts your menstrual cycle significantly. In teenage, your periods could vary often in length and flow. As you age, you will have a defined pattern to your cycles, until you reach perimenopause (time just before menopause). During perimenopause, your body is getting ready to cease the process of menstruation and you start experiencing lighter bleeding month on month. This is due to changing levels of hormones, which is perfectly normal.


5. Breastfeeding

Breastfeeding causes lighter bleeding

The hormone prolactin which plays a vital role in the production of milk during pregnancy prevents the process of ovulation. This might delay your periods for months. However, once your period onsets, the bleeding could be light. In a few months, you will get back to the normal pattern of bleeding.

6. Stress

Stress can change normal menstrual flow

Stress is one of the leading causes of various health problems; from cardiac disease, depression, to diabetes. Issues with menstrual cycle are no exception. When stressed, your body releases two hormones called cortisol and adrenaline. Of the two, cortisol causes severe damage to the endocrine system, by affecting the way other hormones work. Estrogen and progesterone which are the drivers of the menstrual cycle are produced in scarce quantities due to cortisol. This causes lighter bleeding, or in some cases skipping of periods.

Physical stress due to overexercising is also one of the causes.

7. Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome

PCOS alters hormonal system

Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) is one of the common endocrine disorders which results in a hormonal imbalance. It is due to the presence of small cysts in your ovaries that stop the egg from maturing. As a result, either no egg or an immature egg enters your uterus, impacting the thickness of the uterine wall. This leads to lighter bleeding or spotting. Apart from this, excess hair growth, acne, and sudden weight gain are also the prominent symptoms.

8. Hyperthyroidism

Hyperthyroidism can cause lighter bleeding

The thyroid gland releases hormones, which regulate the way your cells metabolize energy. When your body overproduces these hormones it leads to nervousness, anxiety, rapid heartbeat, excessive sweating, and sleeplessness. This can also cause light bleeding or spotting.

9. Distressed Uterine Lining

A distressed uterine lining leads to lighter periods

Low estrogen level is one of the main causes your uterus lining is not thick enough. This leads to lighter bleeding. Apart from this, if you have a scar on your uterus lining, it could damage the tissue that builds up every month, resulting in scanty bleeding. Asherman’s syndrome, a rare condition, which causes adhesions in the uterine wall could also be one of the reasons.

Any change in the flow of your cycle should be carefully observed. As it could also be the symptom of a few serious health conditions, getting in touch with your healthcare provider immediately is recommended.