“My period is light.” is a statement we might have heard in so many conversations with female friends. Have you ever wondered what it exactly means to have a light period and why it happen?
What is a Light Period? How to Know Whether You Have It?
Body weight changes, changes in eating patterns, exercise routines, hormonal imbalances as well emotional levels of stress, all may be responsible for the causation of light periods. The two major hormones responsible for menstruation are estrogen and progesterone.
What does the statement “My period is light” mean?
A period is light when the following characterizes it:
- Menstrual periods that have a very light flow of blood
- Lasting lesser number of days than the usual cycle
- Loss of blood below 20 ml can be considered a light period.
Sometimes your period is light as an extremely normal part of your cycle’s very natural, very random variation which is okay. Often times your period is light before it eventually ends up becoming heavier as the days in your cycle progress.
It may also be an underlying sign of pregnancy. Spotting in early pregnancy is a main factor that is caused by implantation bleeding, which may just seem like a light period. Lighter than normal period blood can be in various shades of pink, red, or brownish. It may or may not involve cramps and period pain.
Occasionally, it can also be a vital signal that there’s something else going on. Your period is light due to various fluctuating and ever-changing factors, and hormonal imbalances are one of the potential reasons.
My Period is Light, Why?
The two primary hormones that are responsible for regulating the menstrual cycle and may also influence the flow of periods in women are estrogen and progesterone. An imbalance between them usually causes an imbalance in your period cycle too. Here is how they can majorly affect a woman’s menstrual flow:
During the first half of the menstrual cycle, the levels of the estrogen hormone in the women’s body rise, which stimulates the growth of the lining that is shed in the uterus. Estrogen is a hormone that plays a role in thickening this lining to prepare the body for a potential pregnancy. In some cases, if there is not enough estrogen present, the uterine lining may not grow as thick, resulting in lighter periods.
After ovulation, during the second half of the menstrual cycle, the levels of the hormone- progesterone increase. Progesterone is a hormone that helps in maintaining the endometrial lining, making embryo implantation easier if it occurs.
If the level of progesterone is low, the endometrial lining may not be maintained properly, leading to a lighter menstrual flow.
Other hormones, such as luteinizing hormone (LH) and follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), may also play quite essential roles in the menstrual cycle, but they do not directly influence the flow of periods in any way.
What Other Factors May Contribute to a Lighter Period?
Some of the factors that may contribute to a menstrual flow lighter than usual, apart from the influence of hormones are:
Imbalances in the production of various hormones like estrogen and progesterone
Experiencing too much unmanageable stress in your personal or professional life causes light periods.
Thyroid-related disorders like hyperthyroidism, hypothyroidism, thyroid cancer, etc.
Too much rigorous and excessive exercise may contribute to lighter periods.
Eating too little or not enough nutrients may be a cause of having a period that is lighter than usual.
What are Some of the Signs That Commonly Accompany Light Periods?
Your period is light due to various causes but how will you identify whether your period is light or not? The commonly found symptoms and signs of lighter periods are:
- Cramps: Unbearable and severe abdominal pain and cramps
- Infections: Frequent infections like a yeast infection and other fungal or bacterial infections
- Pain during sexual intercourse: Experiencing intense pain during sexual intercourse
- Abnormal period patterns: Regular missing or absence of periods
- Discomfort in body: Serious discomfort in various parts of the body like arms, legs or chest
Is It Normal to Have Light Periods?
Yes, it is! Your period is light due to various reasons. Every person is different, and so the chances of you bleeding the exact same amount as your friend, colleague, or sister are highly unlikely.
It is not just the amount of blood that can constitute a light period, however, because a light period may additionally have fewer bleeding days or a color.
This is due to a process called oxidation where the menstrual blood changes color when exposed to oxygen as it travels from your uterus to your pad, tampon, or any other menstrual product that you use.
As you are shedding less blood, it will take longer and the longer the blood is exposed to oxygen outside your blood vessels, the darker or browner it may appear.
It is very important to note that when your period is light, or when someone you know has a light period, it can have several major as well as minor, deep underlying causes.
If Your Period is Light, How to Naturally Increase Flow to a Healthy Level During Light Periods?
Some natural ways to increase a light period flow at home are:
Make sure to consume 1.5-2L of water every single day to get a healthy flow during menstruation. Drinking more water leads to a better menstrual flow and helps in cleansing the body as well as the skin.
Consume plenty of iron and fiber-rich foods like oats, wheat, and quinoa, dark green leafy vegetables like spinach, kale, and cabbage, and fruits like watermelon, apricots, pomegranate as well as dry fruits like raisins and prunes.
Engage in at least 30 minutes of daily activity. Yoga is considered especially helpful with periods. Several poses in yoga like Matsyasana and Dhanurasana are considered beneficial for healthy periods.
Get Enough Sleep:
The maintenance of a good sleep cycle and a good circadian rhythm is directly linked with a healthy period flow. Try to get in at least 6-8 hours of sleep and rest every day.
All in all, having a light period could occur due to a wide variety of reasons and might not always be something to worry greatly about.
Tracking your period symptoms over the course of time might greatly help in understanding your cycle better. Also tracking the symptoms as well as your eating, sleeping, and exercise habits around this time period may also be of great help.
A period that seems light is usually not a cause for concern. However, it could actually sometimes be a sign of hormonal shifts or certain medical conditions. Most people experience a natural fluctuation in their menstrual periods from time to time.
If you are experiencing irregular or significantly lighter periods, it’s essential to consult with a healthcare professional to determine the specific cause so that you are able to receive the appropriate kind of treatment or guidance for you!