Each month, after attaining puberty, a woman's uterine lining sheds and passes out of the body in the form of blood and blood clots, through the vagina.
Normally, on an average woman, a period lasts for anywhere between 3-7 days.
Along with bleeding and cramps in the pelvis, other symptoms that occur during a woman's periods are increase in hunger, bloating, tenderness of the breasts, etc.
While it is common for some women to get tested by the doctors, if they are experiencing very heavy flow during the periods, as they feel it is not normal, a lighter flow during the periods is not really given much attention to by many.
However, having very light flow during the period can also indicate the presence of an ailment and ignoring it could lead to a number of health complications.
Here is why a light flow is caused during the periods and everything you need to know about it.
What Causes A Light Flow During Periods In Women?
Normally, a healthy woman, who is not very close to attaining menopause, is supposed to shed about 30 ml to 50 ml of menstrual blood per period, that is, inclusive of all her bleeding days per month. This is the normal range.
However, if a woman is only shedding 30 ml or less amount of menstrual blood on the entire course of her monthly periods, it could indicate a condition known as 'hypomenorrhea'.
One way for women to check if they have hypomenorrhea is to keep tabs on the number of sanitary pads or tampons they have used per day and to keep a track of how many days the bleeding lasts.
If the bleeding lasts for less than 3 days, in which the woman has used only 1-2 sanitary pads or tampons for the entire day, it could surely be a sign of hypomenorrhea.
Why Light Period Flow Can Be Harmful?
When a person does not get treated for hypomenorrhea for a long time and it continues for months, the hormonal imbalances which cause this disease in the first place, further increase and may cause severe health problems.
In addition, women who have untreated hypomenorrhea are at a very high risk of rapid weight gain, infertility and ovarian cancer.
Weight gain is a result of hormonal imbalance. One of the major causes of hypomenorrhea is hormonal imbalance and when it is left untreated, the problem escalates, further leading to weight gain and other metabolic disorders.
Hypomenorrhea is also indicative of the fact that your uterine lining is thin. For implantation, it is essential that your uterus is nourished and the prerequisite of a healthy pregnancy is a thick, well-vascularized uterine lining. Therefore, women who are intending to get pregnant should keep a close watch on their period flow and make sure that it is normal.
Women in their 40s and 50s could be having slower or lighter periods. Although most cases attribute to perimenopause (period surrounding menopause), it is essential to get any abnormal flow checked. Menstrual irregularities could be an early sign of ovarian cancer.
So, untreated hypomenorrhea or ignoring very light period flow can lead to harmful health consequences.
Symptoms And Causes Of Hypomenorrhea
Hypomenorrhea is caused by factors such as
• Hormonal imbalance
• Thin uterine lining
• Extreme stress
• Being underweight
• Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS)
• Taking hormonal birth control pills
• Onset of menopause
• Kidney disease
Along with a very light blood flow, which lasts only for a few days, there are a few other symptoms which can help diagnose the presence of hypomenorrhea, such as
• Delays in menstrual cycle
• Often missing menstrual cycles for 2-3 months continuously
• Weakness and fatigue
• Development of excessive body hair
• Loss of sexual libido
• Joint pain
• Water retention in the body, especially the pelvic region and the ankles
Treatment For Hypomenorrhea
The treatment for hypomenorrhea depends on the cause for this condition, as it may vary from person to person.
For example, if the hypomenorrhea is caused by stress, one should make an effort to reduce it. If it is caused by hormonal imbalance, hormonal therapy is given.
In cases where the hypomenorrhea is caused by PCOS, the treatment for that disorder is given, which in turn treats hypomenorrhea.
So, after the diagnosis is made by the doctors to determine the presence of hypomenorrhea, the treatment is given in accordance to the causes.
The diagnosis is usually made with the help of blood tests that check the hormone levels and also by scans which help check the uterus.
In addition, making certain healthy lifestyle changes, such as eating clean and exercising on a regular basis can also help curb hormonal imbalance naturally, in order to reduce the symptoms of hypomenorrhea.
Research studies have found that, adding foods such as, cinnamon, papaya, aloe vera, sesame seeds, etc., to your diet can also help regulate the hormones and treat hypomenorrhea.