PeriodsScanty Menstrual Flow

Scanty Menstrual Flow


The human body is amazing in that it functions day in and day out for years on end with great consistency. It can be nerve-wracking when that consistency is not maintained, or when our bodies don’t seem to be functioning consistently with how other people’s bodies are functioning. If your period is considerably lighter than it usually is, it can be scary – you might be wondering if something is wrong with your body. Medically, the term for scanty menstrual flow is hypomenorrhea, and it is a relatively harmless occurrence.


There are a couple of things that can cause your period to be significantly light or short. First of all, you might be genetically predisposed to shed less blood. Many women always have short, light periods, and that’s just normal for them. As women age, their periods can change as well, and may become less heavy than they used to be just because their bodies are getting older. However, the most common cause for a scanty period is simply a hormonal imbalance.

Hormonal Imbalance

Our bodies produce messengers called hormones that travel through the blood to regulate various functions, including the menstruation process. There are certain chemical properties that have to be met in our body for the hormones to be produced and to function normally, and when those chemical balances aren’t met, then our body can’t hear the messages the hormones are trying to tell it, creating another imbalance. There are a number of reasons why your hormones might not be in balance, such as the following:


When you are very nervous or high-strung all the time, your body reacts by trying to calm you down, Unfortunately, the way it does that can inhibit some of its hormonal regulation, which can lead to a scanty period.


Excitement is essentially a happy stress, and thus has the same effects as stress on your body.

Poor Diet

If you don’t eat right, your body doesn’t get all of the nutrients it needs to function well. If you are eating poorly for an extended amount of time, you can mess up the natural balance in your system.

Change in Diet

If you recently made a drastic change in the way you eat, you can throw off your body’s normal balance. Eventually your body will adapt, but in the meantime you can be left with an imbalance in your body that can lead to a light period.

Treating the Causes

As you can see, a scanty period isn’t generally something to be too worried about. In fact, if it was caused by stress, worrying about it can make the issue even worse! Getting into a healthy routine (or out of an unhealthy routine) is probably all you need to do to get back into a normal swing, unless you’re aging and are entering menopause. Then your normal swing will just be changing. Things like getting enough to eat, eating right, getting enough exercise, and keeping stress out of your life will help your body function at its peak, and that will mean that it will remain consistent in its functioning.

If you suspect that something else is causing this irregularity, you should probably talk to a doctor and get some blood tests done. It is good to talk to a doctor if you are concerned because they can give you access to prescription medication and professional help if something more serious is at the root of your problems. However, most scanty menstrual flows are temporary, harmless events that are caused by hormonal imbalances related to stress.

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Hi, I'm Samantha. I live in Seattle and I develop logistics management software. I'm also a fitness and health advocate and an assistant editor for the AP!

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