Well Being

Lively Women Q&A: Light Periods for 3 Months?

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Women’s Health Advice and InformationYou ask…

My cycle has been short, light, and almost non-existant for the last three months. A nurse told me that this was ok, as long as it was at least a drop, it was ok, but she said this without examining me or giving me any test. Is this ok? What's going on?

Lively Women answers…

Well, there are a couple of options here, and the nurse probably figured that it was one of the first few when she told you not to worry about it. But let's talk about some of the things that could be going on so you can decide what you want to do.

For most women, your cycle is affected by your stress level, your weight, what you've been eating lately, all kinds of factors. I know that when I'm stressed out, my period is always late compared with the norm. If I've been sick, it's usually lighter and shorter, presumably because my body is conserving resources to help me feel better. So if you've been ill or under an unusual amount of stress lately, that could explain it. So could changing your birth control method or starting a new medication.

Another possibility is that your weight has changed, and your body is adjusting. Women with low body fat may find that they have lighter periods, skip periods, or even stop getting their period entirely. This is common among professional athletes, and may affect people like you and me if we're throwing ourselves into a new exercise routine.

A third possibility is that your body is going through some hormonal changes and your period is in flux while everything stabilizes. Hormonal shifts aren't just limited to puberty and menopause.

Or, and this is a big one, you could be pregnant. It's not unheard of for some women to spot or have a super light flow during the early months of pregnancy. If you think this is even a remote possibility (ie, if you're sexually active), go take a pregnancy test.

And I don't want to freak you out, so please don't panic, but there could also be something else wrong, like an infection of some sort, and STD, or cancer. The only way you can find out for sure is to visit your gynecologist for an exam and to run some tests if the problem isn't something obvious.

Assuming that you're not pregnant (if you are pregnant, you need to get to an obstetrician pronto to make sure everything is okay, get prenatal vitamins, all that good stuff), as long as you're not experiencing pain or discomfort in your girly parts, unusual mood swings or behavioral changes, or any other problems, I personally wouldn't be too concerned about it at this point. I would, however, be keeping close track of when my period starts and stops and how heavy or light the flow is and would make a note of any unusual PMS symptoms so I can give my gynecologist as much info as possible if I go in to see her about this.
But if this has been going on for a long time (like more than just a few months), is dramatically different from your periods before (like you used to bleed heavily for 7-9 days and suddenly you're using panty liners and it's 2 days) or if you're noticing any other changes, I would make an appointment with the OB/GYN for an exam pronto. Trust your gut — if it feels like something's wrong, don't wait to go in to see your doctor.

Good luck, and stay lively!

Do you have a women’s health question? Send it to kristen@b5media.com and look for more information right here at LivelyWomen.com.

Contents © Copyright 2007 Kristen King