Short periods may take place for a variety of reasons. There may not be a particular cause, but it may mean a person needs to see a doctor.
A typical period lasts 2–7 days in any place. Periods shorter than this may indicate a health problem.
A short period is sometimes not a time at all, but a brief spotting. This may be a sign of pregnancy, a period during which the individual did not ovulate, or other problems.
In this article, we look at the possible short-term causes, and when a person should see a doctor.
Is it normal?
Each time period can vary in length. A individual may have a shorter or longer period than that of his friends or relatives.
If a phase lasts for 2 days, this is considered normal by physicians.
If a person’s cycle stops suddenly, however, or they experience intense pain, they might need to see a doctor.
Is it due to pregnancy?
Many women bleed during pregnancy, in the first trimester in particular.
15–25 percent of pregnant women bleed during the first trimester, according to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Also, spotting can occur 1–2 weeks after fertilization.
Faster bleeding could be a sign of pregnancy when:
- It occurs midway between ovulation and when a person expects their period. This may signal implantation bleeding.
- It occurs around the time a person expects their period. This could be early pregnancy spotting or delayed implantation bleeding.
- It occurs after a delayed or missed period. This may be early pregnancy spotting or an early pregnancy loss.
While bleeding may be common during pregnancy, it may also be a sign of loss of pregnancy.
If a person feels pregnant or loss of pregnancy they should see a doctor as soon as possible.
When a person turns 30–50 years of age, they can start experiencing perimenopause.
A lot of people find that their times change in these years before menopause.
They could have intervals shorter or less regular. They may miss periods, as well.
Additional signs could include:
- hot flashes
- difficulty sleeping
- night sweats
- vaginal dryness
One anovulatory cycle is when an egg is not released by the ovaries. Generally anovulation occurs among those entering the menopause.
If an individual isn’t ovulating, their cycle may become irregular.
Unique symptoms could include:
- pelvic pain
- bowel dysfunction
- bladder dysfunction
- vaginal discharge
Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)
PCOS is a hormone imbalance which will be experienced by 1 in 10 women of childbearing age, according to the Office on Women’s Health. It’s likewise a common cause of infertility.
It can disrupt ovulation, or alter the length of the cycles of a female.
Symptoms may include:
- irregular menstrual periods
- excess hair growth
- oily skin
- fluid-filled sacs on the ovaries
A person may take medications to treat PCOS including hormonal birth control, anti-androgen drugs, and metformin.
Endometriosis occurs when tissue similar to that which develops inside the uterus starts to develop outside the uterus.
Usually, the tissue develops on the ovaries, Fallopian tubes, or tissues that contain the uterus. It may expand in the vagina, intestines, bladder, rectum, and cervix as well.
This tissue is also occasionally able to grow in the lungs, skin and brain.
Endometriosis also causes bleeding or spotting between cycles, so that some people may think they have a short time.
Other symptoms include:
- digestive problems
Treatment typically includes surgery or hormonal birth control.
When to see a doctor
If a person has an unexplained vaginal bleeding they should see a doctor.
A person should also see a doctor if:
- their cycle suddenly becomes much shorter
- they experience other symptoms, such as painful bleeding
- they suspect that they are infertile
- they believe that they are not ovulating
- they experience bleeding after a positive pregnancy test
- they want to get pregnant but have irregular periods or symptoms of PCOS.
Many factors can affect the length of an individual’s time.
A brief period of time can be an exception. Though, variations in the menstrual cycle could be a sign of fertility issues for women who are trying to get pregnant.
It can be natural for short time periods. If a person is worried, though, they should see a specialist who can help identify why a person has a short period of time and whether they need additional treatment.