During one period a woman losses about 35ml of scarlet or dark-red blood. Brown spotting or pink mucus instead of a period may be explained by both congenital and acquirable factors. In order to determine the causes of scanty periods, it is first of all required to exclude the factor of adjustment to hormonal contraceptives.
The average volume of blood loss during a period at a single menstrual cycle (MC) is 35ml. Normally, the blood can be dark-red or scarlet with or without clots. It is a mixture of actual blood and exfoliated cells of the renovated endometrial lining that had been proliferated, preparing to pregnancy, which in fact didn’t occur.
In case the blood flow during the period is scanty and the discharge appears in the form of brown spotting or light-pink mucus, such a process is referred to ashypomenorrhea. Let us discuss the possible causes of such a phenomenon.
Congenital pathology, which is expressed in scanty periods
Extremely scanty discharge during periods may be associated with three causes, that represent congenital diseases – genetic deficiency, anomalous or defective uterus and obstruction of the cervical canal (of the uterine cervix). In the first situation, we can speak about severe genetic diseases, such as trisomy X symptom; in the second case we deal with intrauterine synechia (adhesions), and finally, the third case involves cervical deficiency, to be more precise, stenosis (obstruction) of its os.
Chromosomal anomaly, as well as adhesions in the uterine cavity, are characterized by an irregular menstrual cycle (MC), which actually explains the insufficient amount of menstrual discharge. Congenital atresia of the cervical os creates a mechanical obstacle for normal blood flow – discharge is produced in sufficient amount, but it cannot normally flow out of the uterine cavity.
Acquired conditions – reasons for scanty blood flow during periods
The following factors should be mentioned:
- The same cervical stenosis, but in this case of inflammatory nature;
- Synechiae of the uterine cavity, induced by a trauma or inflammation;
- Insufficiency of the gonadotropic hormone, caused by nervous exhaustion;
- Intake of hormonal contraceptive means, including intrauterine device with progesterone.
As it has already been mentioned above, hypomenorrhea is provoked by cervical stenosis due to the obstacle for the flow of menstrual blood. It may appear after an infectious disease, trauma or surgical manipulation, including abortion. Obstruction of the cervical canal is expressed not only in brown spotting instead of periods, but also in acute cramps, which decline along with the outflow of menstrual blood.
Cicatrical changes of the uterine cervix can be detected only during a gynecological examination, after which surgical treatment may be recommended.
Scanty periods can also be associated with atrophied endometrial lining, in the result of uterine adhesions after, for example, endometritis (inflammation of the uterine mucous lining), as well as due to hormonal insufficiency. Therefore, a permanents stress is another common reason for observing pink discharge or spotting instead of a period. The fact is that overstressing results in significant disruption of the hormonal balance, particularly, of the gonadotropic hormone level. This hormone, which is vital for the female organism, is rather sensitive to the state of the nervous system. Its deficiency explains the decreased amount of menstrual blood, caused by psychological exhaustion.
There is a “regulated” type of endometrial atrophy, and it assumes diminution of its thickness at anovular cycles, precipitated by the intake of hormonal contraceptives. All the above mentioned conditions, except for the last one, require medical examination, since the disorders of the menstrual cycle, including hypomenorrhea, may eventually lead to infertility.