What Causes Lighter Menstrual Periods? Is It a Sign of Pregnancy?


A light period can be caused by a number of things from health complications to pregnancy and major lifestyle changes. A lighter period can be concerning, especially if your flow is typically normal or on the heavy side. If your period is lighter than normal, it could be a sign that something is off in your body.

The Difference Between Spotting and Light Bleeding

Many women confuse spotting and light bleeding, but it’s important to understand the difference between the two.

  • Spotting is lighter in color (typically a pinkish brown) and only produces a minimal amount of blood.
  • Bleeding is red in color and produces enough blood to soak a sanitary pad.

Spotting can be an indicator that your period is about to begin, or it can be a sign of pregnancy. There are a variety of things that can cause a light period.

Is a Light Period a Sign of Pregnancy?

 Positive pregnancy test on the hand.

A light period can be a symptom of early pregnancy. If your menstrual cycle is usually regular, but your period is late, light bleeding could be a sign of pregnancy. If this is the case, the bleeding that you’re experiencing is known as implantation bleeding. When a fertilized egg attaches to the uterine lining, bleeding can occur.

Implantation bleeding is much lighter than a regular period and will only last a day or two.

What Causes a Light Period?

There are many things, aside from pregnancy, that can cause a light period. These include:

  • Hormonal changes. If your body is going through an unusual hormonal shift, you may experience a lighter period than normal. This is typically the most common cause for a light menses.
  • Women who are approaching menopause may experience very light periods as their bodies are now producing less estrogen.
  • Just started menstruating. Young women who have just started menstruating may also have lighter periods, or missed periods.
  • Lifestyle changes. Excessive amounts of stress and exercise can also affect the flow of your period.
  • Health issues. Thyroid conditions, eating disorders, PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome) and other health conditions can affect your monthly cycle.
  • Oral contraceptives and other medications can cause a period to be lighter than normal.

Some women may also experience spotting or a light period while they’re pregnant.

What Causes Spotting or Light Bleeding During a Pregnancy?

Pregnant woman relaxing at home on the couch.
Source: http://dermatologyalliancetx.com/

Women may also experience light bleeding or spotting during pregnancy, and this phenomenon can be caused by a number of things, including:

  • Miscarriage or an ectopic pregnancy: During the first trimester of a pregnancy spotting or bleeding can be an indication of a miscarriage or an ectopic pregnancy. If the bleeding is accompanied by cramping and abdominal pain, see a doctor right away as the condition can be life threatening.
  • Sexual intercourse: It is not unusual for women to spot after intercourse during a pregnancy. During this time, the cervix will have increased blood flow, which can easily lead to a little spotting.
  • Infection: Spotting can also be a sign of an STD (sexually transmitted disease) or a vaginal infection. These conditions can cause inflammation in the cervix and can lead to bleeding.
  • Vaginal exam: A pap smear and other vaginal exams can also cause light spotting because of the increased blood flow to the cervix.
  • Placenta or premature issues: If a woman experiences bleeding or spotting during the second or third trimester, the issue could be serious. Late miscarriage, placenta previa, placental abruption or premature labor could be the cause. Bleeding during the first trimester could also be a sign of placental problems and is commonly associated with complications later on in the pregnancy.
  • Close to labor: When a woman is close to giving birth, her cervix will dilate to prepare her body. When this occurs, she may also pass the mucus plug, which can look like blood. Generally, this is no cause for concern, but if you notice more than a hint of blood, you need to get medical attention immediately.

In short, a light period can be a sign of pregnancy, but it can also be an indicator of a health-related issue. See your doctor if you are concerned about your period’s flow.


  1. I have pcos and I normally have periods every 3 months and rhey r normally really heavy but this month I started and its like spotting with a pink colour and my perod blood os normallu daek red any advise please ?

  2. I had sex in April and my periods were normal and in July I missed my periods then 1st of August I had sex after a day or two I noticed that when I’m wiping after I pee there light blood coming out….could that be signs of pregnancy?

  3. I had sex not to long ago, and I was supposed to start my period a week ago but didn’t start till today..so I was a week late which isn’t normal for me. And I usually start in the morning like as soon as I wake up..but today I started around 3:00 in the afternoon. But it’s very light…could I be pregnant ?

  4. My periods are regular. They are about 30 days. It normally comes on the same day every month. In August my period came on the 11th. September it came a day late on the 12th. Now here we are in October and it was 5 days late. Im not sure if this is my period or if its a sign that im pregnant.
    I tracked my ovulation. I ovulated Between September 22-26.
    I had unprotected sex on September 3rd,7th and 24th and he ejaculated inside me.
    October we had unprotected sex on the 1st, 9th and 13th. On the 16th I saw pink with discharge when I wiped. It stopped till the 18th now its bright red and lighter then my period. Normally I bleed heavy and my blood is darker then this. What is going on?

  5. I normally have a 28day period cycle,but this time my period came on the 24th day and its light ,could this be a sign of pregnancy

  6. I have a 28 day regular cycle but this month I hav started my periods three days before.The bleeding is light.what could be the cause.

  7. hi I saw my period on the 13th of this month and i made love with my husband on 5th day since then each time i make love with my husband I see dark blood stain on my under wear what could be the cause . my period was light did not flow well please help me

  8. Hi…I need help…I hv been TTC for some time now..me and my husband had unprotected sex on 4th and 12th of December..my last lmp was on November 17th usually I get my period 1 or 2days earlier but this time I got it 2days late and the flow is light unlike my ususal period..I’m really hoping it s implantation bleeding so plz help me out

  9. Hi..i missed my period on november and on the 1st of December i saw mi period until now n i have severe stomach pains,what should i do

  10. Me and my boyfriend been trying to conceive for months now, and unexpectedly this month I missed my period. I usually have regular periods. They start on the 7th and end usually on the 14-15th. I got my period December 7th, now it’s January 7th and it has not came. Now its january 8th I had sexual intercourse with my boyfriend and I had spotting after sex. I woke up and had light bleeding, I am usually heavy on the first three days of my period. What’s going on? I’m confused idk what is going on. Should I worry if I’m pregnant?

  11. Could I be pregnant? My period is extremely light – close to nothing! Today I am 4th day into my so called period and I do have a period pain – today is the first day the pain is strong – had to take painkillers yet there is no crazy flow like usuall. Under normal circumstances the flow would be quite heavy in my case on the 4th day. Could my body be messing up with me? Yes or No?

  12. So the month of November I didn’t have a period then December I stopped for 2 days to where I have a 7 day period an change a tampon every 2 hour well I was able to wear a pad all day with very little blood an same goes for January but I don’t have any symptoms of pregnancy except peeing alot is there an change I could be pregnant before I waste my time and money on a test

  13. Hi.. I have a very not normal period.. I can go months without one. My last perioperiod was December. I recently have a new boyfriend of 2 months. And we have unprotected sex everyday. I don’t feel different. But I’ve notice the 3 days I’ve had very light period. To where I only see blood tint when I wipe after peeing… I’m not sure should I take a test?

    • That ur case is same with mine vane. Where u pregnant? I usually have irregular flow but my last flow was November 2th. I have sex with my husband everyday. Then on 28th November I started having spotting which has increased to light bleeding on the 2nd of January 2018. It’s still on now, can I be pregnant?

  14. Hi I’ve been ttc for a long time now..last March and April my periods were very light and it lasted for 8_10 days..my OB told me it’s normal but this month of May there’s no period..I’m beginning to panic if what’s happening to me now. I did not contact yet my Dr. I.missed my period for 10 days now.

  15. I’m 26 and from day 1 I’ve always been a heavy bleeder to the point I was using ultra tampons I had sex a week before my period and I’m only spotting

  16. Hi, i had very light bleeding. Like when i push my pants down my underwear would have very light bleeding. I then pull my pants back up. But when i go to the bathroom again,there’s nothing, its wet & clear no blood.My bf & i had sex again and the very next day,i had heavy bleeding.IS this normal in pregnancy?

  17. just to be clear, my bf & i had sex on that very day i had very light bleeding and i had hey bleedings the day after

  18. I had my period last april 21, it was very light and dark in color. It lasted for 6 days but it cant fill 1napkin. Me amd my husband were trying to conceive. Today, may 18 it have my light period. 2x in a month? Very unusual. My cycle on the 1st-4th day is heavy but last month was light, and also i have spots just now.

  19. Anyone even questioning that they might be pregnant: take a test!!!
    My last period was way light. I usually change my diva cup twice a day and its usually full, but I didnt even fill one a day this time. The blood was also darkish brown. Im taking a test tomorrow.

  20. i had sex on my fertile days on 17 i had another sex on 20 a little bit cramps when i wipe a slippery and drawing fluid came out and then light blood,2day a serious cramps with light red blood 3day cramps,red blood with little clots 4day red blood with little clots the blood is not heavy 5day it gone please advice me

  21. I’m 17 i haven’t had my period in 6 months & i had unprotected sex on june 22 with my bf and on june 27 i noticed spotting it was pink & on june 28 it got darker and a little heavier & same on june 28 what is wrong with me???

  22. I am 37 and wondering why is it my period usually very light, then heavy,then cuts straight off but, this time, very light for 4 days instead my usual 3? Oh yes, a mucus plug exited the day my period usually starts.

  23. So I was a week late on my period I just started 3 days ago I took a hpt it was neg but I had a very light flow I always had a heavy dark red blood this time not close had alil pain not too bad. My breast hurts and a headache. I’m not sure what that means but I have not felt good in days. Could I have tested too soon?

  24. Comment:plz friends help me i m one month pregnant i met an accident and i notice heavy bleeding with spotting but from next morning it stops is it safe or it means miscarriage

  25. Hello. I missed my menstruation last august tgis year. But my laat menstruation was last july approx. 20th to 25th. Last july 30th was my wedding. Since i missed my menstruation last month (august) we assumed that i am pregnant. We transfered here in china last august wuthout seeing a doctor and forgot to buy pregnancy test. Now sept. I am experiencing menstruation. But it waa not as heavy as my normal menstruation. I am regular by the way. I am just using pantyliner becuase the blood is not as heavy as before. My abdominal is painful. Lil bit but i am not experiencing cramps. So my concern and question now that i wanted to ve answer is that. Am i pregnant or not. Then why my menstruation is light and not heavy aa before? Thanks!

  26. I have a question…. okay i had sex about 5 weeks ago . Two weeks later i got my period it was lighter that normal and lasted a day longer with cramps all throu to the last day which normally they last the first 2 days. I didnt have any sex after that and now my period was 4days late and it is also light. Oh and i have backaches… my breasts are bigger and got dizzy. Usually my period starts in the morning (early morning) took a test it was negative. This two times the “periods” start in the afternoon.

    Could i be pregnant or is there something else going on?

    Please help !

  27. Hey so me and my fiancé had sex and he ejaculated in me and it said 27% chance and the Next day was 33% I am 18 and confused I read all kinds of stuff like this but I missed my period about a week and I went to the bathroom and there was a drop of pinkish peach color in my underwear. But for about 6 hours it was like that and that’s not normal for me so it got to be like my period but it’s only been three days and it’s back to light pink and the first and second day of my periods is really bad for me with cramping and I never gotten really bad cramps I took a pregnancy test and it said negative. Could I be pregnant for just a fluke thing with my period please anything would help cause I’m about 14 days I’ll be traveling to see my family and would like to bring some good news thanks everyone

  28. hello …. Last tym my period is came on 11 september this tym it came on 8th october spasmodic pain is there but when the periods start in the evening its normal in colour but the next day its pinkish in colour…and frequency is not that much as compare to my other periods and it stops on 9th october night …. My ovulation is on 23 -24-25 and i had intercourse on 24th …. And now from 9th octomber i am having fever also ……..?????

  29. I was on depo for 8 months I been off of it for 4 months and I’m confused I had sex the 29th of August and the next day had egg white discharge that lasted 3 days as if I ovulated mind you I haven’t had a period yet then at them 3 days started having brown discharge that lasted 3 weeks and now then had a light period I’ll say for 6 days I don’t wanna sound crazy and say I could be pregnant but it’s weird to me that my period would be light and I haven’t had a period in months !! Help please

  30. I had unpretected sex on the 6th of this month (October) and I was expected to get my period on the 12th . My period is usually very heavy on the first 2 days but instead I had a light pink & brown Discharge for only 2 days and it was a little bit only when I wiped . Is there any chance I could be pregnant?

  31. Hey ! So I was on the depo shot for 6 months and I didn’t have my period the whole time I was on the shot . I’ve been off depo for about 2 months now and had my period around the 9th of September through the 13th . I had unprotected sex on the 19th of September & again on the 6th of October and was expected to have my period around the 9th of this month but instead I had light pink & brown Discharge starting on the 12th for about 2 days . Usually my periods are very heavy so this is very strange for me is there any chance I could be pregnant?

  32. I just came from the bathroom I woke up out my sleep had to rush in I see light red pea in the toliet n light red on tissue but my period came off on the 7th of October what could it be?

  33. I have my period on the 26th of every months but on August I have it on the 24th it was earlier than usual. On September I missed my period but had my period on the 1st of October and now I have a light bleeding. Is that a sign of pregnancy..

  34. I’ve had sex with my husband before,the day of and after ovulation. Almost all of my fertile days. For the first time in my life I spotted a lil blood after we had sex the day I ovulated. Now my period was due yesterday it was just brown spotting and now today its extremely light mostly just went I wipe not enough to fill a pantyliner. And i have extremely heavy periods usually by day 2 im changing pads every 2 hrs. Could i be pregnant??? I have 2 kids teens but i never bleed i just missed a period.But i know women who have had periods and were still pregnant.

  35. Okay I don’t know how to start this off haha but I’ll just say this me n my partner had sex and he wanted to cum in me but I told him no because I wasn’t trying to get plan b so he still kept going but ya know took his time or whatever the next day I asked if he still did he responded with he precummed but started giving me that statistically there isn’t a chance only a 3perce t chance which for one still got me paranoid cause I suck with statistics a doctor said I got a tumor because I have bad luck so that pretty much traumatized me lol anywho I’ve experienced a 2 day spotting (pinkish) but the 3rd was finally heavier the thing is I only used like 3 pads because it was heavy but not my normal heavy n today was back to basically nothing should I be concerned ? Orrrrr am I taking my statistics too far ? ??

  36. Me and my boyfriend had un protected sex so many times he ejaculate inside me, my period came late 2 days i normally get my period in the mornings but it came at night at 9 also its a light pink . my breast have been hurting, my nipple is darker and there is veins on my boobs now . am I pregnant?

  37. I have no idea what’s going on with me, i was 17 days late for my period and today when i woke up i had serious cramping and light pink blood, i just noticed when i went to write down that my period started i was so late and this never happens ,
    I don’t know what’s wrong with me .. can someone please help ? Me and my boyfriend been having unprotected sex for a long time , and out of no where this is happening

  38. Ok I had unprotected sex October 30 I shoulda got my period November 8 but instead I had Brown spotting for two days . Then On the 10th I started a light brown period got a little heavy the 11th and 12 and then went away again on the 14th then this month I am two days late I don’t know if I should go take A pregnancy test because maybe that wasn’t a real period last month ??? But I’m freaking out

  39. Helloo, so for a few months now it’s been really complicated for me to figure things out, my periods have been extremely irregular, always heavy, sometimes last 4 days, sometimes last a week (like normal) I’ve wen trying for a baby with my boyfriend for over a year with no luck, my autie has been diagnosed with PCOS, I have been to the doctors countless times, and they’re trying to put me on a contreceptice injection to try “irregulate my periods” but they can’t put me on that injection unless I’m 100% sure I am not pregnant, but how can I determine if I’m pregnant if my periods are irregular, so basically the doctors can’t help me, does anyone else experience this? 🙁 or something similar 🙁

  40. I had sex and the 8 and it’s wasnt really full sex and the guy never came and then on the eighth I had two days of light period it’s that my period ?

  41. 2 months in a row period but it’s light come and stop 2 time and next part that I don’t understand is that I have milk in my beast sometime I feel like am going to have a baby I don’t know what to do I went to the doctor they say it’s a sign of pregnancy what should I do

  42. I started my period on the 14th here it is 1 a.m. on the 15th it started off light then went a little heavy and then went light again what does that mean on the first day

  43. my period cycle 28 to 30 days. i had light bleeding @ 30th day of my cycle. My doctor advice my take hcg test. On my 31st day i have taken hcg is 42. My doctor adviced progesterone injectin and susten tablet. The bleeding stop on 32nd day. . after 3 days i have taken hcg test its shows negative. . My doctor told me
    stop the susten tablet. . now i am 43 days later. . i had a brown discharge. . what i have to do now. . Please anyone help me from this. .

  44. I’m really confused I had a period then shortly after started experiencing pregnancy symptoms for a month took a test about 2 weeks after the period and it came out negative but was still feeling pregnant then started bleeding again 2 days before I was supposed to have my period but the first night was light and it’s usually not then the next morning there was nothing then later that day there was a little blood when I wiped but none in the toilet I’m still having some of the symptoms of pregnancy but not as strong can anyone give me some insight thank you ?

  45. Hello pls can anyone explain I’m having my period normal 5 days before but dis month I only ve it two days not as flow as before (jes lyk my 3rd day flow ) and the 3rd now its stops only to see a little stain in which I’ve not experience before I’ve an on protected sex with my fiance

  46. My period cycle is 26 days normally but this time it came 6 days later also bleeding was very less in comparison to normal period. Blood was of bright red color. I was experiencing dizziness and exhaustion one week before period. I have been experiencing continuous white discharge from 3 days before my period. I have also back pain from this week. My body temperature is also slightly more than normal from this week
    I have also had nose bleed on 2nd day of period. I did have unprotected intercourse with my husband on 7th day of my period.

  47. I’ve had my period on 7 February. Mine is usually quite regular – I get it each 30-32 days, and it last for 304 days with medium to heavy bleeding. I had sex with my husband on 25-27 February, but he pulled out each time before ejaculating. About 11-12 days later I get my period (a couple days before usual), and it is different than usual. It lasted a day with medium bleeding, and then 2nd and 3rd day was light spotting and then it stopped. A few days later I started getting strong headaches, and a little dizzy. Am I pregnant?

  48. I took a Chinese pill now after taking it the following day we had unprotected sex but now am worried,I was bleeding the light blood for two day but not heavy, am I pregnant

  49. I had light period for 10 days so im so confused cz last time I had sex I was on my period…im I be pregnant?

  50. I hav regular periods
    My last periods stared on 27th may
    But this time my period started on 28th june and its very light
    Am i pregnent?
    When should i take test?

  51. hi..i am 22 years old and my period ended like 2days ago…i am married and my husband and i had intercourse last night (no protection of course) this morning i woke up and wiped after using the toilet and it was a very light pinkish spot on my underwear and it never ever ever happened before…what do i do?


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