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Light period on and off. What could be the cause?

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Hi I have been on my period since the 8 of this month and yesterday I thought it was going away cause it was light but now I just woke up and its heavy what does this mean?

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Category: Family Physician-GP
Dr. John Monheit is online now

Expert:  Dr. John Monheit replied 4 Days.

Hello, The light brown discharge that you have described could be due to a number of reasons. However in your case the light brown bleeding is due to your periods. Brownish color of the discharge is a mixture of blood and mucus. It usually occurs for about 1-2 days prior to the onset of the next menstrual cycle and generally lasts for 2 days. If it progresses more than 2 days, then it could indicate infection, inflammation, and hormonal imbalance. It is usually odorless, but if it has a foul odor, then it is suggestive of infections like chlamydia, herpes. The other causes that can result in bleeding are during miscarriage, ectopic gestation. Menstrual cycle is usually 28-day cycle. It is divided into four phases:

a)Menses phase: This usually occurs after the shedding of the uterine lining and results in next period. It generally last for 1-5 days. However it is considered normal even if women have 2-3 days of menstruation.

b)Follicular phase: Here due to estrogen levels, there is again thickening of the uterine wall. This lasts from 6-14 days.

c)Ovulation phase: This occurs on 14 th day, where there is an increase of the Luteinizing hormone resulting in release of the egg (ova)

d)Luteal phase: Here this occurs from 15 – 28 day cycle. The progesterone is released which prepares for pregnancy and fertilization occurs. The headache and feeling moody could be due to hormonal imbalance .You can take tablet paracetamol twice a day for 5 days after food for the headache.

It would be best to wait till the next period and if the bleeding is heavy or irregular, then you can do home pregnancy test and consult your obg-gyn doctor. Thank you.

Dr. John Monheit
Category: Family Physician-GP
Residecny: North Colorado Family Medicine
Medical School: The Chicago Medical Center
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