According to health writer Rachel Gurevich for About.com, a period that is shorter than usual can be caused by minor health disturbances, such as interrupted sleeping patterns, bouts of high stress, excessive exercise or traveling. Significant weight fluctuations or illness, such as the cold or flu, can also cause short periods. A shorter period can also indicate that a woman is pregnant.Know More
Melanie Winderlich of Everyday Health explains that in the worst cases, a shorter period can indicate that a woman is experiencing a more serious underlying health condition, such as a thyroid disorder or polycystic ovary syndrome. Usually, a shorter period means that a woman did not produce as much estrogen as usual, which leads to less of an endometrial lining to be shed during menstruation.
Girls who have just entered puberty also commonly experience erratic period lengths while the hormones in their bodies are balancing and finding an equilibrium. During the stages leading up to menopause, a woman's body begins producing less of the hormones estrogen and progesterone, which causes shorter and shorter periods until menstruation stops altogether. Because of the menstrual cycle's dependence upon hormone levels, birth control can also be a cause for fluctuations in bleeding times.
Winderlich states that women experience different period lengths from one another, and it is possible for cycles to vary from one month to the next. The length of a woman's period is usually between three to seven days. If a woman is used to bleeding for five days a month and suddenly experiences a month where she only bleeds for two or three days, she should consider other factors in her life which changed around that time.Learn More
Perimenopause, extreme weight gain or loss, stress, medications, an endocrine disorder and metabolic syndrome can all create fluctuations in the menstrual cycle that can cause menstruation to occur earlier than usual, according to CNN. Any change in a menstrual cycle that lasts longer than three weeks should be evaluated by a gynecologist, according to CNN.Full Answer >
According to HealthCentral, experiencing more stress than usual is a common reason for woman to have a late or missed menstrual period. High stress levels can cause ovulation to not occur or to be delayed, and not ovulating can result in a missed period.Full Answer >
It is normal to miss a period every now and then, according to WebMD. Some reasons a woman might skip a period include excessive exercise, emotional strain, travel or illness. The best way to encourage the body to resume menstruation is to return to normal emotional and physical activity.Full Answer >
Women can miss their periods without being pregnant due to medical problems, extreme amounts of exercise, medications and breast-feeding, according to WebMD. Young women who have just started menstruating and older women in perimenopause or menopause often experience missed periods as a normal part of life.Full Answer >