If you are having concerning changes in your period, I recommend that you see your primary care doctor
, a gynecologist, or another professional healthcare provider for formal evaluation. There are many causes for variation in menstrual pattern, some benign and others more serious. The considerations are different based on the patient's age, sexual activity, and prior menstrual history. For example, some women have frequently irregular periods and changes in length and severity may be part of normal variation for them. However, if you have found your period to be highly consistent in timing, duration and quality, then it is more likely that something abnormal may be occurring. Pregnancy is always a consideration in a individual of childbearing age that is sexually active, and a pregnancy test and evalutation by a doctor can further help in this regard. However, there are many other common causes. For example, recent changes in weight, particularly rapid weight loss
, can be associated with lighter periods and potentially amenorrhea. Aggressive exercise regimens may also cause changes in menstrual habit. Other factors, such as stress and medications, such as birth control
pills can also lead to significant changes in menstruation. If you have recently had a medical device such as an IUD placed, this can also lead to lighter menstruation. Finally, abnormal changes to reproductive organs, e.g. the uterus and cervix can also affect the nature or your period, and therefore evaluation by a doctor to rule out potentially harmful causes is important.