What are the causes of a short period?

Although menstruation periods are meant to be normal, there are many things that make girls during this time very uncomfortable and wish they never had them at all

What you need to know:

  • A normal period can occur about once every 28 days, although this may vary from 21-28 days and last two to seven days

Nowadays, my period lasts only one and a half days instead of five days it used to. My feet also swell during and after my period. Does this mean I do not have enough blood? Ruth

Dear Ruth,

It is true that a number of Ugandan women may have low blood amounts (anaemia) related to the common blood expending disease conditions including malaria, short spaced pregnancies and child births as well as hookworm infestation, among others. Other causes include poor nutrition and sickle cell disease conditions.

Apart from being pale, weak, having headaches, being dizzy or lightheaded, a person with anaemia may also develop, among other symptoms, swollen feet (pedal oedema). So, it may be true that you lack enough blood, causing your symptoms.

However, since your symptoms are related to your period, this could point to the presence of another condition called premenstrual syndrome (PMS) which is the name for the symptoms women get a week or two before their period begins and which symptoms go away after the period ends. PMS may be associated with, among others physical symptoms headache, fatigue, weight gain related or swollen feet due to progesterone related fluid retention.

A normal period can occur about once every 28 days, although this may vary from 21-28 days and last two to seven days.

If one’s period suddenly becomes much shorter, this may be normal as one grows from puberty, a time when a girl may have irregular periods or you could be almost reaching menopause. Puberty and menopause may be associated with hormonal imbalance, which can cause one’s period to unexpectedly shorten or increase.

Sometimes the period may shorten as an early sign of pregnancy, due to breastfeeding, weight gain or loss, excessive exercise, thyroid disease and polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), among other issues.

Please visit your doctor for evaluation and treatment.


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