Is it normal to have super-short periods?

Some of us have had our periods for decades, but are still mystified about what’s going on down there and why. In the HelloGiggles series “Period Talk,” we ask gynecologists our biggest questions about all things period-related and finally get the answers to what is really going on . . . because everyone should be up-to-date on that time of the month! Our next question is about why some of us have periods that seem really, really short. 

Is it normal for periods to be super-short? Like, a day-and-a-half short?

We often hear about lengthy periods and what a nuisance they can be, but what about the opposite problem — super-short periods? Most of us expect our periods to be around five to seven days. So if your period only lasts a day or two, does that  mean something is wrong?!


Take a deeeep breath, because the length of your period all has to do with what’s normal for you, explained Linda Nicoll, MD, Assistant Professor of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at NYU Langone Medical Center. “If [your] normal pattern is for [your] period to be super-short, that’s OK,” she told HelloGiggles. “Although we think of a period as lasting one week, many. . . have bleeding which is light and they do not bleed for more than a day or two. As long as menstrual bleeding is regular and occurs once per month, we can rest assured that normal hormonal cycles are occurring and that the reproductive system is healthy.”

However, if your periods are usually longer and then all of a sudden you have it for only a day, you should see your doctor, Nicoll said. “If [you] normally have heavier or longer periods and there is a sudden change from [your] pattern to an abnormally light period, that can be a sign of certain hormonal conditions (such as a thyroid problem or early menopause),” Dr. Nicoll explained. “Some. . . have light bleeding in early pregnancy and mistake it for a period. So any aberration from a. . . normal pattern can be cause to seek a doctor’s attention.”

So pretty much, if your period is super short normally, it’s all good. But if your period is usually much longer, head to the doctor to find out if something is up.


Read more from the HelloGiggles series “Period Talk”:

This is the best birth control to manage cramps

This is why your boobs get so sore before your period

The surprising reason you get constipated during your period

This is what happens to your uterine lining if you have an IUD

Is Midol the best pain relief for cramps?

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