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Hypomenorrhea or hypomenorrhoea, also known as short or scanty periods, is extremely light menstrual blood flow. It is the opposite of hypermenorrhea which is more properly called menorrhagia.


In some women it may be normal to have less bleeding during menstrual periods. Less blood flow may be genetic and, if enquiries are made, it may be found that woman’s mother and/or sister also have decreased blood flow during their periods. Pregnancy can normally occur with this type of decreased flow during the period. The incidence of infertility is the same as in women with a normal blood flow. Constitutional scanty menstruation perhaps best explained by assuming the presence of an unusual arrangement, or relative insensitivity, of the endometrial vascular apparatus.

Reduced menstrual flow is a common side-effect of hormonal contraception methods, such as oral contraceptive pills, IUDs that release hormones (such as Mirena), or hormonal implants such as Depo-Provera. The relatively low estrogen contained in most hormonal contraceptives reduces the growth of the endometrium, so there is relatively little endometrium left to be shed during menstruation. Many women find this side-effect to be a benefit of hormonal contraceptive use.[1]

Scanty menses or periods can occur normally at the extremes of the reproductive life that is, just after puberty and just before menopause. This is because ovulation is irregular at this time, and the endomaterial lining fails to develop normally. But normal problems at other times can also cause scanty blood flow. Anovulation due to a low thyroid hormone level, high prolactin level, high insulin level, high androgen level and problems with other hormone can also cause scanty periods.

Despite these common causes, hypomenorrhea is still technically an abnormality of the menstrual flow, and other underlying medical problems should be ruled out by a doctor.

Disorders causing scanty menstruation[edit]



Unless a significant causal abnormality is found no treatment other than reassurance is necessary. Otherwise, treatment is determined by the diagnosis of any significant causal abnormality.

See also[edit]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ Carlson, Karen J., MD; Eisenstat, Stephanie A., MD; and Ziporyn, Terra, PhD (2004). The New Harvard Guide to Women's Health. Harvard University Press. p. 384. ISBN 0-674-01282-8. 
  2. ^ Toaff R, Ballas S (1978). "Traumatic hypomenorrhea-amenorrhea (Asherman's syndrome)". Fertil. Steril. 30 (4): 379–87. PMID 568569. 
  3. ^ "Amenorrhea: Causes". Mayo Clinic. Retrieved September 24, 2011.