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Very Weak, One-Day Menstrual Flow - Is There Something Wrong & Will It Affect Fertility?

Posted Mar 09 2010 12:00am

Question:

I am a 26 year old female and for the past few months I have been having very weak periods that often last no longer than a single day. They are so weak that I don't need to use tampons and pantyliner will suffice. They are however extremely regular and fall every 30 days. I came off the pill last year and for after a few months my periods returned to normal. It is in the past 6 months or so that they have become so weak that they are causing me concern. A few years ago, I had a big cyst on my right ovary and late treatment meant it twisted and resulted in me having to have one ovary removed along with the cyst. I have researched possible reasons for weak periods and polycystic ovaries seem to be one of the main explanations. However I do not have any of the other symptoms usually associated with this condition and I am not over- weight.

I am extremely concerned of the implication my weak periods may have on future fertility but when I have taken my concerns to my GP he has dismissed them. I was hoping you could maybe give me some possible reasons as to why this may be happening.

Many thanks for your time. K. from the U.K.

Answer:

Hello K. from the U.K.,

The amount of bleeding a woman has with her periods is dependent on the amount of tissue there is to slough. That is, the thickness of the endometrial lining. Even if the amount is small, at this point it would not be of concern. The amount of bleeding will vary from person to person and cycle to cycle. As long as your cycles are regular, that is the important part. Certainly if the endometrium is not developing adequately, that could impair implantation of the embryo and your fertility. But, I doubt that would be the case. I would not worry about this at this point in time. Just wait and see what happens when you begin trying for pregnancy. If you have difficulty, then testing and evaluation will be done to see if the endometrium is not developing adequately. If that is the case, then supplemental hormone can be given.

Sincerely,
Edward J. Ramirez, M.D., FACOG
Executive Medical Director
The Fertility and Gynecology Center
Monterey Bay IVF Program
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