Causes of Spotty Periods – From Meds to Low Body Fat

Knowing what causes spotty periods is the first step to regulating your cycle. The smoother and more predictable your periods are, the happier you’ll be!

These reasons for skipped and spotty periods include ways to regulate your menstrual cycle. If your period hasn’t shown up for months and you’re not pregnant, or if you’re experiencing irregular or odd-colored spotty periods (such as brown discharge), you need to talk to your family doctor or a gynecologist.

And remember: getting your period is normal, natural, and healthy.

“In man, the shedding of blood is always associated with injury, disease, or death,” said Dr Estelle Ramey. “Only the female half of humanity was seen to have the magical ability to bleed profusely and still rise phoenix-like each month from the gore.”

Your period is a wonderful thing, my friends…even if it doesn’t always seem like it! If you’re really struggling to regulate your cycle, you might want to try the Yogi Woman’s Moon Cycle – Herbal Tea Supplement.

And, here are six things that cause spotty periods, plus a few tips for regulating your menstrual cycle…

What Causes Spotty Periods?

Allergy medications can cause skipped periods

“One of the most common skipped-period scenarios results from a popular treatment for allergic reactions,” writes Dr Rebecca Booth in The Venus Week: Discover the Powerful Secret of Your Cycle…at Any Age (it’s a book about how magical menstruation can be!). Oral steroids such as prednisone can suppress allergic reactions by suppressing the immune system – and result in a skipped period. Dr Booth advises avoiding system-wide steroids whenever possible.

If you’re taking prescription drugs, remember that medications can cause irregular or spotty periods.

Lack of progesterone can cause spotty periods – but so can too much!

Progesterone deficiency supposedly causes PMS, chronic fatigue, breast pain, low libido, etc – but it’s not always the case! That is, low progesterone may not cause those health problems for women.

“While low-dose supplementation of progesterone in the appropriate part of the cycle is safe, the challenge is not to overdo it,” says Dr Booth. Too much progesterone can cause irregular or no periods.

Environmental toxins can imbalance women’s hormones

Environmental endocrine disruptors can disrupt your hormone balance, which disrupts your period. To regulate your periods, minimize your exposure to heavy metals (for instance, only eat tuna once a week – and avoid it altogether if you’re pregnant or trying to conceive a baby).

For more info, read how to increase fertility levels by avoiding certain toxins.

Smoking can cause skipped menstrual cycles

If you smoke cigarettes, be warned that it hastens menopause and weakens your menstrual cycle! Cigarette toxins affect your ovaries and circulatory system, and secondhand smoke increases the risk of heart disease and some cancers. Women who smoke enter menopause two years earlier than those who don’t smoke. To regulate your period, quit smoking.

Drinking alcohol affects ovulation and fertility levels

Another cause of irregular periods is drinking more than five alcoholic drinks a week; it reduces ovulation and female fertility levels). Polyphenols in red wine may have health benefits – but small amounts are best.

“If you want to get pregnant, it’s best to leave alcohol out of your diet altogether,” writes Dr Booth.

Low body fat or low weight disrupts women’s hormones

If your body fat is below 15% of your body weight or blood leptin levels are below normal, then you’ll lose the hormones that contribute to regular periods. Losing those hormones also leads to hair loss, dry skin, bone loss, and other health problems. To regulate your period, find and stay at your healthy weight.

And, make sure you eat foods that make your period regular.

If your period was always regular but has recently become irregular, you need to talk to your doctor. Many other health factors can affect menstrual cycles, such as fibroids, cysts, polyps, etc. The only way to find out what’s going on is to visit your physician in person.

For more tips, read How to Get a Normal Monthly Period.


laurie blowing kiss

I'm glad you're here and welcome all your comments, but I can't give advice.
Peace and blessings,
Laurie

If you have any questions or thoughts on these causes of spotty periods, please comment below! But please don’t ask me for medical advice – you need to visit a gynecologist or family doctor in person to get help with spotty or skipped periods.

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134 Reader Comments

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  1. jennifer says:

    Hey my name is jennifer I’m 27 yearz old …I usually get my period for 5 dayz every month on time ..but 4 the month of august it,was late & then wen it did come it was very light ,brownish & kinda on & off…wat could this mean..?….
    P.s. pleaze help me..!

  2. Laurie says:

    If the gynecologist says the reason for your spotty periods is urinary cancer, didn’t he or she do a test to check for it?

  3. alice says:

    hi..
    I’ve 1 problem…. I’m facing this problem 1st time…. my period time was irregular it means last 3 months i didn’t get period…
    i consoled a gynecologist.. they said it may be a urinary cancer or something they saying i’m still virgin..this cancer and all make us to worry wt u think it may be or not…

  4. Laurie says:

    Why are your periods spotty and irregular? Unfortunately I don’t have the answers you need. To regulate your period and stop spotting, you need to get examined in person by a gynecologist.

    Be careful about seeking personal medical advice from strangers on the internet! They’ve never examined you, and don’t know your genetics, body, or history. You need to see a doctor in person, and ask her or him to help you get a normal monthly period.

    I’m sorry I can’t be more helpful, and wish you all good health.

    Blessings,
    Laurie

  5. Zoie says:

    Hi my name is zoie an I’m 14 years old and my period for the last 2 months has been coming late and I have no clue why because I am an althlete and I eat healthy. I do take a prescription for acne do you think that the meds are causing it ? Please help me figure this out so I have peace on my mind.

  6. Nidhi says:

    hii, i am 25 years old and having the irregular mensuration. i never drink alcohol or eat non-veg. i consult the gynocologist. she said for exercise but i still face the problem. she had given me some iron pills. but still this problem arise . please reply me…

  7. wendy says:

    Hi
    I have not seen my periods for almost 2 years,I AM A BIT CONFUSED, I went to a doctor to do an ultrasound and nothing was wrong everything seems normal.I am worried what i should do now,Is this normal, and i have gained alot of weight since then.

  8. Natalie says:

    Hey iam 16 years old
    And i first got my period at age 10, since then my period has never been regular. I have it every 6 months
    And iam a virgin. And i always get a discharge cor liquid wich get annoying cause sometimes the odor is bad. Should i take birth control to regulate it? And should i use vagisal?

  9. Asin says:

    Hi there.
    I’m asin from Nepal.when my baby was 7 months, I had my period back .Then
    Next period was about 4 days late and now its 10 days late already it’s not coming.I took
    Some medicines(CTZ) for skin allergy.Is it b’cos of that…? Pls help I’m sooo worried. I’m not
    Taking any pills or any birth control medication jus using condoms.

  10. sonia says:

    I have irregular periods twice a year and the regular cycle extends to 50 days, i face this problem during cold weather most of the time, my weight is normal but i still dont know how to make my cycles regular… kindly help.

  11. JANET says:

    Hey,

    Im Janet. Havent had my menstrual period for over I year now. Yes! I have talked to Doctor about the Norplant that I had 1 year ago and he told me the Monthly Period might or might not. He told me its a side effect for a Norplant. What worries me is whether Im safe with staying without periods for long and I took a Norplant of 3 years and I have 2 years to go. Please advice. Thanks.

  12. Ashley says:

    ok well my problem is that ive been spotting/bleeding for 15 days (today being the 15th day) straight…and my concern is that i have regular periods and today should be the day that i finish my regular period for this month. Im just worried that it could be something wrong. I was first spotting brown and then to pink and then red and back to brown ect. I took two preg. tests and both came out negative. So can i still be preg. or am i having a miscarriage or something. i just need some information. If someone can please help me. About 3 weeks ago i went to the gyno for a pap and everything was normal. So idk? just need some answers. Thanks so much.

  13. Salma says:

    HI There Doc.
    Nice to See something here. I m here to ask about somethings. I have been facing the problem of not getting pregnant since 6 years. I have tried each and everything for infertility problems even I have done IVF. I have gotten tired of all these stuff. My doctors say that I m all fit and I have no problem but in the last a gynea told me that my Uterus opening is kind of opposite mean Tilted Uterus and u will have to make intercourse from the back side with the head down and hips up. I tried that no but no use. I tried a different partner for about a year coz i was thing that my partner might have some problem but that also doesnt work for me.
    but these days i was suffering from irregular periods coz my peiod was going to come from 2 to 3, 3 to 4, 4 to 5, days before from the last date of period. But this time my last period date was 11-11-2011 and my recent period today almost on 10-12-2011 and i was expecting it on 5,6,7. But last night i have eaten fish too much now my mind says i was getting pregnant but due to fish i have gotten a period again. and the blood looks like fresh unusually coz before i have seen blood in dark black or else but this time it looks fresh. I have also seen bigger blood clots. so please tell me what are all these things please suggest me something to do. i m suffering mentally.
    Thanx
    hope to hear from u soon.
    Regards
    Salma

  14. sweety says:

    hai dear,
    my name is sweety,I’m 22 yrs old.. sometimes I get the periods with brown discharge and the very next 20 days get the normal periods.. it is happening like that for sometimes.. so plz say me whether there is any health problem in me?? plz give me the advice about the food habbits..

  15. odessa laus says:

    hello!

    I’m also having an irregular menstruation, it’s almost 4 months! (I,m virgin, I’m not pregnant!) I’m very scared… Is there going to me something bad? and sometimes when I’m having a menstruation its only takes me i think 1 week is that good.. and guys please help me i don’t know what I’m going to do… please help me to my problem… give me some advice or what I’m supposed to eat or something… PLEASE HELP ME!

  16. Allyn says:

    I went to the doctor and they gave me a pill to regulate my period a month ago. Now i get my period every other week. What do i do to regulate my period again so its just once a month?

  17. shireesha says:

    hi i am shiree from india i had dermoid ovarian cysts(both) opt. in 2005 iwas taking contraceptive pills for i year then i used to get my periods once in 3 months(jan apr july2007) but after marriage in oct2007 my periods stopped completely may be b’cos of stress n tension now lh fsh levels r so high docs say the bodys condition is like post menopause stage can u help regularise my periods n increase my size of ovaries which r now 1.1mm each

  18. Dear Misty,

    The best way to find out the cause of your irregular menstrual cycles is to get an in person medical exam from a doctor or gynecologist. Some women have irregular periods all the time – it’s normal for them! Other women have health issues that cause irregular periods.

    To find out if it’s normal for your body to skip or have spotty periods, you need to get examined by a doctor. It may be just the way your body is, but it’s always good to find out for sure, by getting a pap test or gynecological exam.

    Blessings,
    Laurie

  19. Dear Priya,

    I don’t know anything about that medication, or if it will cause harmful side effects in the future. What did your doctor tell you about it, other than it will help with an irregular menstrual cycle?

    Blessings,
    Laurie

  20. misty says:

    hi im 34 iand i was thingking why my period is to little every 2nd month? ang after that month its normal again can you help me?

  21. priya says:

    HI DEAR,
    Doctor has told me that my monthly menses will start only after takin medicine name “REGISTRON” is this right way to consume this medicine every month .
    and now from last 6 months i take homeopathic treatment but even then no progress comes again i have to take medicine for proper monthly circle
    so tell me is this right that i take medice on regular basis and is this not make any serious problem in future

  22. Dear Priya,

    I’m sorry, but I can’t give personal medical advice, such as telling you how to fix spotty periods or skipped menstrual cycles! I really am sorry that the doctors haven’t been able to help you.

    Have you tried talking to a naturopathic physician? Sometimes naturopaths can help balance a woman’s hormones in ways a traditional doctor or gynecologist can’t…it’s worth a try, I think!

    I wish you all the best, and hope you’re able to find the help you need. Please be careful about seeking personal medical advice on the internet — only an in-person examination can give you a correct diagnosis and the right help.

    Blessings,
    Laurie

  23. priya says:

    Hi, all i am unmarried suffering from irregular mensuration from starting of periond till now they are going irregular i take many treatment from many doctors but still it has not going on track even my reports are right and my schedule is firstly going office and then giving tutions and i get free approx at 8:00pm plz give me some suggestion to sought out this and also tell me is this problem effect me after future .

  24. Hi Cami and Darla,

    I really wish I could tell you how you can cope with spotty periods and irregular discharge, but I can’t! You need to visit a gynecologist or doctor in person.

    If you’ve already visited a gynecologist or doctor and your periods are still spotty and irregular, then you need to get a second opinion or visit a naturopathic doctor.

    I’m sorry, but I can’t give personal medical health advice. This article about causes of spotty periods and skipped periods is for general purposes, and I can’t offer individual health tips.

    Blessings,
    Laurie

  25. Darla says:

    Hi! I’m 23 years old and I’ve been trying to conceive for about a year and a half. It’s so difficult! I use to be on the pill from 18-21 years old. A few months after being off the pill I got pregnant immediately but after 2 months, I had a miscarriage. For a year my period has been very regular but this last month I’ve had my period twice! I had my regular period from August 14-18 and then I started spotting from August 27-30. Today I’ve had some brownish discharge with foul odor! Can you help me understand what might be happening to my body! Me and my husband really want a baby; what can I do?
    Thank you

  26. cami says:

    Hi,im 19yrs old,im not a virgin or anything but lately ive missed my period in a way. for about 3 months now its been spotty,not like a lot of spots but 3-4 drops and then its gone. i was wondering what may b the cause of this,and i took a test it came out negative. please help,thanks.

  27. Dear Vanessa,

    I’m sorry to hear about the tragedies you’ve faced, and how depressing and frustrating your irregular menstrual cycles are. I wish I could wave a magic wand and make it all better!

    Are you taking iron supplements? I was SO tired and drained for about two months; when the doc did blood work, we discovered my iron was way, way down. The supplements cost me $3.50 at the pharmacy, and only took a week to kick in. It’s amazing what that one mineral can do – how much effect it has on our moods and energy levels. And if your periods are really long, then you may be losing more iron than you think.

    Have you talked to a naturopathic physician? They use herbal supplements and things like acupuncture to regulate and balance hormones, which can help your periods get regular. I know it’s hard to take the step of researching and making an appointment with yet another doctor – especially not a gynecologist! – but they REALLY help some women.

    Another option is getting a second opinion, from a different gynecologist.

    Doctors make mistakes, overlook possible reasons it’s taking so long to get pregnant, and fail to see the obvious. Doctors, like us, have brains that can only hold so much information and they only have so much time to learn about all the new health research. Further, they’re affected by their own lives, health, and problems. This is why it’s so important to get a second opinion, and to get multiple health tests done!

    I hope this helps, and wish you all good health.

    Blessings,
    Laurie

  28. Vanessa says:

    Hello. So I am 23 years old and I’ve had irregular periods since I was a junior in high school..at first I thought it had to do with weight gain..and it might still be..but I’ve been getting worse and worse throughout the years. I first started being irregular by having no period for maximum of six months, then got it for maximum 7 days, then 6 months no period again. That lasted until 2 years ago. I then started to have my period nonstop for maximum of 3 months! (and I was veeeerrry moody). I eventually went to the doctor and since I had been thru a lot during that time (I lost my aunt due to breast cancer then a couple months after I lost my best friend in a car accident)..she had said that it could have possibly been the stress that was causing the sudden change..she had scheduled me for blood work and sum kind of pelvic ultrasound to see wut was going on..but I never went due to loss of insurance. And that was 2 yrs ago..I still get my cycle maximum 3 months..off about a week to a month..then back on again for 3 months..I could really use sum advice. I dnt have insurance n afraid of wut it might cost since I don’t have much money. This really has taken a toll on me physically and emotionally..I can’t take it anymore..I’m always tired and out of energy..I’ve lost friends due to this depression I’m in and I can’t keep living like this..crying myself to sleep..sumone please help? God bless.

  29. Dear Caitlin,

    The only way to tell if your irregular menstrual cycle is connected to possible infertility is to figure out the cause of your unpredictable periods. Yes, sometimes spotty or heavy periods are related to not being able to get pregnant…but not always!

    Your best bet is to find a gynecologist you can trust. You have to shop around for the right doctor, just like you have to shop around for anything else!

    I hope you find the right doctor – let me know how it goes!

    Blessings,
    Laurie

  30. Caitlin says:

    I first started my cycles about 8 years ago, but they have NEVER been regular, and the amount of blood loss has always been huge, leading to various doctors calling me a liar. I go for 5-6 months or longer with no period, no cramping, nothing, except mood swings, always around the first, and acne breakouts, which I know are signs of the cycle and all that. But very rarely do I bleed. My last period was about four months ago, and the longest period I have had lasted (yes, I’m telling the truth) three months, varying between light and heavy blood flow. Could these problems cause or be signs of infertility?

  31. Stephanie ~ I don’t know if the spotting was a sign of your period, but I’m glad you’re walking and getting some exercise! One of the best things you can do for your body (and your menstrual cycle) is to get and stay healthy….and exercise really helps. If your periods don’t become more regular, you might want to get a second opinion with a different doctor. Or, try a naturopathic physician. They often help regulate cycles without prescribing medications.

    Kelsey ~ Your period is affected by stress and having alot on your mind. And, not getting a regular period is stressful in itself! I think your mom is right, that it can be normal to have spotty, irregular periods. But I also know that periods can be a sign of a woman’s overall health and wellness. If you can’t see a doctor on your own, I suggest waiting until September and talking to the school nurse. Or, go to a free clinic that has doctors that can help. Chances are, you’re just going through a lighter menstrual cycle right now…but if you’re spotting for too long, it’s good to get it checked out.

    Sathia ~ Sometimes spotting happens – it’s part of getting menstrual cycles for most women. Women spot for different reasons, and I don’t know why you are spotting. If it doesn’t go away or if you’re worried, I think you should talk to a doctor or gynecologist. Mostly, spotting is normal. But if you’re worried about it, it’s good to get checked by a doctor!

    Libby ~ There may be a connection between your allergic reaction and your shorter period, since stress and hormones and general health affects our menstrual cycles. But, if I was you, I wouldn’t worry about going to a doctor this soon. If my period was still abnormal next month, I might go to the doctor…but I wouldn’t stress about it yet. Don’t forget your birth control pills or whatever form of contraception you use!

    Blessings to all,
    Laurie

  32. libby says:

    Hi all. I started my period 5 days ago and yesterday I had a huge strawberry smoothie. I’ve obviously had an allergic reaction to the strawberries as I have broke out all over in a red, itchy rash. Had no idea I was allergic to strawberries till today. I eat them regularly, but not in huge amounts like in a smoothie. I’ve also completely stopped my period which lasts at least 7 days. Is the reaction to blame? Don’t have insurance and I’m sexually active, have had no need to think I’m pregnant before… just need an opinion if a doc is needed.

  33. sathia says:

    hi , i am a virgin my period has stopped two weeks ago and till now i am still getting dark spotting or sometimes little blood … can any one tell me what that is ??? and what should i do ?

  34. Kelsey says:

    Hey,
    My name is Kelsey and I was wondering if you can help me, I’m 15 years old and started my period when I was 11, it was pretty regular from that point on, but the last time that I have had my period was June 11th and so it has skipped 8 weeks, my mom says it’s normal for a girl like me, but then I have been reading about all of these things that recommend that I see a doctor because it’s so late I have not had sex so I’m still a virgin, but why is it doing this cause I’m not gonna go see a doctor what do you think?

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