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Sexual Health

menopause and lighter periods

By | Fact Checked By Andrea Donsky |

As you begin to experience bodily changes caused by hormone fluctuations, one of the many symptoms you will encounter is a change in the frequency and severity of your periods. Some women experience lighter periods, some heavier ones, and some begin to skip them. Here we are going to talk about menopause and lighter periods.

What are lighter periods?

Lighter periods are menstrual bleeding that involves blood flow that is less than a woman has experienced in the past. These periods may or may not be accompanied by accompanying symptoms (e.g., cramping) similar to or different from those experienced in the past.

Read about heavy periods due to hormone imbalance

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How are lighter periods associated with menopause?

During perimenopause, women generally begin to experience lighter and less frequent periods. This occurs because estrogen levels are declining. Because estrogen is associated with increasing the thickness of the lining of the uterus, less of the hormone means less blood is released.

How can you manage lighter periods in menopause naturally?

Lighter periods is not a symptom that necessarily needs any type of intervention. Many women welcome them, in fact. However, you can help regulate your hormones and reduce the number and severity of other menopause symptoms you may experience along with lighter periods by trying a few natural remedies. You should discuss any herbal supplement use with a knowledgeable medical professional before you start taking them.

Read about taboos in women’s health

  • Soy supplements and soy foods may help balance hormones and manage symptoms associated with hormone changes. In a 2017 study, perimenopausal and postmenopausal women who took 100 mg soy isoflavones for 12 weeks showed a significant improvement in symptom scores.
  • Focus on fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, nuts and seeds, lean protein (including plant protein), and healthy fats.
  • At least five days a week, do weight-bearing exercises, such as walking, jumping, trampoline, hiking, or strength training.
  • Get at least 7 to 8 hours of sleep nightly. Quality sleep is critical for hormone activity. Did you know cortisol (stress hormone) levels decline during the first few hours of sleep?
  • Limit or eliminate caffeine and alcohol.
  • Practice stress reduction techniques daily. Stress takes a big toll on hormone balancing. Meditation, progressive relaxation, deep breathing, yoga, and other relaxing activities are recommended on a daily basis.
  • Consider hormone-balancing herbs. Nigella sativa (black cumin seed; has phytoestrogen properties), ashwagandha (Withania somnifera; helps with stress and sleep), and black cohosh root (phytoestrogen; helps with menstrual irregularities).

when to call your doctor

If you begin to experience abnormalities in menstrual bleeding, such as sudden heavy bleeding, spotting after your period or after sex, longer periods than usual, blood clots, or periods that are closer together, contact your doctor.

bottom line

Lighter periods are common during perimenopause. They typically don’t require any type of management, although you may want to adopt some lifestyle changes or take natural supplements to help balance your hormones, which may relieve other symptoms.

  • Ahsan M, Mallick AK. The effect of soy isoflavones on the menopause rating scale scoring in perimenopausal and postmenopausal women: a pilot study. Journal of Clinical Diagnostic Research 2017 Sep; 11(9): FC13-FC16.
  • Parhizkar S et al. Effect of Nigella sativa on reproductive system in experimental menopause rat model. Avicenna Journal of Phytomedicine 2016 Jan-Feb; 6(1):95-103.
  • Salve J et al. Adaptogenic and anxiolytic effects of ashwagandha root extract in healthy adults: A double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled clinical study. Cureus 2019 Dec 25; 11(12):e6466.
  • Snyder C. 5 impressive herbs that help balance your hormones. Healthline 2021 Jun 23
Andrea is a Registered Holistic Nutritionist (RHN) & Menopause Expert. Andrea is in menopause & has been researching for the last 5 years science-based ingredients and methods to help women manage their symptoms. She’s the Founder of NaturallySavvy.com—a multiple award-winning website. Andrea co-authored the book “Unjunk Your Junk Food” published by Simon and Schuster, as well as “Label Lessons: Your Guide to a Healthy Shopping Cart,” and “Label Lessons: Unjunk Your Kid’s Lunch Box.” Andrea co-hosts the Morphus for Menopause podcast and appears as a Healthy Living Expert on TV across North America. Andrea has more than 20 years of experience in the health & wellness space and is a multiple award-winning Influencer.