3 day period is nothing uncommon because menstrual cycle for every woman is not the same.

Some women have a longer cycle and others can have comparatively shorter ones. Generally, period lasts for five to seven days for most women in a cycle of 28 days. Having periods for 2 to 8 days is quite common. Women often start to worry if their period just lasted for 2 or 3 days. After having a routinely 7 day period, if all of a sudden you have a 3 day period, you might get all worried.

Is it normal to have a 3 day period?

A 3 day period is nothing abnormal and nothing to worry about. It is perfectly normal. It is true that most of the women usually have longer, periods but it may be so that your body is meant for having shorter and lighter periods. Not to mention it is something most women dream about and you are in luck if you have a brief period that lasts only for 3 days. However, if you usually have longer periods and unexpectedly you start having shorter periods that last for 2 to 3 days, then that’s a matter of concern. You should talk to your gynecologist who will ask you to have some tests  to make sure there is nothing serious.

Causes of a Woman Suddenly Having a 3 Day Period

1. McClintock effect

What is a McClintock effect? Martha McClintock was a researcher who conducted a study on women who lived in the same house and got to know that the cycles of women living together tend to sync after a few months. It means that when you live or spend a lot of time with other women, your menstrual cycles may just sync with each other or will remain close to each other. You might be living in  a hostel or sharing an apartment with other women, then there are a lot of chances that your period cycle might start matching theirs. If it happens, don’t get all worried because there is nothing wrong with this.

2. Changes in Estrogen

The level of estrogen in the body changes with the age of a woman. It is estrogen that sheds the lining of uterus every month in the form of periods. It is produced in the fat cells. If your body contains insufficient estrogen, then there will be changes in the number of days your period last or whether you even have any periods at all.

This particularly applies to young girls going through their puberty phase, women who work out too much and older women about to reach menopause. Such issues can result in three day period.

3. Birth Control Pills

Did your period just last for 3 days and you have been on birth control pills? Taking birth control pills can result in lighter and shorter period because the birth control pills take charge and start regulating your period. Your menstrual period will get stable in a few months time, but initially, it may not be that steady. Don’t be taken aback if you are having shorter periods due to birth control pills.

If you happen to use another contraceptive called the intrauterine device (IUD) that is implanted in the uterus, it could result in vaginal bleeding that mimics a short period.

Hormonal contraceptives do not let fertilization and ovulation occur which is why they slow down the periods, delay it or make it shorter and lighter.

One thing to keep in mind is that if you take hormonal contraceptives for a long time, you are at risk of cancer, cardiovascular disease, hormonal imbalance, and headaches. Talk to your doctor before taking it.

4. A health issue

If you have a disease or medical condition, it could be messing with the hormones that you need to have a normal period. In addition, the medication that you are prescribed for the illness can also cause menstrual changes. Normally, the medication will list this as a specific side effect on the side of the bottle or in the warning label.

5. Extreme Stress

Stress can do a lot of things to a woman’s body, whether mental, physical or emotional. When you are taking too much stress due to workload, relationship issues, or some other reason, the body produces cortisol and adrenaline. They inhibit the production of estrogen by the body which changes how long your period lasts. You might even start missing your period completely if you are under immense stress. It might get stable once the stress fades away. This is one of the most common reasons for having a 3 day period if you usually have a longer one.

6. Being overweight or underweight

Many people don’t know that maintaining a healthy weight is very important and even more are not aware of the fact that weight can be the reason behind irregular menstruation or even short periods.

If you have a lot of what you call fat cells, this means your body contains too much estrogen. On the contrary, if you are very skinny, it means you don’t have sufficient estrogen to keep your menstrual cycle going in a timely manner. Whether too little or too much estrogen, both can lead to inconsistent, short and irregular periods.

To counter this, you can try to eat healthy by taking balanced meals. That can be a little tough initially, but then once you get in the flow, it will be good for you in the long run. Secondly, take out some time to exercise, a minimum of 3 times in a week for at least 30 minutes.

7. Eating Disorder

Anorexia and bulimia happen to be two extremely common eating disorders. Women with eating disorders may suffer from inconsistent, irregular menstruation and even very short periods. Their period might eventually stop continuously for months. This might also suddenly result in a three day period if you tend to have longer ones normally. You can counter this by taking a balanced diet and making sure you take all the necessary nutrients needed to keep yourself healthy.

8. Strenuous exercise

When your body goes through too much physical activity, vigorous exercise, or intense training sessions, the body considers it as stress. As a result, you tend to have less frequent, irregular and as short as three day period. Due to this, athletes often have their periods stopped completely which is not considered a healthy condition.

9. Other reasons

Other reasons for suddenly having short periods can be Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS), Thyroid dysfunction, Premature Ovarian Failure and ovarian cysts. These conditions come with other symptoms as well. You need to remain alert about it and consult your doctor regarding such medical conditions which might require immediate medical attention.

Even environmental and external factors play a key role  in shortening your periods like moving to a new place, a change of job, a loved one’s death, a breakup or some other issue.

When is a Menstrual Cycle Considered Short?

A short menstrual cycle is one which is less than 21 days. Period cycles basically depend on ovulation. When no fertilization occurs, then the body releases a hormone called the follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) which is responsible for shedding the lining of the uterus which was prepared for fertilization. When this hormone is produced earlier than it is supposed to be produced, then the length of menstrual cycle shortens. This could also be indicative of an issue with the reproductive system.

A short menstrual cycle varies from woman to woman. The length of days a short menstrual cycle varies is between 8 days to 20 days. Nonetheless, it remains short for the respective person. This is where tracking your cycle can be of crucial importance. It will keep you informed of how long your cycle normally is and if there are any changes in it.

What counts as a normal menstruation?

A normal period cycle ranges between 21 to 35 days and normal periods which vary from woman to woman continues for as short as 3 days and as long as 7 days. A three day period is although short but it is normal as far as you menstruate regularly for 3 days. It just means it is your pattern.

If this is your steady pattern, then everything is under control and all is good. It simply means that after every few weeks, ovulation occurs and ovary releases the egg. The hormones that control the menstrual cycle start thickening the uterine lining called the endometrium, which sheds in the form of menstruation in case fertilization doesn’t happen.

And when you suddenly have a short period that gets you all worried may have different reasons. Read on to get to know why you might be a having such a short period.

Does a 3 day Period mean you Are Pregnant?

It is true that you cannot have periods if you are pregnant, but one of the earliest signs of pregnancy is implantation which leads to some bleeding. Many women mistake it for periods. Implantation occurs when the fertilized egg attaches itself to the uterine wall and makes placenta. When the fertilized egg tries to make space for itself, he uterus sheds a bit of its lining resulting in a little bleeding. At this point, you will experience spotting similar to a period, but very much lighter compared to periods.

Did you have unprotected sex and you are going through some spotting around the time when your period is due? Is the spotting brownish or pinkish in color? Then there is a big possibility that you might be pregnant. Implantation bleeding usually ends after 2 or 3 days but doesn’t linger more than that. To confirm, you should visit a doctor and take a pregnancy test.

When to see a gynecologist If You Experience a Short Period?

If you happen to notice signs of pregnancy because you had one to three day bleeding around the date when your period was due, then there are great chances you might be pregnant. Go to a gynecologist and confirm it by taking a pregnancy test.

In case you get to know you are not pregnant. Then think about other causes like the use of contraceptives. There is nothing wrong with having one menstrual cycle that is a little odd. This could be due to an injury, immense stress or maybe a medical condition. In case, your period continues to remain odd and suddenly three day period becomes a pattern for you when longers ones were the usual for you, then it is high time you see a doctor. Short periods are usually nothing to worry about, but visit a doctor if menstrual irregularities become a routine thing.

Maintain a proper track record of your periods by taking note of the number of days it lasts, whether the blood flow was heavy or light so that you can tell your doctor about it and he can tell you what exactly went wrong. You can easily keep a track of your period in a calendar, journal or let a period app do it for you.

Should I Worry?

Usually, there is nothing to worry about if you have three day period or simply a short period. Generally, when girls start getting their periods, their cycles tend to be irregular. However, the menstrual cycle becomes consistent, regular and stable with age and it gets short until menopause for older ladies.

If you have a menstrual cycle below 21 days or more than 35 days and remains persistent, then there is something to worry about.

How to Manage It?

How you deal with it depends on the cause of such a short period. You can only figure that out by visiting a doctor.

If a short period is caused by some external factor, it will usually get stable on its own after a few months. Some of the things that you can do are:

  • Reduce stress
  • Do a little exercise every day
  • Maintain a balanced diet and healthy weight
  • Try relaxation techniques like yoga and meditation.
  • For problems like thyroid issue, medication and hormonal therapy is needed.



  1. My period was 13 days late. I actually thought I was pregnant. I had all the symptoms but every HPT said negative. I finally got my period on the 18th and my Husband and l had unprotected sex that night or the night after. Then on the 21st my period stopped completely. My whole cycle was 37 days and it’s usually 24-30. What could be going on??

    • Its always good to wait till next month to see if the whole cycle is short or prolonged. If the irregularity continues for two months or so best to see a doctor.

  2. Hi. Good morning. My period just lasted 3 days and they were extremely heavy. Last night when I got back from the gym I noticed and then took a shower blood wasn’t coming out and this morning I checked again and there wasn’t anything. So basically I had my period for 3 days heavy and then just stopped with no spotting or anything. I was late by 1 day and before getting my period I had unprotected sex….Help

    • 3 days of heavy period are normal. Menstrual cycle is influenced by stress, activity level, life style change including our diet and hormonal changes. Its best to keep a record of any change in the cycle for at least 3 months. Changes trigger by sudden temporary change in activity level and stress will come back to normal next month but in case if you see the cycle has becoming more irregular then best to see a doctor.

    • I have short periods for 2 months with heavy bleeding. Now periods just take 3 days after that just white spots are there. I m recently married and after marriage this is happening what are the reasons???

  3. My fiancée and I had unprotected sex close to when her period was supposed to start and her period came late but finally came and it was normal but only lasted 3 days and just stopped completely. We’re not sure if she’s pregnant but we’re freaking out big time.

  4. I’m nearly 36 and a mum of 3, youngest is 2 and a half. I came off the depo injection around November last year, my periods eventually started up again and straight away were just as regular as they have ever been. They come every 28 days and last 5 to 7 days in all. However the last few periods have been usually heavy and very painful to the point its made me feel very ill. Then the last one i had came a day early and lasted only 3 days (that has never happened before). I’ve just got my period again which is 4 days early this time. Any particular reason this could be happening?

    • Its best to see the doctor to rule out cycle becoming more and more irregular every month. However as we age these irregularities are quite normal but 36 is a very young age. very heavy and painful periods needs to be checked by a gynaecologist. Few blood tests and an ultrasound scan is usually done to rule out the underlying problem.

  5. I use to c my period for seven days now I c it for three days in June an its due the six of July an I done c has yet any thing to concern about

  6. I started my period on Monday and it went on light from Tuesday to Wednesday but I haven’t had one today what does at mean

  7. I use to have Menses for 5days but for about 4years or more now it’s has reduce to 3days,pls am I safe? When I was using injections for birth control its come for 5days n then along the like it’s started for 3days. Pls what is the cause.?

  8. I have my IUD removed back in April/May time frame. Ever since then my periods have only been 1.5- no more than 3 days long. I have the IUD in since 2012. Took a HPT and it was negative. Haven’t gone to the doctor yet, but do plan on going to talk to her if nothing changes. Please let me know your thought. Oh and if it makes a difference my husband and I do have unprotected sex since he had the procedure done years ago for not being able to produce babies no more.

    • IUD removal do change your period. The specific way it might change after IUD removal depends on what kind of IUD you had and how the device changed your cycle over time. Hormonal and non-hormonal IUDs change periods in different ways. You may have lighter, less painful periods on a hormonal IUD or they may stop completely.

  9. I use to have my mense for 4days but for about three month it has reduce to 3days please what should i do or is normal or am i safe

    • It is completely normal for a 4 days cycle to become 3 days but best is to keep a record of cycle for few months.If they have started following exactly the same pattern then there is nothing wrong but irregular cycle every month shows an underlying problem which needs to be seen by the doctor.

  10. Hi my period is usually seven days with heavy flows on the 1st 2nd and 3rd days. The last two months my period stopped short with just TWO days, it wasnt even as heavy as it used to be but Ive been coping with a lot of bullying at school lately could that be it?

    • Stress is one big reason that disturbs body hormonal level. In stress body starts producing cortisol and adrenaline which inhibit the production of estrogen by the body which changes how long your period lasts. You might even start missing your period completely if you are under immense stress. It might get stable once the stress fades away. Hope things get better at your end.

  11. my period came for three days since may of this year. i was on the oral conceptives for almost 5 years. could that be a problem

    • Everyone has a different experience after coming off the pill. Some women get their period back right away, and for others, it could take 6 months to a year before their period returns or become normal. 3 days cycle is not a problem as this is one of the side effect of stopping oral contraceptive.

  12. You can get your period if you are pregnant, I got mine twice while pregnant with my first child. yes they were very early on ( I didn’t even know I was pregnant) and the second one was a lot shorter then normal. All of us are different and things affect us all differently.

  13. PLEASE HELP . I have been on birth control pills since I was about 16 i am 23 now and my periods went from.5 days to 3 days and now the last 3 months have been 2 days? They are very light and always come.on.tge same say or time it is suppose to . Is this because of me taking the pills for so long? Please help i am very scared.


    • Birth control pills do make periods very light and shorter by regulating them. It is even completely normal to even miss a period while being on birth control pill as they do not let fertilisation and ovulation occur.

  14. My periods last for seven days from the begining but my last cylce it was just for three days..what does it mean…is it a sign of being pregnant.

    • three days periods cannot be the sign of pregnancy. Implantation bleeding is very light more like spotting and pink in colour. Its always best to do a pregnancy test which is quite reliable.

  15. I was not getting peeiods since 1 year then i went to the gynaecologist and she gave me medicine after that i just got my periods for 3 days only! Is it normal?

    • Yes its completely normal to have 3 days period also as you mentioned you were not having your periods for a year and after medicine they came for 3 days. hormones take time in the body to get into a routine when they are disturbed. See how your cycle goes at least for 3 months first.

  16. Hellow! My period used to be three days but this month it was two days! Does that mean there is something or there is something to worry about?

    • There is nothing wrong with having one menstrual cycle that is a little odd. This could be due to an injury, immense stress or maybe a medical condition. Just wait till your next cycle and see how it goes. See a doctor if irregularities become a routine. Maintain a proper track record of your periods by taking note of the number of days it lasts, whether the blood flow was heavy or light so that you can tell your doctor about it and he can tell you what exactly went wrong. You can easily keep a track of your period in a calendar, journal or let a period app do it for you.

  17. Hi my period use to be 5 to 6 days for a long time and suddenly change to 3days but now 2 days. Please what could be the cause and what to do to retify this cos am yet to marry nor give birth. Tnks

    • Dear Adenike there is nothing wrong with having one menstrual cycle that is a little odd. This could be due to an injury, immense stress or maybe a medical condition. In case, your period continues to remain odd and suddenly three day period becomes a pattern for you when longer ones were the usual for you, then it is high time you see a doctor. Short periods are usually nothing to worry about, but visit a doctor if menstrual irregularities become a routine thing.

  18. Hi i am 18 , i get periods only for 3 days though regular , but issue is i am having lot of pimples on my face do they have any relation and how to deal with this .. thanku

    • Dear Riyanshi 3 days cycle is not a problem if your cycle is always like this on regular basis. Its very common to have pimples on face at this age as hormones cause your oil glands to be overactive which is one of the cause of acne. Try using over the counter treatments such as a topical retinoid gel or those containing benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid, glycolic acid, or lactic acid for a couple of months. If that doesn’t help, then best to see a dermatologist.

  19. My period used to be heavy for the first 3 days and a little flow by 4 to 5 days and altogether last for 6 to 7days before. but recently for two months now it has only lasted for 3 to 4 days.A heavy flow for the first 2 days and light flow on the 3rd day and stop on the 4th day with very little flow again on the 7th day. I am 41 years old wish to have more children.
    what could be going on?

  20. I have been having sex with my husband since 1december till today but no pregnant I also use birth pill but this month I had 3days period very light, pinksh and red with heavy cramp but after 4 days I did pregnant test and is negative what could be the cause.

  21. I’m 18 years old and currently under a lot of stress during exam season, I normally have heavy, painful periods lasting 6-7 days, but this time it was only for 2 days, not too heavy nor painful. That was one week ago and suddenly I’m feeling nauseous at night or in the mornings. I’m really scared as I have never had sex, could this mean I’m pregnant or is it a normal sickness? I haven’t been feeling well in general due to stress.

  22. I am an 21 years old girl i used to gave periods for 5-6 days suddenly it stopped for like 2 months and when it started again it was reduced to 3 days that also doesn’t happen to be with a good flow and i just get thick stuff not blood exactly i think its something related to pcos would you like to suggest something should i be worried i will see a gyconologist but if there is something you want to suggest i would like to know thank you this article helped me

  23. My period is always three days and flows well I noticed after taking an anti biotics have been noticing a dark brown cheesy period

  24. Please I normally have five day period but this month it last just three day with dark color and not heavy flow


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.