Why has my period stopped after 1 day?

It’s not uncommon for periods to vary in length from month to month. However, having your period stop suddenly after only 1 day can be alarming. There are a few potential reasons why this may occur:

You could be pregnant

One of the most common reasons for a short, light period is pregnancy. When you become pregnant, your body stops ovulating and you no longer get a regular period. Implantation bleeding may occur around the time your period is due and can be mistaken for a light period. This spotting usually only lasts 1-2 days and is much lighter than a normal period.

Take a pregnancy test if you had unprotected sex around the time of your last period. Even if you use birth control, it’s still possible to become pregnant.

Hormonal fluctuations

Hormonal imbalances can lead to abnormal uterine bleeding. Your hormones estrogen and progesterone control your menstrual cycle. When these hormones rise and fall at the wrong times, it can affect the buildup and shedding of your uterine lining.

Causes of hormone fluctuations include:

  • Thyroid disorders
  • PCOS (polycystic ovary syndrome)
  • Estrogen dominance
  • Low progesterone
  • Perimenopause
  • Eating disorders
  • Significant weight loss or gain
  • Stress
  • Some medications

Tracking your cycle and symptoms can help identify a hormonal imbalance. Work with your doctor to get tested and find the right treatment.

Uterine or cervical issues

Problems with the uterus or cervix can sometimes lead to abnormal bleeding. Potential causes include:

  • Fibroids – noncancerous growths in the uterus
  • Polyps – overgrowths of tissue in the uterus or on the cervix
  • Adenomyosis – uterine tissue growing into the muscular wall of the uterus
  • Cervical inflammation or polyps
  • Cervical ectropion – abnormal cell growth on the cervix

These conditions may cause bleeding between periods or extra light bleeding right before or after your period. See your gynecologist for an exam and potential treatment.

Medications and birth control

Certain medications and birth control methods can affect your menstrual cycle:

  • Birth control pills – It’s not unusual to have spotting or a light period when first starting the pill or changing dosages. Give your body time to adjust to the hormones.
  • Plan B – Emergency contraception can throw off your cycle, potentially causing bleeding shortly after taking it.
  • Blood thinners – Medications like warfarin and heparin thin the blood which can lead to lighter periods.
  • Antidepressants – Some antidepressants impact hormone levels and may change your flow.
  • Breastfeeding – Hormone changes while breastfeeding can cause abnormal bleeding.
  • Intrauterine devices (IUDs) – Copper and hormonal IUDs can cause heavier, lighter, or irregular periods.

Keep track of when the abnormal bleeding occurs in relation to any new medications. Talk to your doctor about adjusting dosages or switching methods if needed.


Infections of the reproductive system can sometimes cause bleeding changes:

  • STIs – Sexually transmitted infections like chlamydia and gonorrhea can cause bleeding between periods.
  • Pelvic inflammatory disease – This infection of the female reproductive organs can lead to abnormal bleeding and cramping.
  • Cervicitis – Inflammation of the cervix may cause spotting after sex, between periods, or after a pelvic exam.

See your gynecologist if you notice any unusual discharge, pain, or bleeding after sex. Getting tested and treated for infections can help restore normal menstrual cycles.


High stress levels can disrupt hormone balances and lead to menstrual irregularities. Stress causes the body to produce more cortisol and other hormones that impact the hypothalamic-pituitary-ovarian (HPO) axis. This can inhibit the hormones that control your menstrual cycle.

Try managing stress through relaxation techniques, therapy, exercise, or other coping mechanisms. This may help regulate your cycle over time.


As you near menopause, usually in your 40s, your ovarian function starts to decline. Shifting hormone levels during perimenopause can cause shorter and lighter periods leading up to menopause. It’s common for cycles to be very erratic and for your flow to change from month to month.

Talk to your doctor about any menstrual changes as you approach menopausal age. They can test hormone levels and help manage symptoms.

When to see a doctor

See your gynecologist or primary care provider if:

  • Your period stops suddenly after being regular
  • You have significant changes in flow, length, or frequency of periods
  • You’re bleeding excessively or soaking a pad/tampon every 1-2 hours
  • You have severe abdominal or pelvic pain
  • You have any concerns about reproductive health issues or gynecological cancers

Keep a record of your symptoms and menstrual patterns to help the doctor evaluate potential causes. They can perform exams and testing to determine if there is an underlying medical issue causing the changes.

Diagnostic exams and tests

To get to the root of abnormal uterine bleeding, your doctor may recommend:

  • Pelvic exam – Checks for any visible abnormalities of the vulva, vagina, cervix, and uterus.
  • Pregnancy test – A urine or blood test to rule out pregnancy as a cause.
  • STD testing – Tests for sexually transmitted diseases like chlamydia and gonorrhea.
  • Pap smear – Screens for cervical cancer and precancerous cell changes.
  • Blood tests – Checks hormone levels for imbalances and other blood abnormalities.
  • Ultrasound – Allows visualization of uterine and ovarian anatomy to check for polyps, fibroids, etc.
  • Biopsy – Takes a tissue sample to test for cancer or other abnormalities.
  • Hysteroscopy – A camera inserted in the uterus lets doctors view and take samples of the endometrium.
  • D&C (dilation and curettage) – Removes tissue from the uterus for analysis.

Based on your symptoms, medical history, and exam findings, your doctor will determine which of these tests are appropriate. Getting an accurate diagnosis is key to proper treatment.

Treatment options

Treatment depends on the underlying cause of your short period. Options may include:

  • Hormonal birth control – Helps regulate cycles and reduce heavy bleeding from fibroids, endometriosis, or hormonal imbalances.
  • NSAIDs – Over-the-counter nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories like ibuprofen or naproxen can lighten heavy flows.
  • Prescription hormones – Progesterone therapy may be used to treat low levels causing abnormal bleeding.
  • Antibiotics – Clears infections like pelvic inflammatory disease.
  • Medications – Blood thinners or antidepressants may be adjusted if causing abnormal bleeding.
  • Surgery – Endometrial ablation destroys the uterine lining to reduce heavy flows. Fibroids, polyps, etc. can also be removed surgically.
  • Uterine artery embolization – Blocks blood flow to fibroids, causing them to shrink.

Discuss all your treatment options thoroughly with your gynecologist. For severe cases, a hysterectomy to remove the uterus may be recommended as a last resort if other treatments are ineffective.

When it’s normal

While sudden short periods are usually abnormal, some circumstances make it common to see this change:

  • Coming off birth control – Your body needs time to adjust when stopping oral contraceptives. Irregular bleeding is expected as hormones regulate.
  • Postpartum – After giving birth, it takes 4-6 weeks for normal cycles to return postpartum. Hormone changes can cause abnormal bleeding.
  • Breastfeeding – Prolactin and estrogen suppression while nursing delays the return to fertility and regular cycles.
  • Spotting before puberty – Light bleeding may occur in months or years before the first real period.
  • Around menopause – Changes in ovarian function can lead to irregular, lighter periods.

Give your body time to adjust in these situations before worrying about short periods. However, still talk to your doctor if you have concerns about heavy bleeding or worsening symptoms.

When to seek emergency care

In some cases, abnormal bleeding warrants an emergency room visit. Seek immediate medical attention if you experience:

  • Bleeding so heavy that you soak 1 pad or tampon an hour
  • Passing blood clots larger than a quarter
  • Severe abdominal or pelvic pain
  • Dizziness or feeling faint from blood loss
  • Fever, chills, or foul-smelling vaginal discharge (signs of infection)
  • Chest pain and shortness of breath (potential blood clot symptoms)

Excessive blood loss can lead to dangerous anemia and requires rapid treatment. IV fluids, blood transfusions, and cauterization procedures may be used to control major bleeding episodes.

When to see your doctor

Schedule an appointment with your gynecologist or primary care provider if you experience:

  • Consecutive cycles with short, light, or absent periods
  • Bleeding between periods or after sex
  • Pelvic pain that interferes with daily activities
  • Excessively heavy periods
  • Periods that change significantly in frequency, duration, or amount
  • Bleeding after age 45-50

Keeping a menstrual calendar tracking your cycles can help identify patterns. Bring this information to your doctor’s visit. They can evaluate potential causes and decide if further testing is warranted based on your symptoms.


Some tips to help keep periods regular and avoid extra uterine bleeding include:

  • Maintain a healthy weight and diet. Eat foods rich in iron and vitamin C.
  • Lower stress through yoga, meditation, counseling, or other methods.
  • Avoid smoking and excess alcohol intake.
  • Use protection for STD prevention.
  • Take hormonal birth control as directed without missing pills.
  • Exercise moderately 3-5 times per week.
  • Get screened for any medical conditions that can affect menstrual cycles.

However, even with optimal health habits, abnormal bleeding can still occur. Being attentive to your body and tracking symptoms is important for identifying when to seek care.

When to worry

While an isolated one-day period may resolve on its own, it warrants follow-up if it becomes a pattern. Contact your doctor right away if you experience:

  • Multiple consecutive months with short, light periods or unexpected bleeding
  • Bleeding exceeds normal amount or lasts over 7 days
  • Periods occur closer than 21 days apart
  • Bleeding interferes with work, school, or other activities
  • Symptoms like pain, dizziness, or fever accompany abnormal bleeding

Repeated changes to your normal cycle suggest a potential gynecological problem needing evaluation. Don’t ignore these warning signs and avoid being examined out of embarrassment. Your doctor can help determine if treatment is needed for an underlying condition.

Key takeaways

  • It’s not normal for a regular period to suddenly stop after 1 day of light bleeding.
  • Potential causes include pregnancy, hormone imbalances, uterine issues, medications, and perimenopause.
  • See your gynecologist for evaluation with exams and testing to diagnose the cause.
  • Treatment depends on the underlying problem but may include medications, hormones, or surgical procedures.
  • Track your cycles and symptoms to identify patterns requiring medical attention.
  • Call your doctor when a short period occurs multiple months in a row or heavy bleeding develops.

The bottom line

While frustrating to deal with, abnormal uterine bleeding is usually treatable once the cause is identified. Don’t hesitate to talk to your doctor if your periods suddenly shorten or change. Timely evaluation can reveal any issues needing treatment to restore normal menstrual cycles.

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