Have you ever been surprised or caught off guard by an unexpected change in the hue of your period blood? Many women are silently aware their bodies produce different colour blood during their periods, but it is not a topic that is often addressed. To normalize this area of women’s health, we reviewed all the factors that can result in these varying shades of period blood. Read on to learn more!
Menstrual Blood Colour
If you are reading this article, it is safe to assume you have experienced a few periods in your lifetime. Throughout your menstrual history, you may have noticed some differences in the menstrual blood colour during your periods. Is it stress? Is it hormonal? What is the deal with these periods?
The reality is that a woman’s body is a complicated system, and no two periods will ever be identical. Changes to our diet, changes to our hormones, and fluctuating stress levels contribute to how our body prepares for another menstrual cycle. As a result, the menstrual blood colour can vary between periods.
It is also prevalent for a woman to experience a singular colour change during her period, like going from brown blood to red blood. In comparison, other women will experience a spectrum of colours and may see three different menstrual blood colour shades during a single period.
Can Period Blood Be Brown?
Yes! It is extremely common to have dark coloured menstrual blood at the start of your period. These dark colours include black period blood, brown blood, and dark red hues.
Typically the darker the colour of blood, the older the blood is. This is not necessarily negative or positive; it just means that the blood has been inside the uterus for the most extended amount of time. The darkness is attributed to the natural oxidation process of the blood in the uterus, just like a cut that dries over time and darkens.
Women who pass small blood clots and shed visible tissues from the uterus lining will also notice that these tissues are all darker in colour. This is considered to be a regular part of your period because these tissues are very dense. However, if you have any concerns about the frequency or size of any clots you pass, please follow up with your health care provider.
Bright red period blood
Brightly coloured period blood is an indicator that the blood leaving the body is fresh blood. This means it has spent very little time in the uterus; therefore, it has not been exposed to natural oxidation processes.
Contrary to popular claims you may have heard growing up, bright red period blood does not mean you are ‘more fertile’. Instead, the bright colour indicates that you are losing fresh blood and it is leaving your body at a reasonably quick pace.
This is highly prevalent in women who experience very heavy periods with heavy flows. This significant blood loss can be exhausting for women, so if you see a lot of bright red blood, make sure you take time to rest and relax while your body completes the menstruation cycle.
Why is my period blood light pink?
There are two primary reasons why you may be experiencing period blood which is light pink. The most common cause of light pink period blood is the natural spotting towards the end of your cycle. The majority of the uterus lining has been shed at this point; therefore, whatever comes out next are the final remnants of your period.
Pinkish menstrual blood can also happen during your ovulation cycle. This is when your body releases an egg: ovulation is typically referred to as your mid-cycle point. The natural discharge you experience is still light pink because the uterus has not formed its blood-rich lining yet. So anything which exits from the vagina will be light pink and almost a diluted version of your period blood.
What about grey period blood?
Grey period blood can be an indication of an infection within the vagina. Discharge of this colour is typically associated with strong repugnant odours, which further confirm that something is off in your lady region. It is essential to follow up with your health care provider immediately if you ever see grey period blood discharged from your vagina.
The same rule applies to any green menstrual blood that you may see during your period. Green menstrual blood is not considered normal and should be examined by your medical team. Other symptoms that may warrant further investigations include itching directly around the vaginal area, adjunct to any green menstrual blood.
Clear discharge during my period – what is that?
A clear discharge is typically not related to your period at all. It is the natural lubricant your body creates during a state of sexual arousal.
Many women continue to engage in sexual activities while on their periods. In this case, the body will continue to create the natural lubricant, despite being on a period, which can later be seen after the events have ended.
To stay on top of hygiene practices, it is recommended to freshen up regularly during your period, especially if you engage in sexual activities. This will reduce the risk of any unwanted odours from developing and decrease any infections.
Many different menstrual blood colours can occur during your period. It is important to be aware of which colours are recognized as normal and which colours warrant medical consultations.
Dark period colours, especially at the start of menstruation, are very typical. Light pink blood between periods or towards the very end of your period is also considered to be expected.
Any green menstrual blood or grey period blood can indicate a vaginal infection and should be examined by a medical health professional.