WHAT THE COLOUR OF YOUR BLOOD TELLS YOU ABOUT YOUR PERIOD
CHERRY JAM OR PEACHY PINK, WHAT YOUR FLOW IS TELLING YOU.
Could you recall the colour of your last period? Or have you ever been mid-menstruation and thought to yourself “hmmm that looks a little different to usual?” – then you’re on the journey to equipping yourself with invaluable knowledge on your general health and wellbeing.
Unfortunately, in the past, many of us have been conditioned to think of our periods as something “dirty” and to deal with the process rapidly – quickly disposing of our tampons or other sanitary products. This has led to a major disconnect between ourselves and our bodies as people with periods!
Knowing the colour of your period blood and recognising any significant changes is a way to become more in tune with your cycle – which after all is a reflection of your hormones – and can be an indicator of your overall health or underlying issues.
Whether you free bleed, use our ilo tampons, or opt for a menstrual cup – every cycle you are offered a profound insight into your health status thanks to the shade and consistency of your period blood. The intel you can gain from checking out your flow is so important, that menstruation is now even considered a vital sign in assesing your overall health status [https://www.acog.org/Clinical-Guidance-and-Publications/Committee-Opinions/Committee-on-Adolescent-Health-Care/Menstruation-in-Girls-and-Adolescents-Using-the-Menstrual-Cycle-as-a-Vital-Sign
A Note On Ages And Stages
Your age and stage can have a powerful impact on the colour of your period blood and as such, will mean the following information may not be applicable.
Young women who have just recently begun menstruating will often notice fluctuations within their cycle textures and colours for the first few years – which is often for no reason of concern. Similarly, women reach perimenopause may also experience more frequent irregularities.
KEEPING A NOTE OF YOUR PERIOD IS A GREAT WAY TO NOTICE CHANGES. ALWAYS SEEK PROFESSIONAL, MEDICAL ADVICE IF YOU ARE WORRIED ABOUT ANY CHANGES.
Bright, Cherry Red
If this is your flow – then congratulations, you have a healthy, regular period! Of course, everyone’s variation of “normal” is different, but if your flow is consistently a bright red flow, your body is sending out signals that all is functioning in the way it should.
A dark brown flow can indicate old fragments of your uterine lining and blood that are only just now leaving the body. Don’t worry – this isn't a cause for panic. Simply, we all have different rates at which we shed our lining and sometimes if it takes a bit longer, it has a longer time to oxidise, leading to the darker brown shade. Seeing some dark brown at the beginning or end of your period is common and frequently, nothing to worry about!
Pinkish period blood can indicate levels of low estrogen, especially if it is paired with a lighter than usual flow. Estrogen helps to stabilise the uterine lining, without this hormone you may shed the lining throughout the cycle - leading to spotting of various colours, including pinkish hues.
Excessive exercise can impact estrogen levels, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21903887 which can disrupt your cycle, leading to anovulation. Other issues such as PCOS, perimenopause or poor nutrition can lead to a pinkish period flow.
Thick, vibrant red with clots.
Clots aren’t necessarily a cause for concern as they naturally occur as your uterine lining sheds. The size of the clots can be an indicator, however, with anything bigger than a quarter (UK EQUIVALENT) may indicate a more serious imbalance of hormones or fibroids.
A Mix Of Gray And Red
If you notice a mix of these colours it could be a sign you have an infection – in which case, get to a doctor straight away, or it could indicate an early miscarriage – particularly if you notice any remnants of “liver” looking like tissue. If there is any possibility you may be pregnant, seek ought your medical professionals.
A blueberry colour tone can indicate too much estrogen is present within the body. Typically, estrogen levels that are much higher than progesterone levels can cause many of the issues associated with troublesome periods – potentially leading to endometritis, cysts or fibroids.
Written by Rosie Hope