Cherrelle Slaney wears a pair of Thinx period underwear while lying on a bed.

The Truth About Period Blood: What Is It Trying To Tell You?

Have you ever noticed that your period blood can sometimes change colour? Especially towards the end of your period, you might notice that the blood turns from red to pink or even brown. But why is that? And is it normal?

The colour of your period blood can give a good indication into your menstrual health. Menstrual blood isn’t technically just blood. It’s menstrual fluid, which is a mixture of blood, uterine cells and cervical mucous. Although it doesn’t necessarily sound like a pleasant mixture, it’s a normal part of menstruation and can give you some insights into your overall health.

Bright Red Period Blood

Bright red blood is a sign of a healthy period. Blood that is bright red or crimson red in colour is a good sign. You period blood should have a consistency similar to maple syrup.

As long as your bleeding falls in line with your regular cycle, red blood is a good sign. Any bleeding outside of your normal cycle could be a sign of infection and should be checked by a doctor. This includes bleeding between periods or if your cycle length suddenly changes.

Brown Period Blood

Brown or dark red blood is old blood. This can occur at the start and end of your period. When blood oxidises it gets darker in colour.

If there is residual blood left in the uterus from your last period, the blood will turn brown, or sometimes even black. This is what happens to blood as it oxidises. Similarly, as your flow slows down, blood takes longer to leave the uterus. This blood will start to oxidise too – hence the darker colour.

Brown period blood can also be an early sign of pregnancy known as implantation. If you experience any kind of vaginal blood loss during pregnancy you should see your doctor.

Pink Period Blood

Pink blood is usually blood mixed with cervical fluid. The cervical fluid dilutes the blood, lessening it’s bright red hue. You might experience this at the start or end of your period.

This is also common in people who use oral contraceptives. Oral contraceptives reduce the amount of oestrogen in the body which can lead to a lighter flow. Once that light flow gets mixed with cervical fluid it becomes pink in colour.

You might also get some pink spotting in the middle of your cycle around ovulation. It is often combined with some mild cramping. This is called Mittelschmerz (German for “middle pain”) and can be diagnosed by a doctor.

Blood Clots In Your Period

Some amount of clotting in your period is normal. It is more common among those who have a heavy flow. However, if your clots are bigger than a 50p piece then you should see your doctor.

So, there you have it. Some awesome things you can learn from your period blood. Red is a good sign, brown is old blood and pink is diluted blood. Blood clots are normal, but be sure to get them checked if they are larger than a 50p piece. Don’t forget, any significant changes in your period blood or your menstrual cycle should be checked out by a doctor.

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