Here we go again readers! You asked, we answered! This somewhat taboo topic is a frequently asked question on our forum and it seems that most are afraid to bring it up in conversation. In fact, a change in habitual color could be your body’s way of sending you a message or alert. What does the blood color mean, and…is this normal? We’ve got all the answers for you!
During menstruation, the body sheds tissue and blood from the uterus. The discharge produced can range in color from bright red to dark brown, or even black, depending on your age. The color of a person's period blood can give important information about their overall health. Although a woman’s period color will vary, and the blood can change color and consistency over her lifetime, it’s important to learn to recognize the signs, to react accordingly.
Usually, when your period blood is bright red, it’s a sign of good health. Bright red blood indicates fresh blood and a steady flow. A menstrual cycle may start with bright red bleeding and darken towards the end, or stay red throughout. On the second or third day of your period, your flow becomes heavier because the lining of the uterus evacuates more quickly. As a result, the blood does not have time to oxidize and may darken before it leaves your body.
Pink blood or pink spotting may occur when period blood mixes with cervical fluid. Using hormonal contraceptives can lower estrogen levels in the body, which can lead to a lighter discharge with a pinkish trace during menstruation. Sex can also create small tears in the vagina or cervix. The blood can then mix with vaginal secretions and come out as a pink discharge. Other causes of pink period blood can include: significant weight loss, unhealthy diet and anemia.
Orange periods or spotting often indicates an infection, such as bacterial vaginosis. If you have discharge of this color, watch for other symptoms, such as vaginal itching, feeling uncomfortable, or an unusual odor. Although orange blood does not always indicate an infection, it is recommended that you consult a gynecologist.
Brown or Dark Red
Brown or dark red blood, just like black blood, is a sign of oxidized blood, and can appear at the start or end of a menstrual cycle. This type of loss can also indicate early pregnancy. If the woman is already pregnant, she needs to see a healthcare professional immediately. When this occurs after childbirth, the dark red or brown discharge should not be a cause for concern as the body is simply expelling the excess blood and tissue from the uterus.
Black blood may appear at the start or end of your period. This color typically indicates that the blood has had time to oxidize before leaving the uterus. It can sometimes indicate a blockage inside the vagina, when accompanied by other symptoms such as a strong odor, fever, difficulty urinating, or itching. In this situation, you should see a doctor.
A gray discharge is a sign of bacterial vaginosis, a disease caused by an imbalance between beneficial and harmful bacteria in the vagina. If you notice any other symptoms, do not wait to see a doctor. In the later stages of pregnancy, a gray discharge containing clots may indicate a miscarriage. Women who experience bleeding during pregnancy should see their OB-GYN right away.
What about Red spotting when I’m NOT on my period?
Unusual spotting or bleeding between menstrual cycles can be a sign of a sexually transmitted infection, such as chlamydia or gonorrhea. Growths in the lining of the womb, called polyps or fibroids, can also cause unusually heavy bleeding. If you discover bright red spots outside of your usual cycle, you should consult a gynecologist.
Knowing your body, tracking your cycle, and listening to the signs will all ensure that you remain in good health for a long time. If you feel like things are ‘off’, they probably are. Do not ignore it😊
Be safe, be well, Justine 😊
Got a Period Question? Contact us and we may feature the answer in an upcoming blog. Have a Happy Period😊