menstrual blood also known as menstrual blood or Menstruation. During your period, its appearance changes daily and from one period to the next. It also varies from person to person.
What you see on a pad, tampon or toilet is a mixture of blood and tissue from the lining of the uterus. That’s why it’s a different color and thickness than the blood flowing in your veins.
This article explains what menstrual blood looks like and why. It will also help you understand when your blood flow is within a common range and when there is reason to be more concerned.
what causes menstrual bleeding
Your menstrual cycle is controlled by hormones in your body. These hormones regulate when and whether the ovaries lay eggs.They also regulate the thickening of the lining of the uterus, also known as endometrial lining.
Your period begins when hormonal changes affect the lining of your uterus. It begins to break down and separate from the uterine wall. Excess blood and tissue flow out through the cervix, the opening of the uterus, and the vagina.
Menstrual blood is a mixture of blood and tissue lining the uterus. This is why it is different in color and consistency from the bright red blood that flows through your body. When it comes out of the vagina, it can be different for everyone.
what period blood looks like
Menstrual blood can be described in a number of ways. Consider not only the amount of bleeding, but also the color of the blood and the consistency of the blood flow as it changes throughout the cycle.
Bright red blood is newer because it’s coming out of your vagina faster and newer. You’re most likely to see this bright red color when your period starts.
You also sometimes see brighter blood when you have a cramp. That’s because spasms occur when the uterus contracts. These contractions result in heavier blood flow.
symptoms of dysmenorrhea
Dark red, brown, or black menstrual blood is slightly older blood. This color indicates slower flow. For most people, the blood gets darker over the course of their cycle. This is because old blood from the deeper parts of the lining of the uterus sheds and the bleeding slows down.
If you have menstrual blood on your clothes and wait for it to dry, you’ve probably seen the color – although it’s best to soak your clothes in cold water to prevent the blood from clotting.
Some people may see very pink menstrual blood at certain points in their menstrual cycle. This is usually at the beginning or end of their period. It indicates very slight bleeding.
Pink period blood is nothing to worry about. Usually it’s just blood mixed with normal mucus, which makes the color lighter.
Difference Between Normal and Abnormal Vaginal Discharge
Your menstrual blood may be thin and watery. It can also be thick and sticky. Thin and watery blood is usually pink, while thick secretions are usually brown.
These changes in its consistency are common at the end of your cycle. This is because most of the endometrial tissue has passed through.
Changes in the thickness of the blood mixture during menstruation may also mean less accumulation of the lining of the uterus. This is common in older adults approaching menopause or those whose hormones are affected by stress or excessive exercise.
Menstrual blood may also contain some clots. Most people see clotting when they cut their finger and the bleeding stops quickly. Substances in the blood, called clotting factors, stop bleeding.
During your period, small blood vessels are torn as the endometrial tissue separates. Hormonal changes mark the end of your period and the lining will begin to recover. As part of this cycle, clotting factors are also at work.
You may see blood clots during your period. They are not necessarily cause for concern. However, a visible clot may indicate something else is going on in your body.
A clot larger than 1 inch in diameter is a sign a healthcare provider may use when making a diagnosis menorrhagiaor heavy menstrual bleeding.
Menstrual blood is slightly thicker than normal bleeding because it contains tissue. However, if you see large lumps or clots in your menstrual blood, it could be a sign that you have fibroids.
Fibroids are abnormal growths in the wall of the uterus. These growths are benign and not a sign of cancer. However, they can cause pain, discomfort, and heavy bleeding in some people.
The consistency and color of blood during menstruation can change. In some cases, blood clots may also pass. This could indicate fibroids or other disorders. A large blood clot can also be a sign of a miscarriage or ectopic pregnancy, which means you should seek immediate medical attention.
a lot of blood
Different people have different amounts of menstrual blood. The amount also varies with the menstrual cycle. For some people, little blood flow during menstruation is normal. Others may have very heavy blood flow, which is common for them.
However, heavy bleeding can be a cause for concern. Consult your healthcare provider if you are bleeding too much and too quickly for menstrual products to overflow. The same is true if you need to replace more than once an hour.
Extremely heavy, rapid menstrual bleeding may be a sign of an underlying bleeding disorder. This is especially true if you have any family history of bleeding disorders or have been treated for anemia, which affects your red blood cells and the oxygen they carry.
These are the most common causes of blood disorders
normal menstrual bleeding
Menstruation comes in a wide range. How broad is the scope? Healthcare providers consider the following to be normal:
- Menstrual cycle lasts 24-38 days
- Cycle length varies by up to 20 days in a year
- Bleeding for four and a half to eight days at a time
- Lose 5 to 80 milliliters (ml) of blood during your period
One more question is what is normal you. Menstrual blood may be thick, thin, pink, or even black. Some people only use one or two pads or menstrual cups a day. Others need to be replaced every few hours. Some people don’t have cramps; others always need a heating pad or pain medication.
You’ll know what’s normal if you pay attention to your menstrual blood and how your menstrual cycle feels. Tracking your period can help you see if changes have occurred. It may cause you to seek care based on your menstrual changes.
It is important to know what is normal for you. Changes in your period may be a sign of other health problems. For example, you may always experience heavy periods. About 20% do. But in other cases, they may be associated with bleeding disorders or other conditions.
How tracking your menstrual cycle can help your health
abnormal uterine bleeding
Uterine bleeding is not uncommon. Up to 25% of the reproductive-age population worldwide will experience some type of abnormal uterine bleeding. This bleeding comes in many forms, including the following periods:
- too close or too far apart
- much heavier than expected
- Duration is longer or shorter than the normal range
Treating the underlying cause of abnormal uterine bleeding can have a major impact on the lives of those who experience it. For some, it’s the difference between being successful at work or school and not being able to work.
Changes in menstrual bleeding can be a sign of another health problem, such as Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (Polycystic Ovary Syndrome). Not all of these conditions are serious or require medical attention. However, signs that you should see a healthcare provider about your period include:
- No bleeding for more than three months when you know you are not pregnant
- Change from regular to irregular (just irregular periods of life are not a problem)
- Bleeding for more than 7 days between periods
- Bleeding so much that you can soak a pad or tampon in just an hour or two
- severe menstrual pain
If you have a fever and feel sick after using a tampon, this could be a sign of toxic shock syndrome. This is a rare but potentially fatal condition that requires immediate medical attention.
Menstrual blood is a mixture of blood and tissue lining the uterus. This is why it is different in color and consistency from the bright red blood that flows through your body.
When it comes out of the vagina, it can be different for everyone. Colors may be pink, red, brown or black, all from the same period. It can be thin or thick. Blood clots that pass during your period may appear normal, or they could be a sign of another health problem.
It is important to know what is normal for you. Consult your healthcare provider if you have concerns about changes in your period.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can birth control be used to control heavy menstruation?
maybe. It depends on what’s causing the heavy bleeding. Your healthcare provider may add birth control pills to your treatment because they reduce menstrual blood flow.
Why do I have brown discharge when my period is approaching?
Usually, it’s just the body that removes old blood cells and cleans the vagina. But it can be a sign of infection, PCOS, or even cervical cancer. If you have concerns about brown vaginal discharge, talk to your healthcare provider.
What is the color of the spots between periods?
The blood you see during a normal period is usually pink, red, or brown. This usually occurs in people approaching menopause, as their periods may become more irregular. It can also be a sign of cervical cancer and is worth discussing with your healthcare provider.