Menstruation is a normal part of women’s lives and involves a periodic or cyclical shedding of their endometrium (the lining of the uterus). Because of its nature, it is usually referred to as a menstrual period, or simply a period, which starts around the time of sexual maturity (puberty) and ends at the end of a woman’s reproductive life (menopause).
A woman’s period blood colors and textures may vary during various stages of life and during times when certain conditions may interfere with the normal cycle.
First you may want to know… What is a normal period, I’m sure but we will get to that later; after I enlighten you about the various colors your blood can take on when on your period and why.
It’s kind-of like an array of RED LIPSTICKS; some colors more pleasing than others.
Bright red: puts you in the mine of Cherry Kool-Aide: Bright red menstrual blood signifies that the blood was recently shed and released from the body. This type of blood flow is usually light and one may be having frequent periods. This is considered a normal flowing period and color.
Dark red: Dark red blood is usually “older blood”. This may have been stored in your uterus for a while and has taken a longer time to be shed. Many women shed blood that is dark red upon waking up or after taking a bath. This too can be considered normally because the blood has been storing itself waiting to be released, however if your blood is constantly dark then Huston we may have a problem; this may mean that your flow is being blocked or held up from the previous month(s) and could be considered old blood.
Brown/Black: This is also old blood. Most women see dark brown or black blood towards the end of the period, and the blood flow is not that heavy. It ma But don’t panic: This is normal. “We’re not sure why this happens in all cases, but sometimes the blood is sitting around for a while and comes out particularly slowly,” Dweck says. “It has a lot of time to oxidize, which is why it can look brown or almost black.” (Just make sure you see your ob-gyn if you experience any of these period symptoms.)
Orange: Bright red menstrual blood that mixes with fluids from the cervix can appear orange with red streaks. Bright orange blood may be associated with infection, so if you suspect this, it is best to consult a doctor.
Pinkish: You may have low estrogen levels. Especially if it’s accompanied by a lighter-than-usual flow, or if you’re an avid runner. Studies have found that excessive exercise can lower estrogen levels, which can subsequently mess with your period, sometimes causing it to disappear altogether. (It’s not uncommon for female professional athletes to stop ovulating.) While this may not seem like a big deal (who hasn’t fantasized about never having to deal with a period at least once or twice?), low estrogen levels can increase your risk of osteoporosis if left untreated. So keep an eye on this all my Fit-Chicks.
Gray and Red mix: (IMPORTANT)
You may have: an infection, such as an STD/STI. You’ll probably also experience a really “foul, necrotic stench. Get tested so you can get the right treatment.
Now these few, I’ve listed below are not colors, these are textures, so I felt it was necessary for me to speak about the various texture as well… Don’t want know PAD going unchecked!
You may have a nutritional deficiency. Ob-gyn Alyssa Dweck, MD, assistant clinical professor at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York, says that a white-ish, diluted flow can be a symptom of severe anemia, especially if you notice your period getting lighter and lighter when it would ordinarily get a bit heavier. If, after monitoring your period for two or three cycles, you’re worried that this could be the case, talk to your doctor about getting tested for nutritional deficiencies.
That is jelly-like may be blood that is mixed with mucus from the cervix. Cervical mucus is normally present in your vagina, and when mixed with menstrual flow that is light, it may give a slippery gel-like texture. This can also occur with bowel movements when cervical mucus flows from the vagina.
Blood clotting is a sign of heavy periods. When there is heavy bleeding the body produces anticoagulants to prevent blood clotting, but during heavy periods, this mechanism does not get enough time to do its work, resulting in the formation of clots. These blood clots may appear in any color of blood but are usually associated with dark blood. This is because older blood that builds up in the uterine walls creates a heavy flow. If this occurs frequently, one must suspect a serious problem that should be evaluated by a healthcare provider.
Menstrual blood that is thin is prevented from clotting. Usually bright red, it is usually associated with light or moderate blood flow and appears thinner and sometimes mixed with mucus from the cervix.
Tissuey… (Not a word but I made it one today)
The appearance of endometrial tissue in your blood may be a sign of miscarriage, or abortion, for which you must immediately seek a doctor’s attention.
What can cause all of this is what your are probably wondering, well it’s somewhat Mother-Nature and sometimes else…
Miscarriage: Passing of large amounts of blood clots or clumps of grey tissue may be a sign that a woman is having a miscarriage. If it is possible that you may be pregnant, see a doctor immediately when you experience heavy bleeding or passing clots or tissue.
Uterine Fibroids: Fibroids or leiomyomas are benign tumors (not cancerous) that develop within the uterus. They are not always associated with symptoms, except that some women may notice they are passing more menstrual blood than usual. They may also have more blood clots during their period than they did before.
Hormonal Irregularities: Estrogen and progesterone are hormones that regulate the periodic shedding of the endometrium (uterine lining). When there is a disturbance in the balance between these hormones, the uterine lining may become excessively thickened, which can contribute to heavier bleeding than normal. This can also lead to the development of clots during one’s period.
So if you find yourself with any of these symptoms, keep and eye on them and if you find that they are getting worse, please consult your OBGYN immediately!
Now with all that being said; back to my original question of… What is a normal period?
A menstrual period that usually occurs when a woman does not become pregnant.
The uterus is lined with endometrial tissue that thickens under the influence of hormones, to get ready for possible pregnancy. This lining, which is rich with blood, is shed periodically (approximately every 28 days) when there is no pregnancy, and this may last for two to seven days. The length of a normal menstrual cycle may range from 21 to 35 days, and the duration of a period is usually 3-5 days. A woman may lose as little as 4 teaspoons or as much as 12 teaspoons of blood per period.
It is normal for the period blood colors and textures to vary from bright red to brown or somewhat black and from thin to very thick. These changes may be a sign that the blood has been in the uterus for some time and has not been removed quickly. This may be a normal occurrence, which should not be a cause of concern.
Your period can tell you a lot about your health. In fact, last year the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists published a report recommending that it be viewed as a vital sign the same way your blood pressure, pulse, and temperature are. Why? Because in addition to telling you whether you’re pregnant or not, your period can provide key insights into your hormone health—and your hormones keep everything from your brain to your reproductive system running smoothly.
So Do your “Blood-Checks” and see a Doctor if you something looks color and/or texture crazy.
Frequent changes in period blood colors and textures.
I will leave you with a couple of videos regarding your Mentraul Cycle and Blood Colors; click the links below to view. Also take a look at my charts as well, there not just pictures; there for you bloody, healthy well-being!