What Does the Color of your Period Blood Mean?
As of late, a ton of research and conversations have been presented on the relationship between your menstrual cycle and overall health. Much like our individual bodies, everyone’s period is different and varies from duration of days to heaviness-there are even varying degrees of what is “normal”. Individually, a lot can change from month to month in your own cycle, especially (don’t be scared!) your period blood color.
Your menstrual blood color is likely to be bright red at the beginning of your cycle, since it’s fresher, and the uterus lining is more actively shedding. Towards the end of your period, darker brownish blood is more common. The brown color means that the blood has stayed in the uterus longer and has oxidized (reacted with oxygen) since the uterine shedding/blood flow has likely slowed down by that point. This is completely normal and not a cause for concern. However, below are a few shades to familiarize yourself with:
Black blood is also old blood which has oxidized in the body, but if it is much darker than your typically dark brown blood it could mean that there is a vaginal blockage. If you see black period blood along with foul smelling discharge, and itching & irritation in the vulva, it is best to see your gynecologist.
Pinkish/watery blood is often mixed with cervical mucus and can signal a STI (sexually transmitted infection), pregnancy, or low estrogen. If you are on a hormonal birth control this is more common as well as a lighter menstrual flow with blood with a pinkish tint.
Gray blood can indicate you have bacterial vaginosis and that there is a bacterial imbalance in the vagina, consult with your doctor on this one.
If you see big blood clots (any clots larger than the size of a quarter) during your cycle, set up a time to visit your doc. While small clots are normal periodically, if you frequently have large clots it could be a symptom of endometriosis, fibroids, or polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), among other things.
Take the time to track your period blood and stay in-tuned with every part of your flow. Our new menstrual cup is a great way to do that. It is reusable, and not simply throwing away your cup like a pad or tampon gives you the opportunity to be more mindful and give your honeypot some love.