Most women aren’t necessarily excited to get their periods. It often comes with pain, aches, limitations in your activity (sex, anyone?), the munchies, not even to mention the annoyance of changing pads, tampons, or the cup.
For some women there’s just one silver lining: it means you’re not pregnant. For others, it’s the heartbreaking opposite.
And then, of course, if a woman menstruates regularly — around every 28 days — then she has the benefit of knowing that her hormones are balanced.
But does anyone look closer at that blood, when the time comes? Most don’t, and yet it can be worth it. If you take a quick look at the color, you could learn something worthwhile about your health.
If the blood is pink or light red, it could be that you’re at the start of your period. But if it’s between periods, then it’s a good idea to visit the doctor. It could be a sign of internal injury, venereal disease (such as chlamydia), or hormonal fluctuations. If it’s the right time but only a very light, brief flow, then it could even indicate pregnancy. You don’t always stop having your period completely when you’re pregnant at the start. That’s one reason why some women don’t notice right away that they’re pregnant.
2. Bright red
If the blood is, well, blood red, then you can assume that everything’s fine. After five or six days it should be over. If it lasts longer, better check with your gynecologist. Extra bright red could be a sign of low estrogen levels, which occur sometimes after a diet or excessive alcohol consumption.
3. Dark red
When your period is at full flow it’s often stronger and the blood is darker. When the dark color and heavy flow remain a long time however, it could be a sign of uterine fibroids. Dark red blood can also indicate an elevated estrogen level.
In this case it could be that a normal yellowish discharge mixed with the uterine lining, thus the orange tint. However, it can also be a sign of a vaginal infection, especially if it has an unpleasant odor. Then it’s time to see your gynecologist.
Many women find it distressing to see a brown-black flow instead of blood in their pad, cup, or tampon. But no worries, it’s completely normal. It’s older blood, which — just like a scab — changes color when it’s out of circulation.
This is the only color that should immediately ring alarm bells if you see it: a clumpy grey flow is a likely sign of an infection or even miscarriage. Be sure to make a doctor’s appointment here.
Now that you know what the color of your period blood can reveal about your health, you’ll definitely look closer next time, no? If you notice something of concern and go to the doctor promptly, you’ll be in a much better position to avoid the worst. In any case, it can definitely be interesting to get to know this part of our bodies and our lives better!