What different types of period blood mean to your health
Updated: Mar 28
Very often we get questions around period blood colors, and what they mean. We are glad this is something asked, since it is so relevant and an easy “tool” to evaluate your own health. The color of your period, be it dark red, orange, brown, bright red, or even grey, can give you insight into whether you’re healthy, or give you a reason to see a doctor.
How well do you understand period blood and what it could mean for your body? The next time you menstruate, pay attention to the color of your blood, as this can relay some crucial information about your well-being.
Blood color as an indicator of your health
During menstruation, your body sheds out blood and tissues from your uterus through the vagina. The bloody discharge comes out as your period. This bloody discharge may vary from brown to bright red and dark red depending on how long the blood stayed inside the uterus. For instance, If your blood stays in the uterus for a long time it becomes oxidized. This simply means blood came into contact with oxygen, which usually causes your flow to appear darker. Some other factors like hormonal changes and health conditions can affect the texture or complexion of your period. Let's look at the different colors of blood and what they mean for your body.
When your period assumes a bright red color it indicates that the blood is fresh and is flowing steadily. Most women will have bright red bleeding at the beginning of their menses and for some, it may be bright red throughout their period. Unusual spotting between the menstrual cycles could be a sign of a sexually transmitted disease, if you notice this you are advised to see a physician.
Rarely, bright red bleeding can also be a sign of cervical cancer - but this is not the major indicator unless you are having other symptoms such as heavy periods, bleeding after sexual intercourse, bleeding lasting more than normal and/or foul-smelling vaginal discharge.
You may experience pink bleeding when the blood mixes with cervical or vaginal mucus. Also, lower amounts of estrogen in the body can lead to a pinkish flow. If you are on any hormonal contraceptive, your period might look pinkish too, this is because hormonal birth control can lower estrogen levels in the body. Pink periods could also mean anaemia, an unhealthy diet, or significant weight loss.
Black-looking like period discharges usually occurs at the beginning or end of your period. This means the blood has stayed in the uterus for quite some time before coming out. It starts brown in color or dark brown then eventually becomes black. Black periods could also inform a blockage inside a woman’s vagina. If you experience fever, difficulty in urination, or any itching or swelling around the vagina in addition to black blood you need to report to a doctor.
Dark brown or Brown blood
Just like black blood, your flow may be this color at the very beginning or end of your period. The blood coming out has lived in the uterus for some time and has been oxygenated.
Brown blood or spotting during pregnancy can sometimes indicate a miscarriage or ectopic pregnancy. Report to the Hospital immediately you see this while you are pregnant.
Dark red bleeding or discharge can be experienced after child delivery - it is called Locha. The brown blood discharge after giving birth is completely normal and should not be a cause for concern.
If you see this period color at the beginning or end of your period do not panic, as it is normal. It only informs that blood has been in the body for some time.
Blood that appears orange can also indicate a mix of blood with cervical mucus. Often, orange discharges could mean an infection, such as bacterial vaginosis. If you experience itchiness and discomfort, together with an unusually-smelling orange discharge, although it may not always mean infection, it is a good idea to talk to a doctor for a check-up.
Grey vaginal discharge is mostly a sign of bacterial infection. A condition caused by pH imbalances. The pH of the vagina is acidic so when it becomes a base this can allow harmful bacteria to thrive in that environment. If you have symptoms such as grey discharge in and around your vagina, please have a doctor to prescribe you the appropriate antibiotics to treat this.
As women, we owe it to ourselves to learn about our bodies to notice signs and symptoms which may be trying to pass on vital information to us about our sexual reproductive health. Track your period and symptoms always on the app and get personalized tips on what your symptoms could mean for your body.
Stay informed, stay in control!
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