The different colors of period blood and what they mean.
Updated: Mar 28
Did you know that the blood you see on your period, is similar but not exactly the same as the blood you would see when you get hurt and start bleeding? What you see on your preferred collection method be it a pad, tampon, or cup is a combination of both blood and tissue lining from your uterus. How much bleeding and shed tissue you produce will affect the color of your period blood.
Why the different period blood colors?
Period blood can vary from cycle to cycle and from day to day within the same cycle. All of which is completely normal. The colors could be an indication of what's going on in your menstrual and your general health. In many cases, these changes are closely related to the flow and time the blood has been in the uterus. For instance, you may notice that at the beginning of your cycle you bleed more but towards the end of your cycle it eases.
What are the different colors and what do they mean?
When discussing period health, it is not only important to think of the quantity of blood and time of bleeding, but to also pay attention to the color.
Light red: fresh blood
Fresh blood has a red or lighter red appearance. This is a result of the flow, which forces the blood out of the uterus and vagina quicker. For most women, their period might start with a bright red color then darken as they get to their heaviest days or towards the end of their period. However, some women see the light red color throughout their period. This too is considered normal.
Dark red: older blood
As your flow gets lighter, the blood will be darker an thicker. Dark red blood is old blood! The longer it takes to leave the body, the darker the uterine lining. Additionally, blood clots with a deep/dark red color might appear on the heaviest day of your flow. The two instances are considered normal.
The darker the colour the older the blood!
When to be concerned?
The color of a healthy period varies from a light red color to a dark/brown like red. Everyone's period is different and can change from cycle to cycle. Knowing what's within the normal range is important to identify when you need to see a doctor.
Here are few instances:
If you see any unusual color out of the ordinary colors. One that you've never seen before;
If having a heavy flow of light red-colored blood for several days can be a concern;
If a heavier flow of light red bleeding will occurs during the cycle days when no bleeding is expected.
Your period is a combination of both blood and the uterine lining whichaffects the period's blood color.
It is important to take note of your period blood color as it could serve as a vital sign to your general health.
Light red blood indicates fresh blood while darker red blood indicates old blood.
Anything outside the normal range of colors is reason enough to seek medical attention. Stay informed, stay in control. Have you noticed the different color changes in your period blood before? Let us know in the comments section.