From bright red to light pink to orange – each colour of period blood tells its own tale about the state of your menstrual cycle and generally your health.
Read on to find out what these tales are.
Period blood with a bright red colour (like bright red tomatoes) which flows for at most 7 days but not less than 5 days and recurs every 28 to 35 days for an average menstrual cycle is considered the most normal of all period blood. This type of period is not so thick nor thin but in between. It is an indicator that a woman's uterine lining is healthy which also means that her body is healthy generally; her body processes or systems, mainly her digestive and immune systems plus her hormones are working well and work with each other well. With regards to your hormones, this shows that there is a good balance between your estrogen and progesterone levels. This period blood may sometimes come out with blood clots that are about the size of a pea (but no worries!) – this is normal and is a part of the shedding off of the lining of your endometrium. If this is you then you must maintain your current healthy lifestyle which could be exercising regularly and eating a healthy diet.
A woman experiences period blood with a deeper shade of red (like dark shades of cherry) towards the end of her period and this because the process of the endometrium shedding its lining is slowing down. This period blood takes on this darker shade because it has had time to dry up and darken. It is also normal like bright red period blood and signals the end of a period. It's important that a woman keeps up with her personal hygiene when she's just about ending her period.
Like the colour of coffee beans, dark brown period blood (blood which has oxidised) is a sign of the beginning of a new period. Dark brown periods usually occur irregularly, are short-lived and are thin in thickness. Many women often see this darkish brown almost black blood right before they start their periods and this is because this is old blood that remained from the previous period. Your progesterone levels then were too low to help your uterus fully shed off its lining that had accumulated throughout your cycle and so this blood had to stay put to be shed off during your next cycle when you had your next period and your progesterone levels were much higher. Low progesterone levels also cause a woman to ovulate irregularly and so women experiencing this need to up their progesterone levels by switching their diet to a Vitamin-B rich one; they need to eat foods like milk, eggs and meat.
Light pink (like the colour of roses) is the colour of the period blood which flows out when you're having a barely-there (scanty or short) period which occurs less often than the normal 28-day cycle. The blood is very light in thickness and lasts for a few days (3 days at most). Hypomenorrhea, as it's medically called, can be caused by menopause, use of birth control, medication side effects, excessive exercise or athletics, excessive dieting and weight loss. A light pink period blood colour is a major sign of low estrogen levels which is caused by the body lacking certain nutrients especially vitamins. This is quite a disturbing issue since low estrogen is a risk factor for osteoporosis and heart disease. If a woman encounters this problem month after month she will need to see a doctor and make drastic changes to her diet and dietary supplements.
The tale this period blood colour tells is just as dark as its colour. Indeed, of all the period blood colours, a dark purple or even blue (like blueberries) is the one to watch out for! Blood is very thick and sometimes looks like blueberry jam, it's also full of large clots (larger than a pea) and lasts longer than 7 days. This means a woman's estrogen levels are too high; higher than her progesterone levels and can cause serious gynaecological problems like cysts, endometriosis and fibroids. Usually, adding a lot of fibre to your diet can help fix the problem but if a woman's periods are heavy and accompanied by extreme pain then she will need to see a doctor and get a scan done immediately to find out if she has developed a cyst, endometriosis or fibroids.
A more dreadful tale is told by orange- coloured period blood (like the colour of oranges or copper). Normally, it could be a sign of implantation or mid-cycle spotting but more often this is a clear sign of an infection (bacterial vaginosis or trichomoniasis) especially if you experience other symptoms like itching, a discharge, smell and general discomfort. A woman will need to see her doctor immediately!
By Nana Ama Afoa Osae I Writer I GreatWonderful Team
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