Period blood colour: does it matter if your period blood is red, purple, or brown?
If you get your period and notice that it’s darker or lighter than usual, is that cause for concern? Does it mean that you have some sort of underlying condition that you need to get checked out? In this article, we explore what different period blood colours mean, and discuss what your period blood colour tells you about your health.
#1: Bright red
If your period blood colour is bright red, then it’s all systems go. You have nothing to worry about – just keep eating a balanced diet, getting enough sleep, and staying active!
If your period blood colour is rusty brown or dark brown, this might be due to two things. First, women who eat plenty of red meat and green leafy vegetables (both of which contain iron!) will naturally have more iron in their blood. When the iron is exposed to air, it oxidizes, and makes your period blood look darker.
If that’s not the case, then it’s possible that your body is getting rid of old oxidized blood that wasn’t expelled from your uterus during your last cycle. This is typically linked to low progesterone levels, and it’s common for women who don’t ovulate regularly to get dark brown periods.
#3: Light pink
Women and girls tend to experience lighter coloured periods when they first start getting their periods. Light coloured periods are also typical amongst women who are underweight, are athletes, or have intensive workout regimes.
For those who think that your workout routine might be what’s causing your light period blood colour, we strongly recommend that you dial it down a notch. If you persist in pushing your body to (or past its limit), you might develop Hypothalamic Amenorrhea (HA), a condition where your menstruation stops for several months at a time due to your body having too little fat.
#4: Dark red with clots
First things first – it’s common for women to get blood clots in their period. These are a natural part of your body’s defense mechanism; they help prevent too much blood from leaving your body.
Generally speaking, menstrual clots occur during the first day or two of a period, when your flow is the heaviest. If you only get clots in the first two days, or if you experience a heavy flow containing plenty of clots one month, but a lighter flow with no clots the subsequent month, that’s perfectly normal – you have nothing to worry about.
You should take note, however, if you have large blood clots throughout your period, and during every single period. Anything that’s bigger than the size of a quarter (approximately 25mm in diameter) is considered large, and women who regularly get large blood clots might have endometriosis or an oestrogen imbalance.
If your period is bright red and contains plenty of clots, you’ll want to investigate further as well. This is a sign of fresh bleeding, and there’s a chance that there’s a fibroid, polyp, cyst, or pelvic infection wreaking havoc on your system. Be sure to consult your doctor, and make sure you get a clean bill of health.
#5: Purple or blue
If your period blood colour is purple or blue, this indicates that your estrogen levels are abnormally high. High estrogen levels are linked to reproductive issues such as endometriosis, so again, you’ll want to visit your doctor and get it checked out.