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Have you ever experienced a change in the color of your period and found yourself super worried? We get our periods once a month from puberty until menopause. That means it is a constant part of our life and we should make the effort into understanding what different color periods mean, whether it is worrying or not, and what to look out for. In this article, we’ll help decipher what the color of your periods means and what is considered to be normal in different stages of your menstrual cycle.
What does the color of your period mean?
If you find your period blood has a black color to it at the beginning or end of your cycle, there is nothing to worry about. This indicates that it is most probably a sign of old blood (at the beginning of your period) or blood that took longer to leave the uterus and has oxidized (at the end of your period).
However, black blood can sometimes be worrying as it can indicate that there’s a blockage in a woman’s vagina. If the black blood is accompanied by any of the following symptoms, speak to your doctor immediately:
- Bad-smelling vaginal discharge
- Difficulty urinating
- Vaginal itching or swelling
Brown or dark red
This is similar to black blood and usually means that it is a sign of old blood or blood that has had time to oxidize, turning to dark red before turning black. It is considered normal and usually not something to worry about. However, there are a few other instances where you can experience brown or dark red blood during your period:
- Pregnancy dark red blood
One of the early signs of pregnancy includes brown blood or spotting which is often referred to as implantation bleeding. But if you experience brown discharge or spotting during pregnancy, it can sometimes be worrying as it is a sign of miscarriage. For women who experience spotting or vaginal bleeding during pregnancy, speak to your doctor immediately.
- Lochia dark red blood
Another instance of dark red or brown vaginal discharge can occur after giving birth and is referred to as postpartum bleeding or lochia. This is the body’s way of releasing excess blood and tissue from the uterus.
Bright ready blood during your menstrual cycle is a sign of fresh blood and a steady flow. Usually, periods tend to start with bright red color and darken towards the end. If you do experience unusual spotting or bleeding between cycles, be sure to resort to your doctor to eliminate the risk of sexually transmitted infections or something more serious such as cervical cancer. Cervical cancer symptoms will also include the following symptoms:
- Heavier periods
- Periods that last longer durations
- Bleeding after sex
- Bad-smelling discharge
- Pain in pelvis, legs, and lower back
- Unexplained weight loss
- Loss of appetite
Pink blood usually happens when period blood mixes with cervical fluid and is diluted to a pinky color. Another reason you can be experiencing pink blood is using hormonal birth control which reduces estrogen levels in the body and lead to a lighter, pink flow.
Other causes of pink blood can also include:
- Tears in the vagina or cervix as a result of sexual intercourse.
- Extreme weight loss
- Unhealthy diet
While most blood that mixes with a cervical fluid will appear pink, it can sometimes show as orange blood. Orange blood or discharge can also be a sign of infection in the vagina such as trichomoniasis or bacterial vaginosis.
If you’re suffering from bacterial vaginosis, your discharge may have a gray color as a result of the imbalance between good and harmful bacteria in the vagina.
- My Daughter Got Her Period at 7, Should I Worry?
- PMS: Signs Your Period Is Coming
- How to Spot Series: Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD)
Sources used in this article:
- Period blood chart what does it mean? – Medical News Today
- What does the color of your period mean? -Cleveland Health