Menstrual blood is also known as menstrual blood or period. Its appearance will change daily during menstruation and from period to period. It also differs from person to person.
What you see on pads, tampons, or in the toilet bowl is a mixture of both blood and tissue from the lining of the uterus. That’s why its color and thickness is not like the blood flowing in your veins.
This article explains what menstrual bleeding looks like and why. It will also help you know when your blood flow is in the common range and when there is reason to be more concerned.
What causes menstrual bleeding?
Your menstrual cycle is controlled by the hormones in your body. These hormones regulate when and if your ovaries produce eggs. They also regulate the thickening of the lining of your uterus, also known as endometrium.
Your period begins when hormonal changes affect the endometrium. It begins to break down and detach from the wall of your uterus. Excess blood and tissue flows down through the cervix, the opening in the uterus, and out through the vagina.
Menstrual blood is a mixture of blood and tissue lining your uterus. This is why its color and consistency is not the same as the bright red blood passing through your body. When it comes from the vagina, it can appear differently in each person.
What period does the blood look like?
Menstrual blood can be described in a number of ways. It helps to think not only about the amount of bleeding but also the color of the blood and the consistency of the flow as it changes during your cycle.
Bright red blood is more recent bleeding, which means it has come out of your vagina faster and more recently. You will most likely see this bright red color at the beginning of your period.
You may also see fresher blood at times of cramps. That’s because cramps occur when the uterus contracts. These contractions lead to more bleeding.
Menstrual blood that is dark red, brown, or black is slightly older blood. This color indicates slower flow. For most people, the blood becomes darker during their cycle. This is because old blood from the deeper parts of the lining of the uterus sheds and the bleeding slows down.
You’ve probably seen this color if you’ve ever had menstrual blood on your clothes and waited for it to dry — although you’re better off soaking your clothes in cold water to keep the blood stains from coagulating.
Some people may notice a pinkish tint during certain times of their menstrual cycle. This usually happens at the beginning or end of their period. It shows very light bleeding.
Pink menstrual bleeding is nothing to worry about. It’s usually just blood mixed with normal, lighter-colored mucus.
Your menstrual blood may be thin and watery. It can also be thick and sticky. Menstrual blood that is thin and watery is usually pinker, while thick and sticky discharge is usually browner.
These changes in consistency usually happen towards the end of your cycle. This is because most of the endometrial tissue has been passed through.
A change in the thickness of your menstrual blood can also mean there’s less buildup in the lining of your uterus. This usually occurs when older adults are approaching menopause or in people whose hormones are affected by stress or too much exercise.
Menstrual blood may also contain some clots. Bleeding is what most people see when they cut a finger and the bleeding stops rapidly. Substances in the blood, called clotting factors, work to stop bleeding.
During your period, there are small blood vessels that tear as the lining tissue of the uterus separates. Hormonal changes signal the end of your period and the lining will begin to build up again. Coagulation factors also act as part of this cycle.
You may see blood clots during your period. They are not necessarily cause for concern. However, visible blood clots can be a sign that something else is going on in your body.
Lumps larger than 1 inch in diameter are markers that health care providers can use when making a diagnosis menorrhagiaor heavy menstrual bleeding.
Menstrual blood is slightly thicker than normal blood due to the tissues that contain it. But if you notice large lumps or blood clots during your period, it could be a sign that you have fibroids.
Fibroids are abnormal growths of the uterine wall. These tumors are benign and not a sign of cancer. However, they can cause pain, discomfort, and heavy bleeding in some people.
Menstrual bleeding can vary in consistency and color. In some cases, blood clots can also pass. This may suggest fibroids or another condition. Large blood clots can also be a sign of a miscarriage or an ectopic pregnancy, which means you should see your doctor right away.
Heavy blood volume
Different people have different amounts of menstrual blood. The amount will also change with the menstrual cycle. It is normal for some people to have periods with very light bleeding. Others may bleed a lot, which is common for them.
However, heavy bleeding can be a cause for concern. Talk to your healthcare provider if you’re bleeding so heavily and quickly that it floods your menstrual products. This is also the case if you need to change them more than once an hour.
Excessive and rapid menstrual bleeding may be a sign of an underlying bleeding disorder. This is especially true if you have a family history of bleeding disorders or have been treated for anemia, which affects your red blood cells and the oxygen they carry.
Normal menstrual bleeding
The cycles come in a normal range. How wide is the range? Health care providers consider all of the following to be normal:
- Have a menstrual cycle lasting 24-38 days
- Has a variable cycle length of at most 20 days throughout the year
- Bleeding anywhere from every four and a half to eight days
- Loss of 5 to 80 milliliters (ml) of blood during your period
There is also the question of what is normal for friend. Menstrual blood can be thick, thin, pink, or even black. Some people may only use one or two menstrual pads or cups throughout the day. Others need to change them every few hours. Some people don’t get cramps; Others always need a heating pad or pain reliever.
You’ll know what’s normal for you if you pay attention to your menstrual blood and how your cycle is. Tracking your menstrual cycle helps you know if something has changed. It can cause you to seek care based on changes in your menstrual cycle.
It is important to know what is normal for you. Changes in your period could be a sign of other health problems. For example, you may always notice heavy periods. About 20% of people do. But in others, they may be related to a bleeding disorder or other medical condition.
Abnormal uterine bleeding
Uterine bleeding is not uncommon. Up to 25% of people of reproductive age worldwide will experience some form of abnormal uterine bleeding. This bleeding takes many different forms, including periods:
- Too close or too far apart
- Much heavier than expected
- Lasts longer or shorter than what is considered the normal range
Treating the underlying cause of abnormal uterine bleeding can make a big difference in the lives of those experiencing it. For some, it’s the difference between succeeding at work or school and not being able to function.
Changes in your menstrual blood could be a symptom of another health problem, such as Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). Not all of these conditions are serious or require medical attention. However, signs that you should see a health care provider about your period include:
- No bleeding for more than three months when I know I’m not pregnant
- Change from regular to irregular menstrual cycles (only lifetime irregular menstrual cycles are not cause for concern)
- Bleeding for more than seven days at a time or between periods
- Bleeding so much that you have to soak through pads or tampons in just an hour or two
- Severe pain during menstruation
If you have a fever and feel unwell after using a tampon, it could be a sign of toxic shock syndrome. This is a rare but potentially fatal condition that requires immediate medical attention.
Menstrual blood is a mixture of blood and tissue lining your uterus. This is why its color and consistency is not the same as the bright red blood passing through your body.
When it comes from the vagina, it can appear differently in each person. The color can be pink, red, brown or black, all in the same time period. It can be thinner or thicker. Blood clots that appear during your period may seem normal or they could be a sign of another health problem.
It is important to know what is normal for you. Talk to your health care provider if you are concerned about changes in your period.
frequently asked Questions
Can hormonal birth control pills help with menstruation?
Possibly, it depends on what is causing your heavy bleeding. Your healthcare provider may prescribe hormonal birth control pills to treat heavy periods because they reduce menstrual bleeding.
Why do I have brown discharge right before my period?
Brown vaginal discharge is usually just the body getting rid of old blood cells and cleaning the vagina. However, it can also be a sign of an infection, PCOS, or even cervical cancer. Talk to your healthcare provider if you are concerned about brown vaginal discharge.
What is the color of mid-cycle spotting?
When bleeding between periods, the blood you see is usually pink, red, or brown. This usually happens as women approach menopause and their periods may become more irregular.
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