What Your Menstrual Blood’s Colour Tells About Your Health
All of us have met those women who are quick to tell everyone that their periods are totally light, fast, painless and problem-free! (Like those women in shopping malls, running around playing tennis and horseback riding, as if nothing was happening downstairs). We tend to think that these women are just lucky, that it’s a happy coincidence of fate, whether you have easy or painful periods. We assume that something is going on in this mysterious process that gives you either a positive or a negative period life. We think, “Maybe it’s in the genes?”
And, if this woman isn’t you – if you suffer monthly heavy bleeding, cramps, endless periods, horrible PMS symptoms like mood swings and cravings… then it can be really annoying to hear about someone else’s heavy periods! You may even be in the situation where you have to explain your problem periods to your boss or co-workers, friends and family because you just can’t go on living when you are bleeding.
It may sound weird, but checking the colour and consistency of your menstrual blood can be super fascinating and empowering. It’s not uncommon for your menstrual blood to change from month to month and while it should be fresh red, it can also be black, blue, brown, rusty, bright red, pink, pale, watery or clotted. Each colour sends a message about your body – the trick is to learn how to recognise it.
Fresh, Bright Red Period Blood (#Periodgoals)
Your period blood should be a nice bright red – like blood from a fresh cut or strawberry jam (yum). If your menstrual blood looks like this, it’s a good sign that your uterine lining is healthy. When your uterine lining is healthy, that means your digestive system, immune system, and endocrine (hormone) system are all functioning normally. In other words, your body is strong, healthy, and getting what it needs.
Pale, Pink, Scanty, and Watery Periods
When there aren’t enough resources to do it all, and it’s a matter of keeping you alive rather than building a uterine wall strong enough to give birth to little mini-yous, your body will choose survival. So when your body is faced with limited resources, your reproductive system suffers.
Pale, pink, thin and watery periods indicate that your body’s basic needs are not being properly met, especially nutritionally. This is often due to the fact that your diet does not contain enough quality nutrients. If this is the case for you, try not to eat processed foods and try to follow a diet rich in iron, with most of your calories coming from healthy proteins and fats.
Whatever the cause, pink, watery or pale periods may be a sign that you need to take breaks, get more rest and pay more attention to yourself.
Dark Brown, Rusty, and Clotty Periods
Periods of dark brown, rusty and tissue blood tend to be the worst. Most of the time, they indicate that your body is having trouble getting rid of the lining of your uterus, and are usually accompanied by cramping. The reason your menstrual blood turns this rusty brown colour or is full of clots is that it has become old and outdated.
Think of a time when you cut yourself, after a while, the blood dries out and becomes this kind of rusty brown substance, doesn’t it? The same thing can happen with your uterine lining. When your body struggles to remove the old wall, and things take longer than they should, your blood drags and becomes tainted.
Blue, Black, and Purple Period Blood
If you’ve ever had a black, blue or super dark purple period, you know that can be a bit surprising. These really dark periods are a sign that your uterine lining has become even more stagnant than the rusty brown periods we covered above. The blue and purple periods may also be a sign of poorly oxygenated blood or a colder than average body temperature.
Black periods are a sign that your uterine lining is REALLY super stuck. They are usually accompanied by a lot of clotting and pain and are sometimes associated with endometriosis, fibroid or other blood clotting problems.
If dark periods are frequent in your case, you can consult your gynaecologist/obstetrician. Don’t panic – blackouts don’t mean something is wrong, just that things aren’t working as well as they could be. If you’re worried that your period may not be healthy, it’s always a good idea to see your doctor.
What’s Your Next Step?
If you think your period may fall under the “unhealthy” category, implementing diet and lifestyle changes can be a useful first step in making your period the healthiest it can be. You can also call Fertile Seeds of Life for more information and advice.