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29 June 2018

6 times your period blood looks different – and what it means about your health

Dark. Light. Extra mucus. Clots. There's a reason for that.

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Seriously, what’s up with those weird periods we sometimes get? Well, your period blood can actually tell you a lot about your health. While most of these changes are perfectly normal, some are a sign that you should see a doctor.

According to Kotex health expert and midwife, Sister Burgie Ireland, when your period changes – whether it’s a difference in colour or texture, or both – this is what’s going on with your body…

1. Rusty brown, brick or dark red

Women who eat lots of red meat and green leafy vegetables will have more iron in their blood, explains Ireland. When this iron mixes with air, it can make period blood look darker. This blood is normal, so don’t stress.

Read more: Can you really get pregnant while on your period?

2. Brown with mucus

Experiencing this type of blood is normal. For some girls or women, this is a sign you’re your period will start in the next 24 hours, or it may happen on the last day of your period.

3. Raspberry/light pink

A girl’s first and early periods can be lighter in colour. Women playing extreme sports, and those who are dieting seriously or are underweight, can have lighter, scantier periods. This can also be a once-off implantation bleed at the start of a pregnancy, which is perfectly normal.

Read more: Menstrual cups are having a moment – here’s what it’s like to wear one

4. Pink with mucus

Many girls may experience pink mucous blood. Again, this is totally normal. This only means that your period is about to end.

5. Dark crimson with big clots

When this happens for every period, it can be a sign of an undiagnosed connective tissue disease e.g. lupus or a blood disorder. It’s also associated with endometriosis, approaching menopause or a sign of an oestrogen hormonal imbalance. You may want to visit a doctor.

Read more: Here’s why you should always masturbate on your period

6. Bright red with clots

This is a sign of fresh bleeding and can be caused by fibroids, polyps, cysts, some STIs (like chlamydia) or a pelvic infection. It could also happen with a miscarriage or ectopic pregnancy. You may also want to visit a doctor if you experience this type of bleeding.

And if your period blood smells?

According to Ireland, period blood has its own smell. This is not a bad small, but it’s different. To prevent body odour while on your period change your pad, tampon and panty liner at least every four hours; wash every day; wear clean undies every day; and wear comfortable (rather than body-hugging) jeans.

This article was originally published onwww.womenshealthsa.co.za

Image credit: iStock

 
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