Ever wondered why your period blood wasn’t blue?! Just kidding (though those 80s Always pad commercials where they spilled ‘blue’ liquid to show the absorbency?! What was up with that?) Anyway, I digress. You see, your period blood comes in a variety of wonderful and different colours, flows, and consistencies. Read on to begin your journey to understanding them.
This typically denotes blood that has either been in your uterus since your last cycle (TOTES normal before you freak) OR at the end of your cycle, when it takes your uterus a bit longer to expel the blood. The colour just means oxidation and that your cycle is just moving a bit slower. This colour can also show up in the morning after sleep. Nothing to worry about and absolutely normal.
Now, this is pretty weird, right? Yes, it is. Just agree if you don’t think it is. This is NOT typical and normally denotes some form of infection. You will probably also experience a ‘fishy’ smell and itching in or around the vagina and it may hurt to go to the bathroom to urinate. Go the GP, mmkay?
This is the colour we all think our blood should be, right? And yes, you may experience this colour at some point during your bleed. It can depend on your flow (you may have a very light flow, like when you first start your cycles, and the blood may appear pinker). Bright red means it is very fresh blood and your cycle is moving quickly. You may also be experiencing bad cramping when you have red blood. That means the uterus is contracting and expelling the blood quickly-less time to oxidize.
Pink blood usually means the flow is lighter and can be mixed with cervical fluid. Most women experience this in the form of spotting before the start of their bleed or at the end. You may also experience this colour after a rougher night of fun OR if your estrogen levels are a bit on the low side. (If that’s familiar, you probs want to call your GP and get it checked out). Orange blood is pretty much from the same cause as above (the mixing with cervical fluid, that is) EXCEPT it can mean an infection (kinda like Mrs Grey Blood up there) so if that’s happening and you are having itching, etc, do yourself a favour and call your GP. Yellow blood may not even be blood. It is most likely cervical fluid that has been exposed to oxygen and is quite common in pregnancy as it is a sign of high estrogen.
Heavy & Light Flow
Pretty much what it sounds like. With a heavy flow you may experience more blood clots and pain, with a light flow, you may have more stringy watery discharge. Read below for more information on the different textures.
Totally normal and are typically an indicator of a ‘heavy’ period. As your body expels the blood, anticoagulants are released to stop the blood from clotting. If your period is heavy, sometimes the speed and flow of the blood doesn’t give the body time to do this and clotting occurs. Keep an eye on them if you do have them as a change in size and/or frequency can indicate a medical problem.
Your blood has just been mixed with a lot of cervical fluid.
Pretty much happens during a lighter flow.
Your period is called the ‘Fifth Vital Sign’ for a reason. It is a great way for women to understand and get a handle on their bodies health and wellbeing. Get to know your period, start to practice Menstrual Cycle Awareness, and for goodness sake, start to check in and learn your body’s cues! It is trying to work WITH you, not against you, despite media and societies desire for you to think so.