So, you have just found period blood that’s not quite… blood-colored. You probably want to know what on earth is going on, so first step – don’t panic! Period blood is not the same as blood from a paper cut. It can get all mixed up with other bodily fluids, air and chemicals in your sanitary products, so the color can vary pretty drastically. Before you go running to your gyno, have a browse of this article and see if you have anything to worry about.
Let’s get the scary one over and done with. If your period blood is gray with red streaks, this is not a good sign. Many women experience bleeding like this when they’re having a miscarriage. If you are pregnant, get medical help right now, girl. If you’re not pregnant you still need to head to a doctor pretty sharpish. There is a good chance you have some form of STI or infection and it’s really important you get it checked out. While most STIs can be treated pretty easily, if left untreated they can cause a whole host of problems, and no one wants that!
Light Red or Pink Blood
Okay, not so scary, right? Could even be sort of cute, like the Hello Kitty of periods. If you only get pink blood at the beginning of your period, it just means you have a light flow and your blood is getting diluted as it mixes with vaginal discharge. (Yummy!) If you have very light colored blood for your whole period it can be a sign of low estrogen. This can be caused by sudden weight loss, a hormone imbalance or it could be that your body is preparing for menopause; either way, if it persists, then it’s a good idea to see a doctor.
Pink and White(ish) Blood
Very (very) light pink, almost white blood, can be blood that is super diluted, mixed with your natural discharge. However if this lasts for your whole flow, it can be a sign of low iron. Try amping up the amount of leafy greens and red meat you’re eating. This may look similar to period blood that’s pink, (see above) so make sure you’re eating a balanced and healthy diet. If that doesn’t help, go and speak to your doctor, they will be able to advise you on your diet and run tests to rule out low estrogen.
Yep, orange, like marmalade. It really happens! Finding it in your undies can give you the mother of all shocks, but as we said earlier, don’t panic! Orange period blood is usually just caused by blood that has mixed with cervical discharge; while it may temporarily put you off your breakfast spread of choice, it is safe. However, if you have any other unusual symptoms, like itching, burning or an unpleasant smell, then get it checked out by your gyno because it could be a sign of an infection.
Black or Brown Blood
While it may look like someone spilt their cappuccino in your undies, it’s not as bad as it looks, promise. It’s actually just what happens when blood ages. Sometimes it takes blood a while to work its way out of your uterus, and as this happens the color changes from red to brown or black. If you wear pads this will seem to happen a lot more, because as the blood mixes with the air and dries, it turns brown.
This is the period dream, the unicorn of all period blood, if you will. Nice fresh blood that is steadily working its way out of your body and kind of looks like strawberry jelly. This is a really good sign that your body is functioning as it should be. You may also notice a few jelly-like blood clots, these can be caused by a variety of things, check out our article, Why Do I Have Period Blood Clots?
Only in the adverts gals! If your period is light blue and watery then you must be shooting an advert for sanitary towels! Whilst our blood can come in a range of colors, periwinkle blue is certainly not one of them. (Come on guys!)
The best way to monitor your menstrual blood is to use a menstrual cup like Lily Cup. By collecting your menstrual flow instead of absorbing it, they make it easier to keep tabs on your blood’s color and consistency. They also don’t expose your period blood to air, so you once you remove it, you can see it in all its gloopy glory – hurray!
Oh the joy of having periods! Keeping tabs on the color of your blood, your flow and how regular you are, can be a helpful indication that everything is tickety-boo health wise, or alternatively, a gentle nudge for you to give your gyno a call.
Please note that advice offered by Tips For Healthy Living may not be relevant to your individual case. For specific concerns regarding your health, always consult your physician or other licensed medical practitioners.