You’ll notice that the colour of your menstrual blood varies during your period. Sometimes it’s a little brown or almost black, and sometimes it’s bright red. To know how to interpret the information we invite you to read this article.
As you know, during menstruation we shed endometrial tissue, the inner lining of the uterus, which is excreted through the vagina.
The endometrium is made up of highly vascularised tissue with special arteries. These provide the fertilised egg with quick and easy access to the fresh bloodstream that carries nutrients and oxygen so it can begin to develop.
Just before you have your period, these specialised arteries constrict, to limit blood loss. After the constriction of the arteries, the endometrium begins to separate into pieces from the deeper layers of the uterus.
Your endometrium does not separate all at once, it is a slow and controlled separation, and it takes time for your endometrial tissue to pass through the cervix and vagina.
Bright Red, Dark Red, and Brown
This initial blood and tissue may be dark red or brown, or even black, depending on how long it takes to leave your body. If it stays in the uterus longer, it will have more time to oxidise and will look darker.
As the tissue sloughs off, it leaves broken blood vessels that continue to bleed. This is where the bright red blood you may see during your period comes from. Eventually, platelets (cells involved in blood clotting) are activated to clump together and form a plug that stops the bleeding, thus ending your period.
As the bleeding slows, towards the end of a period, the blood may appear dark red or brown.
That is why the change in blood colour of a period from bright red through dark red to brown is considered normal.
When to pay attention and it would be wise to consult your doctor for evaluation if your bleeding is
Orange in colour
When the blood that mixes with cervical fluid may have an orange appearance.
Orange blood or discharge usually indicates an infection, such as bacterial vaginosis or trichomoniasis. People with orange blood should check for other telltale symptoms, such as vaginal itching, discomfort and foul-smelling discharge.
Although orange period blood or discharge does not always indicate an infection, it is a good idea to see a doctor or gynaecologist for evaluation.
Grey discharge is often a sign of bacterial vaginosis, a condition that occurs due to an imbalance between beneficial and harmful bacteria in the vagina.
Other symptoms of bacterial vaginosis are
- itching in and around the vagina
- unpleasant vaginal odour that people often describe as “fishy” or “metallic”.
- burning or pain when urinating
Pink blood or spotting can occur when period blood mixes with cervical fluid.
Sexual intercourse can create small tears in the vagina or cervix. Blood from these tears can mix with vaginal fluids and leave a person’s body as pink discharge, which can occur at any time during your menstrual cycle.
The use of hormonal contraceptives can reduce the levels of oestrogen in the body, which can result in a lighter pinkish discharge during periods.
Other causes of pink period blood may include
- significant weight loss
- an unhealthy diet
As you may have read, blood can change colour from month to month or even during the same period. Now that you have your white menstrual cup, it will be easier for you to see if your period looks normal or if you notice any changes and you will be able to visit your gynaecologist with more accurate information than before.😊