- April 5, 2016
- Posted by: emobile
- Category: Trending Issues
Emobileclinic Trending Issue: Menstrual Blood Problems: Clots, Color, and Thickness
If your menstrual blood varies in color and consistency throughout your monthly period, it’s likely that it’s perfectly normal. There are times, though, when changes in color, thickness, or clotting may indicate a problem.
Are clots and thicker menstrual blood unusual during a period?
Many women have clots in their menstrual blood from time to time. The clots may be bright red or dark in color. Often, these clots are shed on the heaviest days of bleeding. The presence of multiple clots in your flow may make your menstrual blood seem thick or denser than usual. Your body typically releases anticoagulants to keep menstrual blood from clotting as it is being released. But when your period is heavy and blood is being rapidly expelled, there’s not enough time for anticoagulants to work. That enables clots to form.
If you have excessive clotting or clots larger than a quarter, you should see your health care provider to rule out any conditions that might be causing an abnormal period.
Are darker colors and thicker flows normal in menstrual blood?
You may notice that your menstrual blood becomes dark brown or almost black as you near the end of your period. This is a normal color change. It happens when the blood is older and not being expelled from the body quickly. Temporary thick, heavy flow isn’t necessarily cause for concern. However, regular heavy periods justify a trip to the doctor to check your blood counts. Many women become accustomed to heavy periods, considering them to be normal. Over time, though, the excess monthly blood loss leads to anemia, potentially causing weakness or fatigue.
What causes menstrual blood problems?
There are a number of problems that might cause abnormal clots to form in your menstrual blood or lead to the changes in color or thickness during your period. These include:
Obstruction of menstrual blood
Adenomyosis or endometriosis
Uterine and cervical cancer
When should I see a doctor for menstrual bleeding problems?
Menstrual bleeding problems are rarely serious. Significant blood loss can occur over time, though, going unnoticed because it’s so gradual. See your doctor if you experience any of the following:
Fatigue with normal activity
Pale complexion, ashen skin
Fingernail beds that are pale, not pink
Irregular periods, or frequent bleeding between periods
A short-lived brown to black vaginal discharge which resolves on its own and does not recur may not necessarily be anything serious. However, it is always advisable to have it checked, preferably by a gynecologist. When profuse and accompanied by pain that is worsening with dizziness and/or weakness then immediate medical attention is necessary. Sometimes the more serious causes of brown to black vaginal bleeding may present with little to no symptoms beyond the discharge.
Foul-smelling discharges should also be taken seriously as this may be a sign of pelvic inflammatory disease (PID). Untreated or delayed treatment of pelvic inflammatory disease remains one of the most common causes of female infertility. A fever, nausea and vomiting along with pelvic pain and discharge (whether it is blood or not) should also be treated as a medical emergency until proven otherwise.