What does the color of your period blood mean?
Are you confused about what is going on with your period?
Maybe you noticed your blood is a different color than it usually is, or it's gradually changed over time, and now you're panicking about what that might mean.
There are a lot of variations that can be within the realm of normal for a period. And they're usually not medically concerning.
For the most part, the colors are indicative of how quickly your blood is moving. In the beginning, things start off slow, then in the middle the shedding starts to pick up, and towards the end, it slows down again. The color of your blood may change as the rate of flow changes.
The Period Hues
1. Bright red blood
This is mostly what we look for in a healthy period. A majority of the blood you're bleeding should be bright red blood. This indicates a normal, healthy flow.
At any point of your cycle, it's normal to have bright red blood. If you're noticing blood outside of your normal cycle or you're not on your period, that's when it's a concern. Check in with your provider if you're experiencing this.
2. Dark red or brown blood
This is something you might see in the beginning of your period on the first day or towards the very end of your period. This is because you have a slower flow. When blood is exposed to oxygen, it turns brown. Older blood usually has been exposed to oxygen, and turns brown. Think of an old Bandaid, it's kind of like that.
Dark blood may also be an indicator that you have a thick uterine lining. As estrogen levels rise, it creates a thicker lining. If you have more of a lining to shed, you may notice darker blood. Hormonal birth control can also affect the endometrial lining thickness. If you're noticing a change in your period blood color after starting birth control, this may be a reason.
Brown discharge can also occur with implantation bleeding. If you're sexually active and notice some brown discharge shortly after ovulation, this may be a reason.
Brown blood is also found in women with PCOS. Check in with your doctor if you're experiencing brown/dark blood with:
- Irregular cycles
- Hair loss or facial hair growth
- Cystic acne
- Weight gain (particularly in your abdomen)
3. Pink blood
Some women experience some pink spotting around ovulation, and this can be normal.
If your actual period is a pinkish hue, it may indicate low estrogen. This is usually seen in women in perimenopause or women on birth control, or those who have issues with irregular periods or ovulation.
It may also be pink due to mixing with cervical fluid. If you're having more discharge than usual, or you're noticing a lot of white discharge, this may indicate an infection. Check with your doctor if this is a new occurrence and you're concerned you may have an infection.
4. Purple blood
This can be an indication of excess estrogen that isn't getting excreted from your body. Generally with blood that's super dark or purple, it's a sign that you may have a very thick lining built up that you're needing to shed.
Addressing that excess estrogen through dietary changes, proper gut health, and liver metabolism can help a lot. Fiber and cruciferous veggies may also be beneficial for you, on a daily basis.
Usually this color isn't anything concerning unless you find that it's accompanied by:
Extremely heavy periods
Large clots (bigger than quarter size)
If you're noticing these, it's best to check in with your provider to make sure everything is okay.
Your body can tell you a lot if you pay attention! Make sure you're tracking your periods and most importantly, if you notice changes to your normal, it might warrant a work up to check in on your hormones and make sure you're a-okay!
If you'd like to schedule a visit to learn more about your periods and how to regulate them, or if you have hormonal concerns, book a FREE consultation to see what we can do and how we can work together!