During your life, you will notice that your period blood colour isn’t always consistent. Not only it’s colour but its thickness, look, and flow can vary over time. As most of us perceive a healthy body will only result in red discharge, we may panic or become if we notice that our period of blood colour changes. The fact is, it’s completely normal and doesn’t mean you are unhealthy or have a health complication. With that said, it doesn’t mean you should turn a blind eye either.
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Your period blood colour can say many things about your health and what’s happening with your body. Sometimes it can be a normal occurring factor of your health and body, and other times, it can mean other things such as pregnancy or an infection.
Now that we know that let’s identify what your period blood colour is saying about your health. Here is a list of the different types and colours of vaginal discharge you may experience:
Different Types and Colours of Vaginal Discharge
- Black – This may sometimes appear at the beginning or end of your period. Blood will turn black when it takes longer than usual to leave the uterus and doesn’t have enough time to oxidize. At first, it starts from red, turns brown, and eventually black once it discharges. Other symptoms that may occur if you experience this is fever itching, swelling in the vaginal area as well as difficulty urinating. Other than that, you should not be too concerned.
- Brown or dark red – Just like seeing a black colour discharge, if your period blood is brown or dark red, it means that the blood did not have a lot of time to oxidize. You may experience symptoms of itching, difficulty urinating and bad odour. Unless you experience more serious symptoms simultaneously, there shouldn’t be too much cause for concern. However, it is important to know that brown blood is also a common symptom of pregnancy.
- Pregnancy – If you are looking to conceive or notice irregular symptoms in your health, you may want to check if you are pregnant. In the case of pregnancy, you will miss your period. However, if you notice bloody discharge, it may be an early sign of pregnancy and is also referred to as implantation bleeding. Brown or dark red discharge can also mean miscarriage. If you notice these symptoms, speak with your doctor.
- Lochia – This is also known as postpartum bleeding and happens after giving birth. The discharge typically starts with red and becomes darker over time as the flow decreases. Not all women will experience lochia after giving birth. It should be treated as a regular period. If you feel severe pain or very heavy flows of bleeding, speak to your doctor at first notice.
- Bright red – Bright red indicates that the blood is fresh and at a steady flow. Periods will typically start in bright red before turning into darker shades. However, if you notice bright red discharge outside of your menstruation period, it may be a symptom of an infection or sexually transmitted disease such as chlamydia or gonorrhoea. It may also be a sign of cycle change. If you notice vaginal pain, random bleeding, fever, weight loss or anything out of the usual, speak with your doctor immediately.
- Gray – Gray discharge is often a sign of bacterial vaginosis. This is a condition that occurs when there is an imbalance of harmful and beneficial bacteria in the vagina. Other symptoms of this include itching, pain or burning sensation during urination as well as fever. If you notice this, speak with your doctor immediately as it can be a result of more severe health complications.
- Pink – Blood that is pink or light in colour can mean that period blood has mixed with cervical fluids. Birth control pills are also known to create a pinkish color in period blood as it decreases estrogen levels. Though pink blood discharge is not too concerning, it is a good idea to speak with your doctor as it may be a sign of more serious health complications.
When to See a Doctor
If you don’t experience any irregular or strange symptoms in your health, then your period blood colour is no major cause for concern. However, if you notice something irregular in your health and notice any discomfort, it is advisable to seek attention from your doctor.
If you experience any of the below symptoms, you should speak with your doctor or gynecologist immediately:
- Missing three or more periods
- Foul-smelling vaginal odour
- New or unusual vaginal discharge
- Irregular periods that change in length and flow each month
- Thick grey or white vaginal discharge
- Itching in or around the vagina
- Bleeding after menopause
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