We here at KISS don’t like to shy away from ’embarrassing’ topics. Through speaking about our thoughts, feelings, and bodily functions we learn more.
One topic that’s often avoided for fear of making someone feel uncomfortable is period blood. For those who experience a monthly bleed, being afraid to speak about it can be a daunting and isolating thing. Knowing what’s the norm and what isn’t can help you to understand your body better, and know when something may be out of the ordinary for it.
The colour and texture of your period blood can be a good indicator as to what’s going on inside your body. If you’ve ever noticed both of those changing throughout your cycle, that’s completely normal. From bright red to dark brown, our periods can chop and change each day, and here’s what that means.
Often, at the beginning and/or end of your period the blood can take on a much darker colour than the normal bright red you might imagine your period to be. This is a totally normal thing for your body to do, the reason that the blood is darker is that it’s older blood that has taken longer to be discharged.
This blood may be leftover from your last period in your uterus, or your flow may be a little slower, giving the blood more time to oxidize and so become darker.
Bright red blood is the one we most commonly associate with menstrual bleeding. This is more common during the middle days of your period (2-5) where the blood is fresh and flowing quickly.
This type of blood is usually heavy in volume, meaning you have to change your pad/tampon/cup more often, and it is thinner in texture than the blood you experience at the beginning and end of your period too.
Pink blood is often the result of spotting. Pink blood appears when menstrual blood has mixed with cervical fluid and it usually happens outside of the week of your period.
This can be normal to experience in the first few months and sometimes even the first couple years of having your period. However, if this is something you are experiencing ongoing it may be advised to speak with a doctor about it as it could be the result of something other than light spotting.
Orange period blood or discharge can appear for the same reasons as pink blood, it’s spot bleeding that has mixed with cervical fluid.
If you experience this regularly, or if the discharge has a strange odour, seek medical advice.
Healthy discharge should be a white or a milky colour. Discharge or period blood that is not that colour could hint at an underlying health issue.
If your discharge is grey, it’s best to book in for an appointment with your doctor as soon as possible as you could be experiencing an infection such as bacterial vaginosis or vaginal yeast infection.