Menstrual blood can be a range of colors, but changes can indicate an infection.
The colors of your period blood can vary, especially during different points in your menstrual cycle. It’s common to see a range of pink to dark or bright red and even black/brown.
Let’s talk about what you may experience–and when it’s a good idea to consult with your healthcare provider.
Why does my menstrual flow contain blood clots?
Sometimes blood clots account for the color changes you see during your period. They can make the blood seem a much darker red.
It can be surprising to see clots, but it’s normal if they’re not too large. If your period blood contains blood clots that are larger than a quarter, and if you’re soaking through pads and tampons every hour or two, contact your doctor.
What is my period blood pink?
If your period blood is pink, it can indicate a lighter period. You may notice it at the beginning or end of a menstrual cycle. Sometimes period blood is pink because it mixes with vaginal discharge which lightens its color.
Why is my period blood dark red or bright red?
Period blood can be dark red because it’s been in the uterus for a long time. Blood clots also can turn period blood dark red.
A bright red menstrual flow often indicates fresh blood that hasn’t been in the body long–a sign that the uterus is actively shedding blood. You may notice that it’s associated with period cramps and is more prevalent in the beginning of your cycle.
Why is my period blood dark brown and black?
Sometimes period blood seems black but is actually a darker red. If your menstrual flow mixes with blood that is more brown, it can appear black.
Though it’s common to see brown blood after you give birth, there are a few other reasons period blood can be brown. It can be because the blood:
- has mixed with discharge
- has been in the body longer
- has a slower-moving flow.
When is colored period blood a sign that I should see a doctor?
Sometimes the color of your period blood can mean you have an infection. Be mindful of flow that looks orange, grey or green. You should check in with your doctor.