Black, Brown, Bright Red: What Does It Mean?
While menstrual cramps and discomfort may be the worst three to five days of your life, you will be surprised at the benefits of having your monthly period.
Our periods are seen as a health indication and let us know how our bodies are doing. For example when your immune system is low, the colour and texture of your menstrual blood changes.
Lets take a closer look at what each colour means.
This is normally the typical colour of your period. Red period blood is an indication of a steady flow. If you find that you are spotting red period blood during your cycle we advise you to see your gynaecologist as this can be an indication of a pregnancy or infection.
Brown or dark red
Brown or dark red blood is often seen at the beginning of your period. This is because the iron in our blood reacts with oxygen to undergo the chemical process known as oxidation. This makes the period appear darker. Brown or dark red period blood could also be a result of remaining blood called lochia, which often occurs after a women has given birth.
Black or dark brown
Blood flowing from the uterus can change colour from dark red to brown and then to black. Black blood is often only just old blood and shouldn't be a raise for a concern. You should only be concerned if you have a high fever, swelling or itching around your vagina which is followed by discharge and unpleasant smells (to find out more about unpleasant smells click here), these could all be signs of a vagina or cervical block and needs to be seen to by your local GP.
Pink or a lighter colour red period could be caused by your contraceptive, which may have altered your hormone levels. A pink period could also indicate anaemia which is most commonly due to a iron deficiency. It could also be an indication that you are at the start of your period and the blood has mixed with cervical fluid, diluting its shade.
Orange or grey
Your period blood is often orange when there is a change in the acidity in the vagina causing for an increased overgrowth of bacteria or fungi causing vaginal thrush. Grey period blood is a sign of bacteria vaginosis. This condition is often watery and associated with vaginal itching.
This is just a simple guide as to what your period may indicate about your health. Young women who have just started their periods may experience a variety in colours and textures until their menstrual cycle becomes regular.
(Kindly note if you are experiencing any of the above issues please seek your GP for medical advice.)