More Of A Tsunami Than A Storm
As a rule of thumb , bleeding through one or more tampons or pads per hour is a sure sign of menorrhagia, which is a very difficult way to spell abnormally heavy menstrual bleeding. This condition isnt just inconvenient. You may also display symptoms like shortness of breath and anemia.
Menorrhagia isnt all that rare, and about 30 percent of women talk to a doctor about it at some point.
Here are some common culprits:
Implantation Causes Pink Spotting
Implantation can cause pink spotting before your period and be one of the early signs of pregnancy.
Doctors from the Mayo Clinic say that implantation bleeding can happen 10-14 days after conception. You may also have some light implantation cramping as the fertilized egg attaches itself to the lining of the uterus. Because the spotting happens just before your period, it can be easily mistaken for the start of your period.7
What does implantation spotting look like? Dr. Nivin Todd on WebMD says that implantation spotting looks like pink spots on your underwear. The blood will be very light in color compared to regular menstrual blood. This is completely normal at the start of pregnancy.8
Stress And Watery Period
Stress can be a reason for abnormal menstruation with watery periods that are light and irregular.
According to doctors from the Cleveland Clinic, abnormal periods are when your menstrual flow is lighter or heavier than usual. You may also miss periods or have periods that last longer than seven days. Stress is a common reason for problems with your menstrual cycle.6
Stress and lifestyle factors can greatly affect your periods. Doctors from the National Health Service report that disruptions to your daily routine or increased anxiety can cause irregular periods. If you are stressed out, your periods may become shorter and lighter. In fact, they may stop altogether if you are under extreme stress.7
If you feel that stress is causing your periods to be watery and possibly infrequent, you can try some natural stress relief remedies. For example, many essential oils can help release stress and tension. Some of the best essential oils to use if you are stressed are lavender, bergamot essential oil, chamomile, and geranium.
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Tissue In Period Blood Or A Stringy Texture:
If your period blood is stringy or there is what appears to be actual tissue within your period blood, it is possible you suffered an early miscarriage. It could also be part of your uterine lining.
Miscarriage tissue is typically described as being grey to white in color. It does not look like a common blood clot. Another type of tissue called amay also be shed in cases. Decidua is part of the mucus membrane of the uterus and is often described as looking like chicken skin. It may come out as one uterus-shaped piece or in small, stringy chunks. It is possible to only see one small chunk and not shed an entire cast.
Keep in mind, that in most cases, minor changes in period blood colors or texture are entirely irrelevant and dont suggest any health problem. However, prolonged changes such as frequent heavy periods, odors, irregular periods, short periods, and/or severe pain during menstruation should be evaluated.
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You’ve Always Had Long Cycles And Irregularity
“Periods that have always been a bit irregular with typically long cycles can be a sign of a hormonal imbalance called Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome,” says Dr. Abrams. Other symptoms can include weight gain, fatigue, excessive hair growth on the face and body, thinning hair on the head, acne, headaches, sleep problems, pelvic pain, and mood changes,according to the PCOS Awareness Association. An endocrinologist can run blood tests and an ob/gyn can check for cysts with an ultrasound to help you figure out what’s going on.
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Other Possible Period Blood Colors
Even if youre well educated about the many different colors of period blood, you may still be alarmed to find an orange shade in your underwear or on a sanitary product. Before you start to panic, check the consistency of the fluid between two fingers it should be slippery if normal, but if you feel a tackiness or if theres also a bad smell, it could indicate that the blood has mixed with cervical fluids as the result of an infection or STD. In such cases, seek your doctors advice as soon as possible.
Gray or off-white period blood or discharge is a reason to visit your doctor. It can be a sign of an infection like bacterial vaginosis. If youre pregnant, this color can indicate that you may have miscarried.
You should also be aware of clots in your menstrual blood. This is perfectly normal if blood clots are not bigger than a quarter, particularly during the later stages of your period, and is the result of an increase in the activity of platelets in your bloodstream. At the same time, be aware that excessive blood clotting can be a sign of miscarriage, so be ready to visit your local clinic if this becomes a concern.
Heavy Amounts Of Blood
Different women have different amounts of period blood, and amounts of period blood also vary across the menstrual cycle. It’s normal for some women to have very light blood flow throughout their periods while others have extremely heavy blood flow.
However, if you are bleeding so much and so quickly that you are regularly flooding your menstrual products and/or need to change them more than once an hour, talk to your healthcare provider.
Extremely heavy, fast menstrual bleeding may be a sign of an underlying bleeding disorder. This is particularly true if you have any family history of a bleeding disorder or have ever been treated for anemia.
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What About Pink Menstrual Blood
Sometimes, pink discharge isnt a between-periods problem. At certain points during your period, your flow may become thin, light and pale pink instead of red in color. Often, this is a normal development. Your flow tends to be lighter at the end of your period. And many women experience a light, pale flow in the first day of their periods, too.
Other times, however, this change in color could mean you have a health problem. If you have low estrogen levels, your period flow may appear more pink than red. Or, if its just a lighter red, almost diluted, it could be a sign of anemia. And, since anemia is a common side effect of fibroids, this should be a sign its time to see your gynecologist.
Now, we know that some of these changes in your discharge or flow may be subtle. So we dont want you to spend your time analyzing your personal rainbow of colors. Instead, try this advice as a guideline. Pay attention to your bodys personal normal. Then, if you notice a change that seems out of the ordinary, bring it up with your doctor at your next check up, just to rule out problems. Just remember: if any of these changes cause you severe pain, or interfere with your daily life, dont wait around for your next annual visit. Instead, schedule an appointment with your Houston fibroid specialists right away: you should never wait around for help!
What Does Dark Red Period Blood Mean
You may see dark red blood upon waking during your period or after youve been lying down for a while. The deep color may simply mean that the blood has been sitting in the uterus for a while but hasnt oxidized to the point of turning brown.
Dark red blood is associated with:
The end of your period
You may also see this color blood toward the end of your normal menstrual period as your flow slows.
The bleeding after delivering a baby starts out heavy and may contain clots. It may appear dark red in color for the first three days before changing to different shades and textures. Women who had cesarean sections may only experience this heavy bleeding for the first 24 hours.
Your period may start with bright red bleeding. This means that the blood is fresh and is flowing quickly. Your blood may stay this way your whole period or may darken as your flow slows.
Red blood is associated with:
Bleeding during pregnancy of any color may or may not be reason for alarm. Sometimes, however, its a sign of miscarriage. Sometimes women have bleeding and go on to deliver healthy babies. Each case is unique. Its best to check in with your doctor whenever you see blood during pregnancy.
Polyps or fibroids
Pink blood is associated with:
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When To See A Doctor For Watery Period
In most cases, if you have an occasional watery period or if you normally have light periods, there is nothing to worry about. Usually, when the underlying health issue like stress or fluctuations in hormone levels get sorted, your menstruation should return to normal.
However, in some cases, its important to speak with your doctor about menstrual abnormalities. According to Dr. Mikio Nihira on WebMD, every woman should track their own menstrual cycle to see what is normal for them. Changes in your menstruation that may indicate a more serious condition include:17
- Your period slows down or stops for no apparent reason.
- You start having periods that are heavier and/or longer than usual.
What Does Slimy Blood Mean
Furthermore, a slimy and mucus-filled period blood is because it is mixed with the mucus present in the cervix when flowing out. The mucus is produced by the mucus-producing cells lined in the canal from the vagina up to the uterus called the cervix. This mucus is normally present for the ease of sperms to swim up to the egg. And at times, this mucus gets thicker because of the use of contraceptive methods, so it is normal for the mucus to get mixed with the period blood and present as a slimy.
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When To Talk To A Doctor
Most of the time, vaginal discharge is not something you should worry about. You should contact your doctor if you notice your vaginal discharge has changed from its typical consistency, color, and smell, or if you have other symptoms in your vaginal area.
You should discuss your vaginal discharge with your doctor if:
- it has changed in consistency and appears yellow, green, or even gray
- it resembles cottage cheese in color and consistency
- it looks foamy or frothy
- it has a strong smell of fish, yeast, or another odor
- it is brown or blood-stained
Also contact your doctor if you experience vaginal itching, swelling, burning, or pain.
Unusual vaginal discharge may be a sign that you have an infection, a sexually transmitted disease , or another health condition that could include:
- samples reviewed under a microscope
- pH tests
If you have a yeast infection, your doctor will prescribe an antifungal medicine in pill or cream form. Other conditions, like trichomoniasis or bacterial vaginosis, may require an antibiotic in addition to other treatments. STDs should be treated with antibiotics. Its possible for you to have more than one infection at a time.
Eating Disorders Affect Period Flow And Consistency
Various eating disorders can affect your menstrual cycle and interfere with menstrual flow and consistency resulting in thin light periods.
Various scientific studies have pointed to the relationship between eating disorders and menstrual abnormalities. For example, the journal Psychosomatic Medicine reported that eating disorders like anorexia nervosa and bulimia can result in menstrual dysfunction.15
Also, a report in the Journal of Psychosomatic Research found that binge eating can also cause issues with menstrual periods. It was found that around 50% of women with bulimia nervosa suffer from oligomenorrhea .16
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How To Improve A Weird Period
Our founder has worked with thousands of women who looked like they were in great shape but suffered from terrible periods. They were healthy on the outside but weren’t listening to what their bodies were telling them on the inside. How could they when no one had taught them how to decode their period symptoms?
Our periods are monthly checkups, report cards that tell us how things are going on the inside. But the color and clottiness of your blood is just one part of a bigger picture the length and frequency of your cycle, your flow and your PMS symptoms all contain important insights. We unpack them in our Healthy Period Handbook, which is designed to help you read your period and improve your cycle. It contains tailored tips based on whats going on in your period, so you can achieve a better period and boost your overall health.
Beyond education, we help people improve their periods with our all-natural supplements. Blended by master herbalists, and refined over our founder’s 20+ years of clinical practice, our supplements are designed to stop period problems like cramps and PMS before they start. They address the root causes of your symptoms, so you can prevent the symptoms from showing up in the first place. So far, theyve helped over 10K people with periods were hoping and betting that they will help you too.
The Mooncup Can Help To Monitor The Consistency And Colour Of Your Period Blood
The Mooncup menstrual cup works by collecting your period blood rather than absorbing it, like a tampon would. This makes it easier to monitor the consistency and colour of your blood. The millilitre markings on the side of the cup can be used to track your flow too.
This is helpful information to share with your doctor if youre concerned about your periods.
Did you know that we offer a unique Advice Service run by medical health professionals, like Cathy, who can be contacted with any Mooncup usage queries? Here to help you make the switch.
Get to #knowyournormal. Find out more about the Mooncup and get yours here.
Read more on the Mooncup blog:
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Changes In Your Periods
Your periods can change for example, they may last longer or get lighter. This does not necessarily mean there’s a problem, but it does need to be investigated.
You can see your GP, or visit your nearest women’s clinic or contraceptive clinic.
It might be caused by an infection, abnormalities in the neck of the womb or, in rare cases, it could be cancer.
You could be pregnant if you miss a period and you’ve had sex. See your GP if you’ve taken a pregnancy test and the result is negative and you’ve missed 3 consecutive periods.
They will investigate the cause and recommend any necessary treatment.
Read more about stopped or missed periods.