Do you ever feel like you just had your period? Now once again it’s that time of the month! This process is known as menses or a period that occurs every 28 to 30 days on average for most women ages 11 to 40. While this is a natural process in which the uterus sheds its lining in preparation for conception many women find that they do not look forward to this event every four to six weeks during their menstruating years.
The process of monthly cycles is a healthy period of blood and tissue flow from the uterus which flows through the small opening in the cervix out of your body via the vagina. Depending on a woman’s body this could be a relatively smooth healthy period of normal red blood with no real issues. However, for others, this could be a time of emotional and physical disruptions in the body either before, during, or right after their cycle.
Some of the monthly cycle symptoms can range anywhere from moodiness, sadness, anxiety, acne, bloatedness, and certain hormonal imbalances along with other symptoms to name a few of the many things women encounter during their cycles.
If these symptoms weren’t enough the colors of period blood can be very concerning for women who see colors other than red in their bloody period. For example, if the color purple is a color that is flowing out during their menstrual cycle this may cause concern for some people.
What the heck is purple period blood? Sometimes purple period blood can resemble the color of black period blood. Women often describe purple period blood to look more like a blueberry in color. This color can be an indication that our hormones are out of balance. Our bodies are designed to restore hormone balance naturally when they are not in proper balance.
Take a step back and breathe because most of the time if you notice menstrual period blood in different colors like purple it does not necessarily mean that something is wrong it could just be that your body is adjusting, and getting rid of what it does not need.
Purple Period Blood
Most women expect to see red blood on their periods so when purple period blood shows up it can cause concern for some women who are caught off guard with purple period blood. Purple is one of the colors indicating an imbalance in hormones. This color might appear a few hours during your monthly flow and it could mean there is too much estrogen in your system.
Talk to your doctor if you’re noticing this color of blood during your cycle flow if you’re concerned about it.
These are a few of the symptoms of too much estrogen in your body:
- PMS symptoms that are increasing
- Abdominal bloating
- Tender breast before and during your cycle
- Teary or sensitive with others
- Feeling worn out
- Sex drive is low or nonexistent
- Trouble concentrating or forgetfulness
- Trouble falling asleep or staying asleep
These symptoms may accompany your period when noticing purple period blood flowing. As always when in doubt or have questions check in with your doctor.
Blue Period Blood
Many women who experience purple period blood or blue period blood will sometimes only notice it a few times during their entire monthly cycle. They may find small amounts of purple period blood spots on their pads which then clears up as their monthly flow continues.
If your monthly cycles are consistently flowing with a dark purple or blue period blood tint then it might be a good idea to in with your doctor and ask about testing your estrogen and progesterone levels.
If you’re experiencing purple blood with pain, or a foul odor find out if there’s a possible hormonal imbalance or another issue. You don’t need to suffer in silence with fear about your period blood color. Talk to your doctor to get your questions answered so you have peace of mind!
For the most part, you won’t have to do anything if you’re having a dark purple blood period or if you’re seeing it on and off. A healthy body will often regulate itself without a lot of intervention. Sometimes it’s as simple as adding some fiber to absorb excess estrogen and it may improve the way your body produces and utilizes estrogen overall.
Healthy fats such as avocado and avocado oil can help to calm down a woman’s menstrual woes because they can help reduce the absorption of estrogen and help to boost testosterone levels in women naturally.
Bright Red Period Blood
Bright red blood is the newest blood with no time to darken before exiting the uterus. Bright red is usually noticed somewhere in the middle of the cycle. Many women start their period with a slow or scanty bright red flow in the beginning and then move into a different color as the cycle progresses.
Does Period Blood Come In Rainbow Colors?
Period blood rainbows come in different colors for various reasons during a woman’s period cycles. This can happen due to age, hormone levels, health conditions, or pre-existing conditions which may contribute to the various blood color of your periods to name a few of the reasons period blood is not always a red color.
Welcome to the rainbow when the color of your period can appear in different colors ranging from red, purple, blue, black, pink, or brown. For the most part, the colors are harmless, however, there’s a good reason for the colors and this can be valuable information for you and your doctor to consider before making a decision to have your estrogen levels checked.
Period Blood that’s Black or Brown
This color of brown period blood or black period blood can be totally healthy and normal in many cases. This dark brown color of period blood can happen when the blood has been lingering in your uterus for a length of time giving it more time to react with oxygen causing it to turn dark brown or black. These colors will likely be noticed at the start of or the end of your period because the flow is usually slower and the blood’s travel time is slower to leave your uterus.
Dark brown bleeding or black blood sometimes referred to as old blood can be left over from your last cycle if it did not clear the uterus. This can be perfectly normal, so no need to stress about it. Brown blood can also be an indication of normal or rising levels of estrogen and possibly a thicker lining of the uterus sloffing off. In some instances this color can also indicate low levels of progesterone in the body.
Dark brown color can also be a symptom of a condition known as Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS). This happens when a woman has excess androgen meaning more bioavailable estrogen and testosterone in the body.
Dark Red Period Blood
If you’re seeing darker red blood this month it’s pretty much the same reason as the brown or black blood. Dark red blood just means it’s been hanging out from your last cycle and is totally normal and maybe getting ready to clear this month. This darker blood is nothing to worry about.
The color pink period blood on your pad can be an indication of a lighter period cycle showing up as a light pink period blood. This color can also appear if you’re spotting between cycles.
Athletes may experience light periods or this color of period blood due to intense exercise, improper diet, hormone imbalance, or for women who may have experienced significant weight loss before their cycles causing a disruption of a healthy flow in their cycle.
Sometimes pink blood color with lighter flows can sometimes point to a vitamin or nutrition deficiency. Another factor to consider with pink blood is if you’ve recently started using birth control pills is your body may be adjusting to the effects of the pill. Hormonal birth control may cause you to spot a light pink as your body is navigating the effects of adjusting to the hormones.
Again if you are experiencing pink blood or lighter than usual periods with a pink color or faint color of blood check in with your doctor. They may want to check for hormone imbalances or suggest tests that screen for cervical cancer to be on the safe side.
An orange color of period blood is probably nothing to be concerned about especially if you’re not noticing anything unusual regarding the scent or odor of your blood tissue.
However, if you do notice these symptoms then check with your physician to rule out bacterial infections or sexually transmitted infections (STIs) which can appear as orange period blood.
This is one of those times to pay attention to your period color if you have orange period blood and be proactive. Orange blood can also indicate normal red blood mixed with cervical fluid creating an orange color, so before you panic be sure to check several times during your cycle to see what’s really happening down there.
Another indication of infection might show up as a gray color or gray discharge in your period blood. Keep signs or symptoms such as these to rule out anything serious. Again, gray blood on your period may be paired with other symptoms like itching, a foul smell, or even a fever. Always check with your doctor if you notice this color of blood on your period.
Blood clotting is something that may be a typical complaint from women during their monthly visits. Blood clots of bloody discharge are considered normal and can range in colors like red, and purple hues.
Regardless of the colors keep an eye on the size of the clots because large clots should be discussed with your doctor, especially if they are larger than the size of a quarter, to rule out a possible medical condition.
A Variety Of Period Blood Colors IS Totally Normal
For the most part, a variety of period blood colors are completely normal and aren’t necessarily a problem or sign that something is wrong. As mentioned, it’s a good idea to keep an eye on the colors of your shedding each month and report any unusual changes or irregular periods to your doctor along with any heavier than normal period flows.
Many changes in period colors can happen for a variety of reasons depending on your lifestyle choices and hormonal imbalances such as estrogen levels and progesterone levels, nutrient deficiencies, and overall health.
Brown blood or spotting can sometimes also be an early sign of pregnancy. This condition is called implantation bleeding. If you see this type of bleeding you might consider an at-home pregnancy test to start with until you can see your doctor.
If you’re already pregnant and experience brown discharge or spotting during pregnancy this can be a sign you’re having a miscarriage or an ectopic pregnancy. This situation occurs when the fertilized egg implants in a fallopian tube instead of the the normal place the uterus.
Any bleeding during pregnancy should be reported to your obstetrician right away. Early intervention is important and should be taken seriously because it could make all the difference in recovery time or future pregnancies.
Some things to keep an eye on during your monthly cycle are changes in the volume of your flow, the length of your cycle, unusual pain that comes with your cycle, and other things such as the smell and the texture of blood.
During your cycle the blood tissue is more important to keep an eye on and not so much the color of the blood. Every woman’s period is unique, so be sure to get to know your cycle rhythm and period colors to figure out what’s typical for you from month to month. No one knows your body best, but you! If something is not right with your body this should give you some clues on the next steps to take if you’re concerned.
When To Check-in With Your Doctor
We suggest a consultation with your doctor or gynecologist for any of the following symptoms:
- vaginal discharge that’s abnormal for you
- periods that change in length and flow
- menopause bleeding
- lack of periods for more than 3 months
- a vaginal odor that’s unpleasant
- vaginal discharge that’s thick, gray, or white in color
- vaginal itching
- a fever that is consistent with symptoms
Once again, if you’re pregnant and start to bleed or have unusual discharge check in with your doctor or obstetrician.
As we’ve mentioned the color and tissue contents of period blood can be used to provide valuable information about your overall health.
We’re all unique so every woman’s period will be different so beware that period blood can change color and be inconsistent from cycle to cycle. It’s important for women to learn what’s normal for them, so they know if something is not right and take the necessary steps with their doctor to bring the body into balance.
This blog serves to provide general information about the different colors of period blood that some women may experience each month during their menstrual cycle. While we’re all hormonally different for many reasons, it’s always best to check in with your gynecologist or obstetrician if you experience any unusual colors or atypical vaginal discharges. The above content is for informational purposes only and not intended to be a replacement for medical advice from a doctor in clinical practice.