What Are Period Blood Clots?
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It is common for you to experience small lumps of thick blood during your period. These are blood clots, and we’ll tell you all about them here:
Blood clots generally occur when your period flow is heavy. They are most common during the first two days of the menstrual cycle.
Your uterus creates an "anticoagulant" to keep your blood flowing. However, if your flow is very heavy, there may not be enough anticoagulants, and some clots may appear.
What can they look like?
Clots can vary in size and number. They are a natural part of the body's defense mechanism. They help prevent the loss of substantial amounts of blood.
This is the same function that occurs anywhere in the body when there is a tissue injury, such as a cut or laceration.
The color of the clots may be bright or a denser, darker red. Larger clots may appear black. Menstrual blood becomes darker or more brown towards the end of the cycle, as this blood is older and leaves the body less quickly.
What can they mean?
- Hormonal changes: hormonal changes can cause menstrual clots. In the short term, they can be for different reasons, such as cysts in the ovaries or medications. Chronic hormonal changes can be due to menopause or weight gain/loss.
- Pregnancy: when there is the possibility of being pregnant, clots can be associated with a miscarriage or an ectopic pregnancy. We recommend that you go to the doctor as soon as possible if there is bleeding during your pregnancy.
- Endometriosis: affects the female reproductive organs and causes a very dense lining to arise around the uterus and other organs. It is painful and causes a lot of clots.
Although it is normal to have blood clots during the menstrual cycle, sometimes, this symptom can indicate a medical problem. It is recommended to consult a doctor if the clots are:
1. Bigger than a quarter.
2. Too frequent.
3. Occur with an abnormally heavy discharge that requires you to change your pad or tampon at least every 1 to 2 hours.
4. Accompanied by severe pain.
Now you know! Clots are super common and an important part of your period. However, keep an eye out for consistent and abundant amounts of blood clots during your periods as they can be your body telling you something is wrong. When in doubt, have a doctor check you out!