Today is Menstrual Hygiene Day, aimed at educating girls about menstrual health and dismantling negative stigmas about menstruation.
"The blood is not dirty, smelly or bad that girls should be made to feel ashamed of it!" says midwife and Kotex health expert Sister Burgie Ireland.
Also read: INFOGRAPHIC: First period tips and hacks
Your blood can look different from time to time and can give you some hints about your health. Here, Sister Burgie explains what the different coloured blood may mean.
Rusty brown, dark red or brick
This is absolutely normal. Due to a diet of green leafy vegetables and lots of red meat, more iron is released into the bloodstream. When iron mixes with air, it makes period blood darker.
This is normal and occurs during a girl's first or early periods. Women who play extreme sports, are dieting seriously or are underweight have lighter coloured periods.
This normally occurs at the end of your period.
Most women occasionally see clots in their menstrual blood, from dark red to bright red. These are usually entirely normal and mostly occur at the start of the period when bleeding is heaviest. When the clotting becomes frequent and clots are regularly bigger than a R2 coin, please see your doctor so they can check for endometriosis, fibrosis polyps, infections or some other causes like lupus.
Remember that you can only maintain healthy menstruation by understanding your body, your cycle and accepting that periods are normal. Don't let your period stop you from experiencing new things and enjoying life!
Have you noticed something different about your period blood? Share your story by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org and we may publish your comments.
- Dear tween me, let’s talk about your period, sweetie
- Bloody hell! That's not fair!
- Phenomenal period warriors!
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