What your menstrual blood tells you about your health


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. 

Light pink/raspberry

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. 

Pink mucous

This normally occurs at the end of your period.

Also read: INFOGRAPHIC: Which menstruation product is the best for you?

Big clots

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.

Also read: 10 myths about periods that you may still believe 

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 chatback@parent24.com and we may publish your comments. 

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