Kotex health expert and Midwife Sister Burgie Ireland has put together educational tips on understanding periods.
Girls should not feel embarrassed or self-conscious when on their periods, instead embrace the change that is happening to their body. "Your body works the same way whether you are on your period or not,” says Sister Burgie.
You might have realised that your period blood looks different at times to what you normally see. Sister Burgie addresses two important questions regarding period blood.
Why does my period blood seem different to what I have previously experienced?
Your period blood tells you a lot about your health. Women may experience the below:
Rusty-brown, brick or dark red
Women who eat lots of red meat and green leafy vegetables will have more iron in their blood. When this iron mixes with air, it can make period blood look darker. This blood is normal.
Brown with mucous
Experiencing this type of blood is normal. For some girls or women, this is a sign you’re your period will start in the next 24-hours, or it may happen on the last day of your period.
A girl’s first and early periods can be lighter in colour.
Girls or women playing extreme sports, dieting seriously or are underweight can have lighter, scantier periods. This can also be a once-off implantation bleed at the start of a pregnancy which is normal.
Pink with mucous
Many girls may experience pink mucous blood, which is normal. This only means that your period is about to end.
Dark crimson with big clots
When this happens for every period, it can be a sign of an undiagnosed connective tissue disease e.g. Lupus or a blood disorder. It is also associated with endometriosis, approaching menopause or a sign of estrogen hormonal imbalance. You may want to visit a doctor if this occurs.
Bright red with clots
This is a sign of fresh bleeding and can be caused by fibroids, polyps, cysts, some STI’s e.g. chlamydia or a pelvic infection. It could also happen with a miscarriage or ectopic pregnancy. You may want to visit a doctor if this occurs.
Maintaining a healthy menstruation is all about understanding your period cycle and that periods are normal. Don’t let your period stop you from experiencing new things and reaching that full potential you’re made to achieve.
So, on the 28th of May 2018 let’s celebrate World Menstrual Hygiene Day by starting the conversation and use this day as a platform to ask the questions that need to be asked. Join Kotex for a live Facebook Q&A session, 21st May on the Kotex® Facebook where Sister Burgie will be able to answer all of your questions.