What does your period blood consistency mean?

September 04, 2022 3 min read

What does your period blood consistency mean?

Whether you have your period every month or haven’t had it for years, it’s normal to question what your period consistency means. It can change from month to month so paying attention to its consistency can help you understand your body and what to look for.

Menstrual blood isn’t the same as your body’s blood. Some doctors say that it shouldn’t be too thick, and it shouldn’t be too thin, the consistency should be somewhere in between. (Think of Goldilocks and the temperature of her porridge!)  However, that isn’t always the case. Period blood looks different for everyone and changes depending on where you are in your cycle.

Below we have a small guide on what the consistency of your period blood means!

  1. Thick and clumpy

During a heavier period, it is common to notice small blood clots in the toilet bowl or your underwear. It is particularly common when your period is of a darker colour as it has had time to build up, in comparison to a lighter and quicker flow of blood that would be a brighter red. However, if you notice larger blood clots that are a similar size to a golf ball or consistently around the size of a 5cent coin, it is important to consult your doctor. These larger clots could be a sign of a hormonal imbalance or miscarriage. If this sounds like something you’re experiencing, it is important to get it checked. Other reasons to thick and clumpy period flow can be:

  • Uterine fibroids: small, non-cancerous growth in the uterus. Additional symptoms include lower back pain, bloating or pain during sex
  • Endometriosis: a condition where the tissue from the uterine lining grows outside the uterus. This can cause abdominal pain, heavy periods and more. Blood clots can be a symptom of endometriosis so is worth noting if you think you may suffer from the condition.
  • Adenomyosis: when the uterine lining grows into the muscular wall of the uterus which makes the lining much thicker. This causes a heavier flow and sometimes clots.
  1. Thin and watery

Generally, a thinner watery texture is a sign of a lighter period, or it can mean you’re coming to the end of your cycle. However, if you notice something out of the ordinary, it is important to take the time to talk to your doctor. There are a few reasons as to why your period can be thinner and more watery:

  • You have recently started hormonal birth control which changes the uterine lining meaning there is less tissue to be shed
  • Low oestrogen levels can make your period lighter, pinker and more watery. Other symptoms of low oestrogen can be vaginal dryness, fatigue, headaches and mood swings.
  • You could be in the stages of perimenopause in which your periods become less frequent and sometimes lighter, therefore meaning your menstrual blood can appear watery.
  • Although it isn’t very common, thin and watery periods can be a sign of nutritional deficiencies or potentially more serious health conditions such as infections or tumours. If you have concerns or may have symptoms such as bloating, abdominal or pelvic pain, you should visit your GP.
  • If your menstrual blood appears bright red and watery, it could indicate an injury or a miscarriage. Seek medical attention if this sounds like you

If it feels abnormal for your body, it is always worth taking the time to talk to your doctor.

  1. Stringy and mucus-y

If your menstrual blood is seeming a little bit stringier and mucus-y, it could be mixed with fluid that comes from your cervix called cervical mucus. This mucus helps protect and direct sperm to the egg. If you are taking hormonal birth control, your cervical mucus generally thickens to effectively stop sperm from getting through to the cervix. All in all, stringy or mucus-y menstrual flow is generally no reason to be concerned. However, you know your body best and if there are any sudden changes or you are concerned, it is always best to speak to your doctor to make sure everything is ok.

 

Click here to visit our Women's Health resource.

Click here for everything you need to know about using tampons whether you’re a new tampon user or simply want to learn about potential better practices around precautions, inserting, removing and disposing a tampon.

Medical Disclaimer: Articles are intended for informational purposes only and should not be used as the basis of patient treatment. Ask a medical professional if you have any health-related questions or concerns.

 

Additional Resources

Creekside. (2022). What does your period blood consistency mean for your health?https://creeksideobgyn.com/period-blood-consistency/

Stampler, L. (2017). What your period blood consistency means about your health.https://www.womenshealthmag.com/health/a19994586/period-blood/  

Watson, K. (2020). Is stringy period blood a cause for concern?https://www.healthline.com/health/stringy-period-blood

Yoppie. (2021). What your period blood consistency could be telling you.https://yoppie.com/blog/period-blood-consistency

 


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