What does the colour of your period really say about your health?

A LOT it seems

Periods tend to be something us women have to endure on a monthly basis. Thankfully we can now keep tabs on them more efficiently thanks to period trackers, and let’s not forget the kind soul who has created a chocolate bar to ease period pain.

But have you ever noticed that the colour of you period blood changes from time to time? What does this mean about your period, and about your health? Well, according to the experts at Clue – the colour of your period blood actually says A LOT.

Why does your period blood change colour?

‘General health issues are more likely to affect the timing and length of the period than the appearance, but there can be reasons why your period blood may vary in colour,’ explains our expert. Below we find out what that different colours of your period blood actually mean, and if there’s any cause for concern. Of course, if you are worried about your period health you should seek an appointment with your GP and talk to them.

Does a change in the colour of your period blood mean your anaemic?

In short, no. If you’re worried you may be suffering from anaemia or sickle cell disease then you’re looking in the wrong place, as these illness aren’t likely to impact your period.

‘If you’re looking for colour change as a sign you might be anaemic – look elsewhere’, says our Clue commentator. ‘Anaemia won’t necessarily change the colour of your blood, but it can make your period light or longer and heavier’ – so there is that.

What does it mean if your period blood is a brown or dark red colour?

Although darker than usual blood can be alarming, this really is nothing to worry about and is actually very usual for women to experience towards the start of their flow.

‘When we begin our period, the blood can be a dark brown or red shade, and have can have a thick consistency (although it is also completely normal for the first signs of your period to be bright red and more fluid from day one),’ explains Clue.

So why does this happen? In short ‘it’s because the blood at the beginning of your period is older.’ See? Nothing to be worried about. ‘Our flow is usually slower, and lighter, at the start of our period, meaning the uterine lining takes longer to leave the body, and darkens as it does so.’

What does it mean if your period blood is bright?

Chances are, when you’re on your period you’ll notice the colour of your blood changes to a much brighter red after the first few days. But what does this actually mean about your health?

‘Often period flows become heavier on the second or third day, as the uterine lining sheds faster. The reason the blood is now a brighter red is because it is newer blood and doesn’t have time to darken before it exits your body.’ So again, nothing to worry about here!

What does it mean if your period blood is grey?

‘If you have greyish discharge or clots, it’s best to get checked out by a nurse or doctor,’ advises our expert. Grey discharge during your period ‘can be sign of an STI, or even of a miscarriage,’ so it’s important to let your GP know as soon as you start noticing this change.

So there we have it, you now know exactly what the colour of your period blood means and hopefully you can put your mind at ease, or get the help you may need.

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