Is it normal to have blood clots during my period?
During your period, anticoagulants are being released to stop the blood from clotting in your uterus. This allows blood to flow out – but in cases of heavy bleeding, these anticoagulants do not have enough time to work. Hence, when your flow is the heaviest, it is indeed normal to have some form of clotting. These are usually small clots (smaller than a US quarter, or any coin in Singapore’s floral series of coins), that are darker in color.
Color of the flow
A darker blood flow indicates that blood has taken a longer time to transit out of your uterus as compared to a redder blood flow.
I feel that my period blood is a little off – how do I know if it is abnormal or not?
Some warning signs to watch out for include: 1. your blood clots are large in size (larger than as described above) 2. your blood flow is consistently dark, and 3. regularly heavy periods affects your daily life (i.e. the excessive loss of blood has caused you to feel faint and you are unable to function properly.)
There are several underlying causes to this.
1. Most probably, it is due to hormonal imbalances (estrogen and progesterone) in your body. When this happens, your uterine lining may become thicker than usual, which causes increased bleeding and clotting. Are you currently on a pill, or on some steroid medication? Did you experience any sudden weight changes recently? These are common factors of hormonal imbalance.
2. The clots could have been excreted tissue. This happens when you have a case of fibroids, or leiomyomas. Fibroids are typically benign tumors that form in your uterus, and are usually asymptomatic (i.e. no symptoms observed). Symptoms occur due to the location and size of the tissue, and come as extremely painful menstruation, painful sexual intercourse, urinary frequency, even bloating. Fibroids develop in your middle or later fertile years, some say it happens after 30 years old. Because of these fibroids, you experience heavy and prolonged menstrual bleeding. Fibroids can be diagnosed with an ultrasound or MRI scan, or through intrusive surgical methods such as a biopsy.
3. Obstruction of menstrual blood. This can happen due to a variety of reasons, like having a previous miscarriage, or abortion.
4. Endometriosis. This is a condition whereby tissue lining inside your uterus travels somewhere outside. The dislocated tissue tend to go backwards to the fallopian tubes, where it may travel further and lodge near your ovaries, bladder, or bowels. It tends to cause painful menstrual cramps, and abnormal bleeding (and infertility). If you suspect such a condition, you should consult your doctor or gynecologist. Remember, monitoring your uterine health is very crucial! Take preventive steps towards managing your health (such as maintaining a healthy diet, sleep, and exercise routine, or consuming your supplements), and consult your doctor if you experience sudden symptoms.