What is Your Period Blood Telling You?

Our periods are a great way to check in with how our bodies are doing. The color, texture, smell, and more gives us great insight into how our bodies are operating, allowing us to get more attuned and in touch with ourselves. Familiarizing yourself with this information will be helpful for making the most of your next OBGYN appointment.

Keep reading to discover what your period says about your health and become your own period whisperer.

Period blood color meaning

Changes in your period blood color are normal. Different period blood colors can tell you anything from the age of the blood to how far into your period you are. While your overall health generally affects the length of your menstrual cycle and the duration of your period, here are some reasons why period blood may vary in color:

Bright red to dark red or dark brown

Healthy Period

A healthy blood color ranges from bright red to dark red or brown, depending on how new the blood shed from the uterus is. Some people might describe their old period blood as black, but this can be a sign for something else (keep reading!).

Egg Implantation Spotting

Less likely, brown period blood could also be spotting from egg implantation – light bleeding that can occur in the very early stages of pregnancy.

Ovarian Cysts and Lochia

Lochia is mild-to-heavy bleeding that occurs after having a baby, lasting around 6-8 weeks after birth, but you’ll know if you’ve given birth recently. This colour of period blood may also be a sign of ovarian cysts. Cysts on your ovaries can often go unnoticed, but if you’re worried or experiencing other symptoms, like pain during and after sex, or bloating of your abdomen, you should book in to see your doctor.

Pink to light pink or white

Low Estrogen Levels / Low Flow

You’ll most likely see pink to light pink blood at the beginning or end of your cycle, and this just means a low flow of fresh menstrual blood. If it’s the only blood you see over multiple periods, it’s a possible sign that your estrogen levels are low. Another symptom of low estrogen levels is vaginal dryness. If you notice both, we recommend you see your doctor.

Ovulatory Bleeding

Outside of your regular period cycle, pink spotting can be from mid-cycle (ovulatory) bleeding, this is quite common and normal for some people.

Cervical Cancer

If you get pink vaginal discharge when you’re not on your period or outside of what’s typical of your body, it could be a sign of cervical cancer and you should get it checked out by your healthcare provider.

Grey to black

Older Period Blood

You may find yourself asking: Why is my period blood black? Similar to dark red or brown period blood, it usually means your period blood has reacted with oxygen and the majority of water in the blood has evaporated; i.e. it’s slightly older period blood that took a little longer to leave your uterus.

Infections

Grey, however, can also be a sign of an infection. Other signs of an infection include; irritation, pain, fever or foul odor. To be on the safe side, check in with your healthcare provider.

Miscarriage

If it’s accompanied by heavy bleeding and grey tissue, it could be a sign of a miscarriage. There are multiple reasons why you might bleed during pregnancy, so it’s best to let a professional take a look at what might be happening.

Period blood consistency and texture meaning

The texture and consistency of your period blood can be a sign of the health of your uterus lining. Period blood is also made up of endometrial tissue, so the texture varies as a result of this. Whether it’s thick or clumpy, or smooth and light – different flow viscosity (i.e. the thickness of menstrual blood) is normal throughout your period and no cause for alarm.

Normal

‘Normal’ period blood will differ from person to person, but you can typically expect a thicker consistency at the start of your period. Every menstrual cycle you experience will differ slightly. Some may experience bleeding to be more like a runny liquid at the beginning.

Watery/thin

In most cases, a thinner, watery texture is a sign of light menstrual flow. If accompanied with a light pink period blood color, this could be a sign of stress or pre-menopause.

However, you should talk to your healthcare provider if you get it with a greyish discharge color, as it can be a sign of an infection or something more serious. If it feels out of the ordinary for your body, it’s always worth taking the time to talk to your doctor.

Clots/thick and clumpy

Clots and thick clumps in period blood are completely normal – especially on the heaviest days of a period. It’s particularly common with darker period blood color because it’s had time to build up, in comparison to quicker flows of fresh bright red blood.

When the period blood clots are a similar size to a golf ball or consistently around the size of a 5 pence coin, it’s time to talk to your doctor. It may be an indication of a miscarriage or a uterine fibroid – a small, non-cancerous growth inside the uterus.

Jelly-like

Menstrual blood that is slippery and has a jelly-like texture is mixed with high levels of cervical mucus, which is totally normal.

Stringy

Stringy period blood, usually dark red to dark brown in color, means older blood. It’s simply another type of bloody clot and is totally normal! But, if the stringy blood at the end of your flow happens to be heavier too, then it may need to be seen by a doctor, so book in an appointment.

period blood colors and textures meanings

When to see your doctor

It’s important to know what is normal for your period so you can tell when something is out of the ordinary and just not right. If you’re experiencing any prolonged changes in your menstrual cycle or any of the following signs, reach out to your doctor:

  • Bleeding between periods
  • Significantly irregular cycles, varying in length; shorter than 24 days or longer than 38
  • No period for over three months
  • If you’re pregnant and notice bleeding
  • If you’ve experienced menopause and are bleeding
  • Unusual pain during your period

Period blood colors and textures vary throughout your cycle – this is completely normal! The most important thing is to pay attention to your body and the patterns of variations in your period. Minor changes in period color and texture don’t necessarily suggest a health problem, and you know what’s normal for your body.

While you here, why not check out our range of organic and natural period products?

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96 thoughts on “What is Your Period Blood Telling You?

  1. Arielle Seay said:

    Is it normal for a 6 year old girl do wear a training bra?

    • Natracare said:

      It depends on them and the adult carers around them! When it comes to how quickly our bodies develop, there is no ‘normal’, if it makes them more comfortable in their own skin, why not. We hope this helps!

      • Cavs said:

        I started my period 11 days early when i just ended a period 13 days ago. My blood is dark and stringy. Is this normal?

        • teen said:

          mine is too
          it’s brown and stringy I’ve had mine two times already and it still is

          • Sarah said:

            me too. It’s the same exact situation! I’ve only had a couple but it’s brown and stringy.

  2. Caity Johnson said:

    I have reddish orange blood at the end of my period. Is that normal. It’s day 6.

    • Madeleine said:

      Hi Caity, reddish orange blood indicates a lighter flow. This sounds about right because day 6 will be towards the end of your period!

        • Madeleine said:

          You’ll be a person who menstruates for 30-35 years, but actual periods last about 5-7 days in a menstrual cycle (typically 28 days).

  3. bailey said:

    ive been “bleeding” for about 4 days but no cramps and the color keeps changing its not even heavy enough to get on my underwear liner… what does this mean?

    • Natracare said:

      Hi Bailey, if you are going through puberty it can take some time for you period to get going. Light bleeding without cramps can be common!

  4. alexandria said:

    I’ve had my period for a full week and I’m still heavy bleeding with clots

    • Natracare said:

      Sounds like it might be a good time to check in with your doctor, especially if this is unusual for you.

  5. Catherine said:

    I don’t quite know but the months leading up to my first period I had brown streaks on my underwear. Is it just me or was that my period?

    • Natracare said:

      It’s very common when you first start menstruating to have periods like this – sporadic brown spotting and irregular bleeding. It can take your body a while to menstruate regularly.

      • Nancy said:

        I thought that the brown streaks in my underwear during the months leading to what I thought was my first period were just spotting. Was it actually my period or not?

  6. Kristen said:

    Bright red heavy flow (not suppose to start my period for another 5 days) and suddenly brown. What could this mean?

  7. Amba said:

    I gave birth 10-11 weeks ago and have been on the pill since 8. I’m now having my first period from the pill and am having 2-3 blood clots the size of 2 50p coins every time I go to the toilet. Is this normal after giving birth? I never bled much after giving birth.

    • Natracare said:

      First of all, congratulations! This might be best checked with your doctor, so we suggest you book an appointment if it continues!

  8. Kaurjazz said:

    Is the dark stringy blood is the sign of pregnancy?if it occur after sexual activity

    • Natracare said:

      Dark and stringy blood is most likely just old blood, but if you think you might be pregnant, it’s definitely best to see a doctor!

  9. Gloria Martinez said:

    I’ve had light watery bleeding for a month then a normal flow period for 6 days then back to watery blood again so basically 2 months of bleeding then a normal period what can this be ?

    • Natracare said:

      Hi Gloria, sounds like it might be worth a visit to your local healthcare provider to check what’s going on for you. Two months of bleeding is quite a lot!

  10. Ana said:

    I’m 9 days late. I’m not pregnant. Cramps for the last 4 days. Yesterday after urinating, I wiped a pink mucus discharged and I thought I was initiating my period. However, it didn’t. Today, after 21 hours a similar pink thick mucus was discharged after urinating. I’m 29 years old. So I don’t think it is menopause

    • Natracare said:

      Hey Ana, this might simply be a sign of stress, but if you’re worried we recommend you see a doctor to be sure!

  11. Sarah said:

    i used to have really bright red, flowly blood on my periods and as of about three months ago i began getting like brown, mucusy period but its always when i stop my birth control. i take junel and been taking it since december of 2017 so idk why its different now and consistently so

    • Natracare said:

      It might be worth checking in with your doctor, just to be safe!

  12. Ella said:

    How do I know how long my first period will last?

    • Natracare said:

      Hi Ella, the length of your very first period can vary! It could be some light spotting lasting only a day, or it can longer and slightly heavier. Periods often have a light flow and can be short at the start of puberty. Hope this helps 🙂

  13. Aprileen said:

    I have black blood this is the first time that 2 days I have still black blood.. Before first day only… This is normal or I need to go and consult about this?

    • Natracare said:

      Hi Aprileen, keep an eye on it! It might just be a slightly different period than normal for you but nothing to worry about. If you notice any other unusual changes as well or, if you are feeling worried, do check in with your doctor.

  14. Anonymous said:

    Really heavy flow passing clots the size of golf balls very dark red soaking both a tampon and pad in less than an hr day 2 of this.

    • bean said:

      I’m uneducated but if it is persistent then id see your doctor or something.

  15. Ellie said:

    My bleeding is black and if not very dark brown, it’s also stringy however not heavy what does this mean ?x

    • Sophie said:

      Ive been the same for 8 days and no idea

    • Princess said:

      if you get it at the kinda end of ur period its normal i get the same thing

      • Natracare said:

        It’s likely this could just mean that the blood is slightly older and nothing to worry about. If it continues and you are worried, we recommend asking your doctor!

  16. Andrea said:

    I haven’t had my period yet, ever, and I have brown goey stuff and a little bit of blood in my underwear for the past two days. Im not sure what it is.

    • Madeleine said:

      Sounds like it could be the start of your first period! Congrats!

  17. Sophie said:

    Instead of my normal period I’ve had stringy, dark red/brown bits just when i wipe for 8 days, never had it before?

    • Natracare said:

      Hi Sophie, if this feels quite different from your typical period then it’s worth asking a health professional to see if anything is up! It is worth asking yourself if you’ve had any significant changes in your lifestyle recently. Your diet, exercise or stress can all affect your period.

  18. Heather said:

    I have had my period for 15 days now. This is my first period in 3 years. ( pregnancy and breastfeeding) it is normal for a period to be this long? I do not have much pain. Occasional mild cramping. My flow is sometimes very little and sometimes more heavy. So I be worried?

    • Natracare said:

      Hi Heather, your period can significantly change after having a baby! So it can take some time to even start up again and be quite different to your periods before you gave birth. Might be worth calling your doctor to check in if you are feeling worried.

  19. Alyssa Mcawae said:

    well i’m only 12 and i’m new to this and my blood flow is heavy i wanna know how to slow it down.

    • Melanie DeJesus said:

      There isn’t quite a way to slow own blood flow that I know of. You just have to wear pads/tampon with
      a heavier absorbency.

  20. Juliette said:

    hey i think i just got my period yesterday but i dont know if its just spotting or my actual period. yesterday it was dark brown and light but it had red in it. Today its a red-brown and its heavier and clotty. Can someone tell me if this is my period or spotting? (I’m a 13 year old girl who has never had spotting or my first period obv)

    • Madeleine said:

      Hi Juliette, this sounds like your body getting ready to start having periods! Congratulations 🙂
      It is completely normal to have very light periods, or spotting to begin with. It can vary person to person. Periods can also be months apart from each other when you start puberty.

  21. Warona said:

    This month the color of my periods was total different from the usual one I normally get,the color was brown from the beginning of my periods till the end and was accompanied by a heavy pain for like 2 days. This scared me alot, what can I do or change?

    • Natracare said:

      Hi Warona, have you experienced any significant lifestyle changes recently? Changes in diet, stress levels, and exercise can all affect your period. It’s possible it is a one-off period different than your normal. You could wait until your next period to see if it’s still different – if you are still feeling worried ask your doctor for advice. But do what feels right for you!

  22. Audrey Costello said:

    I think I just had my first periods but I’m not sure. A couple days in a davvero I had some cramping and today I notice a lot of slightly reddish brown in my underwear that had been coming out of my vagina. Am I okay?

    • Natracare said:

      Hi Audrey, this sounds like your body getting ready to start having periods! It is completely normal to have very light periods, or spotting to begin with – and this can be a reddish brown colour.

  23. Nonto said:

    I have dark brown blood spotting today and this is 2 weeks after i had another light pink period, should i be worried?

  24. Kei said:

    Hi. My period is 4 days long. I usually get cramps on the first day. I did get it, and it was quite mild. During my last period, the first two days, my flow was a really bright red (and slick) that it almost looked like it was maybe a dark pink. The last two days were extremely light, like a few drops. Is this a normal period?

    • Natracare said:

      Hi Kei, periods differ from person to person. This sounds like a perfectly acceptable period to us! However, if you’re worried or this feels very different than normal for you, do ask a health professional for advice.

  25. Kate said:

    I had sex in the beginning of my period which was sort of spotting and 3-4 days later I started having thin period blood and light flow. normally i have heavy periods.

    • Natracare said:

      Thanks for sharing! Even what’s normal for you can have variation month to month.

  26. I’m 13 and I stared my period 3 months ago in March and I just started it 3 days ago and I have a really heavy flow but it’s all stringy and dark , I have change my pad 3 times in one day what should I do !

    • Natracare said:

      Hi B, some people have heavier periods than others! When you first start your period it can be much lighter than when your body gets into it normal menstrual rhythm you’ll have as an adult. It’s completely normal to have to change your pad three, four or even five times a day when your flow is heavy.

  27. Danielle said:

    I’m 10 days late on my period and I have never been this late. However, I used the bathroom about 2hours a go and when I wiped. I noticed I was bleeding and it was a Bright Redish/Pink color. I don’t ever experience that shade when I’m menstruating. When I looked down into the toilet, I noticed something Mucus/Discharge like. I haven’t taken a test yet by the way. I guess I’m scared to and hoping that I’m just really really late on my period.

    • Natracare said:

      Hi Danielle, bright red and pink period blood is quite common at the start of your period when the flow is light (just before it gets heavy!). Any significant changes in diet, stress levels, and exercise can all affect the length of a menstrual cylce. It’s possible it is a one-off period that’s started later. If you are still feeling worried ask your doctor for advice!

  28. Nancy said:

    Have been bleeding for more than six days now and it still heavy and slippery +stick before my period lasted four to five days. This one came two days early than before what is happening to me?

    • Natracare said:

      Hi Nancy, it is quite normal to experience variations in menstrual cycle length between periods. Two days is not unusual at all! Keep an eye on the bleeding, it can last longer sometimes, and if you’re feeling worried do ask for advice from a health professional.

  29. Olga Szaboova said:

    Hi.
    I having bleeding on 20 day of my cycle.
    Can I be pregnant?

    • Natracare said:

      Hello, bleeding isn’t often a sign of pregnancy, but if you think this might be the case we recommend taking a test or seeing a doctor if you can!

  30. Renca De La Said said:

    I’ve started my first period 3 months ago and I’ve been bleeding for over 14 days! Is this normal?

  31. Mari Martinez said:

    Hi, my period recently kicked in and I seemed to have been shedding old blood. After 2 days I started to feel sick to my stomach when moving around and a bit nauseous. My periods are often times irregular. Is this normal??? I will often times miss my period and have it come back like a 15 days later.

  32. charlenne said:

    Hi . My period is always heavy, I get clots and painful lower back pain and cramps. But the end of May my period was due and It was like brown spotting for 9 days then very light bleeding still now . I did a pregnancy test and it was negative. So I don’t know what happening. I still have little bleeding now . This the 1st time this is happening I’m so confused

  33. Riria said:

    My period came super light but all the blood seems to be lots of dark red mini clots and stringy clots. This has never happened before and I’ve had my period for years now. What’s wrong?

  34. Marai said:

    I had a period 2 weeks ago and it last for 2 days and the others days I was just spotting . And now I just been having light brown discharge for the past week . What does it mean ?

  35. Mable said:

    Im 13 and I just started my first period and the blood is a really dark brown color and it’s thick. Is this normal?

  36. C.. said:

    I think i started my first period yesterday…first i had red blood the rest was all dark red or Brown….it still is… Is that normal? Because it cant be old blood because it’s my first period

  37. Alexia said:

    I’m 13 years old and still haven’t got my period, but I noticed I have stringy black stuff in my underwear I’m really worried can somebody please help me?

  38. Shad said:

    Hi
    I have red spotting, small clots (barely noticeable), it drips sometimes but I see more blood when I wipe. My period isn’t due until 5days.
    I don’t know if this relates but my last period was very watery, little to no clot and extremely heavy. What’s happening?

  39. Melissa said:

    I have PCOS and my current period, I’ve been having a lot of blood clots that vary from stringy to the size of a half dollar. I also rarely experience cramps but this time they have been so bad that it hurts to move occasionally. What should I do? My period also take forever to end.

  40. Hanaan said:

    I haven’t started my period yet, but for a few days, my discharge has been blood red. Today I saw a big splatter of bright red stretchy fluid. Please let me know if this is my period

  41. Riley said:

    Mine is both thing + watery and dark + stringy. What does this mean? I’m nearing the end of my cycle.

  42. Belle said:

    THANK YOU SO MUCH THIS WAS SO HELPFUL!!! 😍

  43. Mad said:

    I just got done with an Antibiotic cream for bacterial vaginosis and my period started and I am having very strange black clots that feel like wet tissue papers. Is that a left over from the infection or does that mean the infection is still persisting?
    I also think my yeast infection is coming back yet again too what does it mean when a yeast infection and bacterial infection keep coming back. (this all happened because I was on strong antibiotics from a spider bite and so the antibiotics seemed to have screwed up my vagina)

  44. Anna Lee said:

    For the last 6 months, my flow has been dark and stringy. That’s it. It’s dark and stringy and super light for 4 days and then just ends. I called my doctor and he just told me to keep an eye on it but I have a feeling it could be more. I’m 24 and have never been pregnant. Thoughts?

  45. Myangel said:

    I’ve had cramps every day on my period its day 3

  46. Wren said:

    Hi! I know this is an old post, I started my Evra patch on the same day that my period began, I then after 3 days, took the patch off because it didnt suit me, but this was midway through a period, my period ended naturally, then I was just having brown streaks on and off for awhile, today I have began as if its a brand new period, but it only properly ended two days ago, my blood is red with stringy bits in, and its very heavy. No doctors are on call today and then its the weekend. Is this normal after going off of birth control sporadically during a period?

  47. LilMomma said:

    I’ve been off my period for about 2 weeks now and I just randomly got brown stingy discharge… wanted to see if this could be pregnancy or something abnormal…

  48. anonymous said:

    my period is between black and brown and its quite thick. Im not to sure why though? ive never had this before.

  49. maria said:

    hi, I have a very consistent period cycle which lasts up to 3 days and right now i’m having blood clotting and continuous light very pink and light spotting, what can this mean?

    • maria said:

      it is 1-2 days after my period ended and thats when this is starting

  50. Emmie Song said:

    Hi I am 11, about to be 12. I think I just got my first period? It looks like light pink discharge! What is HAPPENING!

  51. Liv said:

    Hi I have been on my period for over 2 weeks and it’s still really heavy. I’m on the implant and find I’m bleeding almost constantly I’ve been on it 2 years but as of lately I’m bleeding non stop. Is this normal?

  52. Cait said:

    I usually have a really heavy flow. Lots of clots, this month its rather lighter than normal, still have clots. I had an extremely heavy period last month. Is this normal?

  53. Yams said:

    Almost 6 years of using pills..and last two months my blood is dark and stringly..is this normal

  54. Anon said:

    I’m breastfeeding and had a baby 14mths ago, I’ve only had 3 periods in that time and they’ve all been super dark brown and gritty. Is that normal?

    To add on I’ve never! Had regular periods to the point where I use to get 3 in 1 month ( my mum never believed me) I didn’t realise until this year that irregular periods aren’t actually normal. At what point should I see someone about it? It doesn’t affect me getting pregnant at all

  55. Day said:

    So I’ve been having my period irregularly changing since I’ve always been the same day for a year now and it is changing now. 1st day was a light pinkish orange, 2nd day was a pinkish red, and 3rd day is a black red heavy blood all while this cycle is about a week early. What should I’m do, I’m concerned.

  56. Liv said:

    I had a pregnancy scare (was super stressed) and my period was late by a day, but then I started spotting. My flow was light, but was heavier than my spotting, is this my period?

  57. Abi said:

    Hi I’ve just started my first period and the blood is really bright red. Is that normal?

  58. Hellen said:

    Hi, I am Peri menopause stage. My period were light up till the last one, yet the one I just experienced was awful. I was changing nightime pads every two hours. Should I see the Doctor?