Should You Be Concerned About Period Blood Clots?
Menstruation is a natural process that every woman experiences in her life. From those who’ve just begun getting their periods to women who are to hit their menopausal age, everyone’s flow is never the same. Some of us can experience menstrual blood clots and seeing them for the first time can raise a few alarms in our minds. But before you panic, it is necessary to know exactly what’s causing menstrual blood clots.
What is a Menstrual Blood Clot?
Menstrual clots are coagulated globs of blood that have a gel-like appearance. These lumps can also be tissues and blood by-products that are expelled from the uterus during the menstrual cycle. Small, less frequent blood clots are a common occurrence and you don't need to worry about them. However, if you regularly pass large clots during your period, it could be an indication of an underlying medical condition.
Blood clots are often classified as normal or abnormal, based on their appearance. Let's look at the types in detail.
Types of Blood Clots
Normal blood clots are usually:
- Smaller (not larger than a quarter)
- Occasional (usually occur at the beginning of your menstrual cycle)
- Bright or dark in color
On the other hand, abnormal blood clots are:
- Larger than a quarter
- Occur frequently
Do you feel pain during periods? It could be something concerning. So, consult our gynecologists today!
What Causes Period Blood Clots?
Physical and hormonal factors can affect the menstrual cycle and create a heavy flow. The following conditions can cause abnormal menstrual clots:
Blood clots during menstruation can indicate a miscarriage in the first trimester of pregnancy, especially if the color of the clot is slightly yellowish or grayish.
Endometriosis is characterized by the growth of endometrial tissue outside the uterus, which can lead to heavy menstruation, severe pain, and clot formation.
It is a benign tumor in the inner wall of the uterus that is also known as a uterine fibroid. It usually causes symptoms such as pain in the uterus, heavy menstruation with blood clots, and bleeding between periods.
Iron deficiency anemia can be one of the causes of a clotted period, as iron deficiency can impair blood clotting and lead to menstrual clots.
Vitamin and mineral deficiency:
A deficiency of vitamins and minerals that regulate clot formation (for example, vitamin C or K deficiency) can lead to clots during your period.
Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS):
Another condition that can cause heavy clots and bleeding during your cycle, PCOS is a common hormonal imbalance.
Are Blood Clots Normal During Menstruation?
- It's perfectly normal to notice a few lumps from time to time during your period
- These are blood clots that may contain tissue. When the uterus strips its inner layer, this tissue leaves the body as a natural part of the menstrual cycle.
- Therefore, tissue clots are usually not a cause for concern. But if you notice frequent or large clots, see your doctor and make sure your period is normal.
When Should I Worry About Blood Clots During My Period?
Menstrual clots, the size of a quarter or larger, actually indicate that you're officially in the heavy bleeding territory, also known as menorrhagia. Symptoms of menorrhagia include:
- Soak through one or more tampons or pads every hour for several hours at a time.
- You need to use two pads at a time.
- Need to change your pad or tampon overnight.
- If you bleed for more than seven days.
- The flow is so heavy that sometimes it prevents you from living a normal life.
- You regularly experience pelvic pain (especially in the lower abdomen) during your period.
- You are constantly fatigued.
Home Remedies For Periods of Blood Clots
Doctors also recommend making some lifestyle changes to control menstrual clots. Some of them are:
- Drink 2-3 liters of water a day.
- Eat a healthy diet, especially iron-rich foods.
- Eating iron-rich foods like spinach, beans, raisins, apricots, peas, and red meats like mutton, lamb, and pork reduces clotting.
- Do not take aspirin to reduce pain. This medicine increases blood flow.
- Exercise regularly to the best of your ability, even if that means walking for about 20-25 minutes a day.
Menstrual clots are a normal part of the menstrual cycle and most women have them. Sure, they're annoying little underwear breakers, but they're generally considered harmless. If they appear frequently, are larger than the size of a quarter, or are accompanied by pain and/or very heavy periods, see a doctor to rule out any medical problems.