So, this last period of mine felt like the days preceding my pregnancy days. For one full week, I was hormonal, tetchy like someone forced me to walk on hot coal. PMS full blast, the pimples were having a party on my face and then I had a cold that wasn’t going, no matter the amount of Vitamin C, I was chewing.
The mistake that I made, however, was to take Paracetamol. That does only one thing for me, the cramps become a whole lot more painful and I only end up spotting, while they’re still in my system. That could be for two days, three days and sometimes four days, while my body gets back to its pre-Paracetamol state.
It’s quite annoying but that was exactly what happened this time around. I was just cramping, especially on my left hand side, yet Aunty Flo was a no-show.
Just spotting and more spotting, that was staining my underwear unnecessarily. It hasn’t been that way in a long time. By the time, Aunty Flo finally arrived, I was so ready but that first day shaaaa. It was as though someone opened a tap and forgot to turn it off. I could feel the rush and kept avoiding any jerking movement, as that led to a gush of blood. All of this time, my appetite had flown out the window.
With all of these going on, I turned to Dr. Google and started asking all sorts of questions about spotting, cramping and PMS and generally all the symptoms I was having. I got some interesting answers and thought to share.
Apparently, the colour of your period has a story to tell about your reproductive system and your health in general. Here are some of the stories below:
Bright Red Blood
The bright red menstrual blood is most often seen at the beginning of your cycle, since it indicates that your uterine lining is shedding new blood at a fast rate.
If it turns up at a different point in your cycle, or is accompanied by abnormal cramping, there’s a small chance it indicates a miscarriage or ruptured ovarian cyst, but you’re most likely fine.
Dark Red Blood
Usually, this indicates old blood which has been in the uterus for some time. The darkness indicates this.
It usually shows up most often toward the end of your period and indicates a slower shedding rate, that your high estrogen levels are picking up once more, and your lining is thickening. All of which are fine.
This is a normal part of most women’s periods, especially when you wake up in the morning or if your period is on the heavier side.
Brown or Black Blood
This is most commonly seen at the end of your period, since it’s the blood that has been stored up for the longest. It’s usually normal for this to come in a light flow or spotting.
This spotting should be paid attention to. If you notice light red or pinkish spotting right before Aunty Flo shows up, this could indicate low estrogen levels.
The Estrogen level in the body changes throughout the whole month. It goes from being very low during your period to being very high in the middle of your cycle, in order to aid conception. So spotting that indicates low levels of estrogen, just before your period is something that your doctor should check out.
Just as there’s a special ting in the air around Christmas time, there’s a smell to period blood, however, when your period comes with a slippery texture, especially combined with a bad odour, this could be a sign the blood has mixed with cervical fluids as the result of an infection or STD.
It’s time to see the doctor.
If you notice an orange-ish tint to your blood, its scent and consistency can give you a clue into whether there’s a problem.
It’s typical to notice blood clots in your menstrual blood, especially toward the end of your cycle. And that is because, over the course of your period, a protein component activates the platelets in menstrual blood to clot it. You might even notice white fibers in the clots as a result, which is also nothing to panic about.
The only time to worry is if you see an unusually high amount of clotting. This can indicate fibroids, which prevent the uterus from squeezing the blood vessels. And, in rare cases, a lot of clotting can signify a miscarriage. Talk to your doctor if you’re concerned about this condition.
Meanwhile, more general health issues, like those with your diet and stress levels, are more likely to affect the timing and length of your period than the appearance. Long and heavy periods or missed ones can indicate hormonal imbalances and should be checked out with your doctor.
As far as the blood itself goes though, there’s a wide range of stuff that could be normal. The key is just determining what is and isn’t normal for you and checking with your Gynae if anything looks out of place.
So, it’s pretty obvious that the period tells stories and it should, considering that it is such an integral part of us as women and a key indicator of our fertility. The appearance of your monthly flow can actually help you make sure everything’s working properly down there.
It’s time to pay attention to what goes on down there.
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