No matter who you are, there’s nothing quite like a surprise visit from Aunty Flo. While the menstrual cramps and discomfort may be the worst three to five days of your life, there are benefits to having your monthly period. Our periods give us health indications on how our bodies are doing. When you are unwell, the colour and texture of your menstrual blood changes. We take a closer look at what each colour means.
1/ Bright red
This is the typical colour of period blood that one may see. Red period blood indicates a steady flow of the menstrual blood. If the bleeding takes place in between your period, then you should visit your gynaecologist.
2/ Brown or dark red
Brown or dark red blood is seen at the beginning and end of a period. The iron in our blood reacts with oxygen, and a chemical process called oxidation takes place. This can make the period appear darker and smell slightly metallic. Women who have recently given birth experience shedding of some remaining blood called lochia, which may be this colour.
3/ Black or dark brown
Blood from the uterus can change colour from dark red to brown and then black. If you have a fever, any itching or swelling around the vagina, pain or difficulty urinating or discharge that smells unpleasant, these could be signs of a vagina or cervical blockage and needs to be examined by a medical doctor.
Pink or lighter coloured blood could be caused by contraceptives that have altered your hormone levels. You may also be anaemic, which is most commonly due to iron deficiency. Having sexual intercourse can cause blood. This blood can cause vaginal discharge to appear pink.
5/ Orange and grey
Orange or grey period? Whoa!
A change in the acidity in the vagina can cause an increased overgrowth of bacteria causing Bacterial Vaginosis (BV) or fungi causing vaginal thrush, causing an orange menstrual blood cycle. Grey looking blood is usually a sign of BV. This condition may cause a watery, grey/green discharge associated with vaginal itching when you aren’t on your period.