Why Is My Period Blood Black? A Gynaecologist Shares Possible Reasons
Possible Causes of Black Period or Menstrual Blood : Menstruation, also called period, is a natural process that takes place approximately once a month in women of reproductive age, starting at puberty and continuing until menopause. It occurs when the lining of the uterus, also referred to as the endometrium, is shed and expelled through the vagina in the form of menstrual blood, which can vary in colour, texture, and flow. Usually, changes to the menstrual blood is normal, however, significant and sudden changes, for instance extremely dark or black period colour, can throw you off. What should you do then?
Speaking with the OnlyMyHealth team, Dr Shefali Tyagi, Consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecologist, Motherhood Hospitals, Sarjapur, Bengaluru, answers and explains what a healthy period blood actually looks like.
What Does Healthy Menstrual Blood Appear Like?
Contrary to popular belief, period blood can come in different colours and not just bright red, says Dr Tyagi.
She shares that throughout one’s menstrual cycle, there may be various colours of menstrual blood ranging from dark red, pink, or brown blood. In fact, period blood can even be black, orange, green, or grey
According to the doctor, there are various reasons for these different colours, including early pregnancy, infection, and more.
Taking us through the different stages of menstrual bleeding, she explains, “At the beginning of your period, fresh blood is usually bright red.” As per WebMD, bright red blood means that your blood is fresh and has not been in the uterus or vagina for some time.
“If you have a heavy flow, the blood may appear darker, especially if there are clots. Towards the end of the week, you might see rusty brown blood. This colour is because the blood has had a chance to react with the air,” the doctor continues.
Lastly, if your period blood is pinkish, it is likely to be a light period, adds Dr Tyagi.
Causes Of Black Menstrual Blood
The primary reason behind dark brown or black menstrual blood is when blood takes longer to leave the uterus and becomes oxidised. This can resemble coffee grounds and is mostly a normal part of your menstrual cycle, requiring no special treatment, says Dr Tyagi.
However, if the discharge is heavy and accompanied by other symptoms like fever, pain, or a foul odour, it must be consulted with a doctor, she advises.
In addition, if a person experiences bleeding or black discharge outside of the typical timeframe of a period, which is anywhere from 3-10 days and occurs every 3-6 weeks, it’s considered irregular and should be taken up with a doctor.
Other common causes of black or very dark period blood include:
- Use of hormonal birth control methods
- Certain medications, especially blood thinners and hormonal treatments
- Underlying medical conditions like endometriosis, fibroids, or uterine polyps; these occur in very rare cases
- Changes in diet or stress levels, which can affect hormonal balance and menstrual flow
How Normal Is It To Spot Tissues In Menstrual Blood?
How often have you noticed tiny tissues or clots in your period blood? Have you ever wondered what they are and whether they are normal?
Dr Tyagi answers saying, “It’s totally normal to see some clumps now and then while you’re on your period. These clumps are actually blood clots that might have bits of tissue in them. When the uterus sheds its lining, this tissue comes out naturally as part of the menstrual cycle. So usually, clots of tissue are nothing to worry about. However, if you notice big or frequent clots, it’s a good idea to talk to your doctor to make sure everything is okay with your period.”