The color of your period blood may help point to whatever is going on inside your body. True that periods aren’t exactly fun and can annoy you with the cramps, bloating, and all the other things that makes your body feel alien to you. However, your monthly flow can actually provide a lot of insight into your overall health. For instance, if you’re struggling with irregular periods, that’s a sign you may be dealing with a thyroid problem, polycystic ovary syndrome, or a hormone imbalance, or that you’re underweight.
It can come in a rainbow of shades from pink and whitish to bright red and even dark brown. The changes in color ca tell you a lot about your body and health if you pay attention to it.
IF IT IS WATERY
You may have a nutritional deficiency. A white-ish, diluted flow can be a symptom of severe anemia, especially if you notice your period getting lighter and lighter when it would ordinarily get a bit heavier. If, after monitoring your period for two or three cycles, you’re worried that this could be the case, talk to your doctor about getting tested for nutritional deficiencies.
IF IT IS PINK-ISH
You may have low estrogen levels. Studies have found that excessive exercise can lower estrogen levels, which can subsequently mess with your period, sometimes causing it to disappear altogether. (It’s not uncommon for female professional athletes to stop ovulating.) Other potential culprits of a pinkish flow can include poor nutrition, PCOS, or perimenopause, which is when your ovaries start producing less estrogen in preparation for menopause.
IF IT IS BRIGHT RED
You may have a healthy, regular period. Again, everybody’s “normal” will look different, but generally speaking, a consistently bright red flow that looks a little like cranberry juice is a signal that everything is working as it should.
IF IT IS BROWNISH
You may have older bits of uterine lining and blood that are just now making their way out of your body. But don’t panic: This is normal. Sometimes the blood is sitting around for a while and comes out particularly slowly. Because it has a lot of time to oxidize,it comes out looking dark and almost black. Everyone will shed her uterine lining at a different rate, but for the most part, seeing some dark brown blood at the beginning of your period or toward the end of it is nothing to worry about.
IF IT IS DARK RED AND COMES IN THICK CLOTS
You may have low progesterone levels and high estrogen levels. While some clotting is normal, REALLY BIG clots can indicate a serious hormonal imbalance. Fibroids are another possibility. They’re most often benign, but they can be painful, so if you suspect they’re behind your heavy, clot-filled periods, ask your doctor for an ultrasound.
IF IT IS A MIX OF GREY AND RED
You may have an infection. You’ll probably also experience a really “foul, necrotic stench,”. Get tested so you can get the right treatment.
Women who miscarry sometimes notice gray chunks of tissue that look like “liver,” so if you think there’s a possibility that you’re pregnant or having a miscarriage, call your doctor ASAP.