Note: when we talk about period blood color, we’re talking about the color of fresh period blood – what you’ll see in a menstrual cup or on a piece of toilet paper. Tampons and pads tend to dry out the blood and make it appear darker.
Healthy period blood is bright red, like strawberry jam or a fresh cut. If that’s not what your blood looks like – or if that’s only what it looks like some of the time – you’re not alone.Period blood comes in an array of colors and each color tells you something about what’s going on in your body.
Dark and clotty period blood tends to indicate that you have a nice thick uterine lining but your body has a hard time shedding it. Because you’re struggling to get that thing out of you, blood stagnates in your uterus, gets old and stale, and changes color. This tends to go hand-in-hand with menstrual cramps, which essentially exist to help push the old lining out of the uterus. (More on cramps here.)
While rusty red, brown, blue, purple, and black blood all point towards stagnated blood, there are some differences to keep in mind:
- Blue, super dark purple, and black blood indicate more stagnation than rusty red and brown periods.
- Blue and purple periods may also be a sign of poorly oxygenated blood or colder than normal body temperature, which could be a result of something like hypothyroid disorder.
- A black period, the most extreme of all, tells you that your uterine lining is really stuck and it is sometimes associated with endometriosis, fibroids, or other blood clotting issues.
If black periods are common for you, you should mention it to your OB/GYN at your next appointment. (Keep in mind a black period DOES NOT mean that something is definitely wrong– just that things are working as well as they could be.)
Whether you’ve had dark periods your whole life or just started having them, you should know you’re not stuck with the period and symptoms you’ve got now. Our founders are acupuncturists who believe in pursuing the ideal period – not just accepting things as normal. If your period blood is dark and clotty these tips will help you work towards a healthy red period:
- Decreasing inflammation will help with the cramps and inflammatory symptoms that come along with a thick lining. You can decrease inflammation by incorporating anti-inflammatory foods into your diet (like, leafy greens, blueberries, oranges, fatty fish, olive oil, almonds, and walnuts) and cutting back on ones that cause inflammation (like sugar, high-fructose corn syrup, refined carbs, and alcohol).
- Our Cramp Support formula will also help – it’s proprietary anti-inflammatory blend includes powerful inflammation-fighting herbs like corydalis, turmeric, frankincense & myrrh.
Up your Omega-3 intake.
- Omega-3s, like fish oil, reduce clotting and inflammation while also improving blood flow. They also decrease prostaglandin production, which is tied to cramping (and period poop!).
Promote healthy bleeding.
- Promoting healthy bleeding will help get that thick uterine lining out of you sooner. The concept of promoting bleeding is based on Chinese medicine and the only way we know how to do it is through herbs. Our Cramp Support formula was blended with this in mind. (Shameless plug, we know, but we wouldn’t be making these supplements if they didn’t work.)
Have a question about your period, symptoms, or reproductive health? We’re here to help. Reach out via our website’s chatbot and you’ll be connected to one of our founders.