If you’re experiencing brown period blood, should you be concerned? You might be used to your period being a particular color since you began menstruating, so a change might be very unusual. So what’s going on?
In this post, we’ll get into the causes of brown period blood and how it happens. In the end, we’ll talk about when you should see your physician or OB-GYN.
Explaining Variations in Period Blood
Luckily, you can relax, as there are simple explanations for variations in period blood color. It’s normal to see any shade from orange and brownish hues to even darker red and blackened ones. Each color signifies a difference in how your endometrium (the lining of your uterus) sheds itself naturally during your cycle.
You can think of brown blood as simply blood that has had air exposure, consequently becoming oxidized. This is because the hemoglobin in your red blood cells carries oxygen through iron metal ions. When these ions begin to facilitate the carrying of oxygen, it gives your blood its characteristic deep red color.
However, when it becomes exposed to air, the oxidization changes the color of the blood. This blood is “older” and can be generally seen at the beginning or end of your flow. Your heavier and faster flows have a bright red color that should be consistent with what you’re used to seeing. Nothing to worry about, especially if you have a lot of iron in your diet! However…
Is There Any Color That Period Blood Shouldn’t Be?
Well, your period blood can be any number of colors. Seeing bright red blood means that the blood is fresh, usually accompanied by a faster, steadier flow.
Blood that appears black is likely the subject of more advanced oxidation, turning from brown to darker brown and eventually black. This can also suggest a vaginal blockage, however, and you might want to examine your flow more carefully and seek advice from a doctor if the pattern continues.
If you have pink or orange blood, this signals that the blood has mixed with cervical fluid. This doesn’t always mean something is wrong, however. Only if you’re experiencing some unusual symptoms, such as itching, discomfort, or unusual-smelling discharge, should you consult a doctor. Pink or orange blood can, with these symptoms, mean you have a bacterial infection.
Grey blood is almost always a sign of bacterial vaginosis, which usually presents with a fishy vaginal odor, itching in the vaginal area, and discomfort when urinating. Again, it’s best to consult a doctor if you experience these symptoms.
The color of period blood can change depending on several factors, such as your age, diet, and lifestyle. It’s essential to keep an eye on how it varies and consult a doctor as appropriate.
At Family Diagnostic Clinic, we deliver compassionate, individual care to each patient. If you have any questions about your reproductive health, please give us a call at (281) 351-6800, and we’ll be happy to see you.