Updated: Mar 5
If you’re well into your adulthood, you probably feel like you’re a professional at having your period, right? By the time you’re in your early to mid-20s, you’ve already experienced countless menstrual cycles and with it came things you were probably familiar with and not so familiar with. After having your period every 28 days, you know all of your symptoms and prepare for it. You might deal with cramping. Your symptoms might include headaches, fatigue, or bloating.
With these symptoms comes a means of preparing for them. You might have your heating pads waiting for you. Tylenol or Advil might be your best friends, and we can’t forget about that bed that we never want to leave. While our symptoms are a classic part of our period, there would be no period without the blood!
The beginning of our period is marked by when we first start bleeding. You might not pay attention to the color of your blood, but you should because it’s a great indicator of what’s going on in your body! There’s a myriad of colors that your period blood can be. Bright red is what we mostly aim for. Bright red blood is an excellent sign of good reproductive health.
Sometimes during your period, your blood might show up as pink. This also wouldn’t necessarily be a sign of warning. Women who spend a significant portion of their time at the gym running on the treadmill or pumping iron might find that their period blood takes on a more pink appearance than red.
On the scarier part of the color spectrum, if you find gray-ish tones in your blood during your cycle, that should definitely give you pause and a reason to call up your gynecologist. While the vaginal discharge won’t be completely grey, if the color is mixed in with blood, this could be the sign of an STI or miscarriage.
Now that we’ve covered the major reasons behind the colors of your period, are you dying to know if black blood is normal? The answer is yes!
When you have your period, there are two different types of blood that your body will expel - new and old. Usually, the new blood will be the bright red color that we explained. This will typically occur during the first few days of your period. Throughout the rest of your days, you might notice that your blood looks dark red and sometimes even black. While seeing the black blood might have you feeling like you’re in the Twilight Zone, there’s no need to fret yet.
The darker your blood is, the more time it’s had to oxidize in your body. This is why it’s pretty common to experience black blood a day or two before and towards the end of your period. If you’re seeing black blood in the short days leading up to your period, this is most likely blood from your last period finally leaving your uterus. For those seeing black blood at the end of your period, this would be blood that has just taken longer to leave the body.
While experiencing black blood during your period is normal, it shouldn’t be a prolonged occurrence. If it lasts for longer than a day or two, this is cause to call your gynecologist. Vaginal health is a very important factor for women so make sure you’re staying alert during your cycle!