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Blood Clots During Your Period: Causes, Symptoms and Treatments

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Most blood clots during period are quite normal and do not always mean something is wrong. But you should be worried if you pass giant or large clots that are larger than a quarter.

You should also be worried if the clots are accompanied by heavy periods or severe menstrual cramps.

What is a blood clot?

A blood clot or coagulation is a jelly like clump or mass of blood that prevents excessive blood loss when a blood vessel is damaged.

For example, when you have a cut, clotting prevents you from losing so much blood.

It does this by changing the state of the liquid blood to a semi solid or solid state.

You can have a clot in various parts of your body such as the leg, arms, heart, lungs, abdomen and even the brain.

Causes of Period blood Clots

During menstruation, the uterus contracts to shed its thick lining as blood. Your body produces anticoagulants as you menstruate.

This is to prevent your menstrual blood from clotting as they are being shed.

Any form of blood stagnation in the uterus can lead to clots.

During heavy periods or abnormal period, blood is expelled quickly, than the anticoagulant can handle.

When blood is expelled too quickly, the anticoagulant released is unable to thin most of the blood. This results in the presence of some clots during menstruation.

There are other variety of reasons why clots of blood form in your menstruation:

1. Endometriosis:

Endometriosis is a disease that affects women in their reproductive years.

Endometriosis is a condition in which the tissues of the lining of the womb(endometrium) is found outside the womb. The tissues starts to grow in the fallopian tube, ovaries and abdominal cavity.

Symptoms of endometriosis are:

  • ​Menstrual blood with large blood clots
  • Bleeding between period
  • Stale brown blood
  • Irregular periods or heavy bleeding during menses
  • Abdominal cramps and back pain during menstruation

2. Adenomyosis

Adenomyosis is a condition in which the tissues of the lining of the uterus(endometrium) breaks through the muscle walls of the uterus (myometrium).

Symptoms of Adenomyosis

  • Blood clots during menstrual bleeding
  • Heavy menstrual bleeding with pain
  • Spotting between period
  • Pain during sex

3. Hormonal Imbalance

The menstrual cycle is regulated by two key hormones : estrogen and progesterone.

These two hormone are involved in how the uterine lining is thickened and expelled monthly.

When there is an imbalance between the two hormones,​ the lining of the womb can become very thick.

A very thick uterine lining results in excessive or heavy blood flow with clots.​

3. Heavy Menstrual Bleeding

Blood clots are common when you have heavy periods (menorrhagia). This is because the blood is expelled at a rate faster than what the anticoagulants can work on.

Heavy flow also causes blood to accumulate in the uterus(womb). Blood stagnation enables blood to clump together to form clotting.

4. Perimenopause

Perimenopause is the period of 4-10 years before a woman attains menopause( period cessation). During this stage the ovaries produce less estrogen.

One of the first signs that you are in the perimenopausal stage is having heavy period with blood clots during your monthly flow.

Your period may also become irregular and you can also experience unusual heavy bleeding from time to time.

5. Pcos

Polycystic ovary syndrome occurs when there are multiple cysts on the ovary.

It is caused by excessive androgen(male hormone) in women.

Women with PCOS are at a higher risk of blood clot if they are taking oral birth control pills

6. Birth Control pill

Women on the pill are more likely to have clots in their menstrual blood.

Women with heavy period are often prescribed birth control pills to slow down blood flow.

The artificial estrogen in birth control pills helps to form clots to slow down the flow of blood. And pills also shorten duration of the flow.

Not all women with heavy period gets treated with the use of birth control pills.

7. uterine Fibroids

Uterine fibroids are benign (non-cancerous) tumours that are found on the walls of the uterus.

Fibroids can interfere with the ability of the womb to fully contract. Blood clots are likely to form if this happens.

In general any uterine obstruction such as polyps or fibroid can in some cases cause blood clotting.

8. Miscarriage

During miscarriage women experience bleeding and cramping that are accompanied by blood clots with tissue.

If you suspect you are pregnant and you notice clots of blood on tissue or on your pant. See the doctor immediately.

What does big blood clot in period mean?

Is it normal to have big clot in your period? is a question we get asked.

You may be surprised and worried if you see a big blood clot in your menstrual period.

A big clot that is bigger than a quarter is usually a sign that there is an underlaying condition. You should seek a medical advice if this happens.

See a doctor if:

  • Your period is heavier than it would normally be, you are soaking your pad or tampon every 1 or 2 hours
  • You are passing large blood clot that is larger than quarter
  • You have a thick menstrual period
  • You have a prolonged menstrual bleeding that lasts more than 7 days

Signs of blood clot

Incase you are not sure of what a period clot is or what it looks and feel like. Here are the common symptoms:

  • ​A blood clot is a jelly-like mass of thick menstrual blood that comes out of your vagina during menstruation
  • Clots are common at the beginning of your period
  • Clots are clumpy and jelly like and they can be bright red or dark red in color

Pictures of Heavy Periods With Clot

What do blood clot look like?

Here is what a miscarriage blood clot look like:

What does clots with with tissue mean?

Wondering what the difference between passing blood clot or white tissue is?

The lining of the uterus(endometrium) consist of tissues which are expelled with blood during menstruation.

Also expelling tissues and blood clot is common during an early miscarriage.

Blood Clot larger than a quater in period is it normal?

No, a very large clot in period is not normal. See a doctor immediately.

Is Golf sized blood clot bad?

A golf sized clot in a period is bad. It means something is wrong. See your doctor immediately.

A normal size blood clot should be a dime size and not as big as a quarter.​

How To stop blood clots in period

Most times, you would not need to worry if you have a small clot in your period a few times.

To treat a period clot, you would need to find the underlaying issue causing it.

Most blood clots are caused by a heavy or strong period flow.​

Seek medical attention if you are new to clots in your menses.

Home remedies to prevent blood clot during menstruation

Fishoil : Fish oil is an anti coagulant which helps to prevent clumpy blood.

Vitamin E : Vitamin E is also an anti coagulant which helps to thin blood.

Menstrual Cups : Use menstrual cups to monitor the color, size and consistency of the clots you are experiencing.

Balance Hormones : An imbalance hormone is one of the causes of blood clotting. Take herbs and supplements that help to regulate your estrogen and progesterone hormone.

Top 12 Causes of Brown Mucus Discharge Before or After Period

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What is a brown Vaginal Discharge?

Brown mucus discharge means your vaginal discharge is mixed with some blood. A brown vaginal discharge can happen before period, after period, after sex, in early pregnancy and even during pregnancy.

For most part of your menstrual cycle your discharge should be creamy or whitish in color, odorless and not itchy.

Your vaginal discharges changes through out your menstrual cycle and it is a good indication of where you are in your cycle. And also tells what is going on in your body.

A brown discharge on your pants or when you wipe may be nothing to worry about or it could also mean a serious medical condition.

Possible Causes of Brown Stringy Discharge

Here are the possible reasons you may be experiencing a brownish discharge or brown spotting:

1. Perimenopause

Perimenopause is defined as the menopause transition phase.

It is the period of years before a woman attains menopause (period cessation).

It usually last for 4-8 years according to the American menopause society.

During the perimenopause phase, the ovaries don't function like they use to anymore.

This results in ​a decline in egg supply and egg quality.

A decline in normal ovary function also results in hormonal fluctuations and imbalances. Whereby too much estrogen and progesterone is produced or too little is produced.

Symptoms of perimenopause are:

  • Spotting between periods
  • Shortened menstrual cycle
  • Hot flashes
  • Breast tenderness
  • Brown vaginal discharge
  • Irregular periods

2. Implantation Bleeding

Implantation bleeding occurs when the fertilised egg attaches itself to the walls of the lining of the uterine lining.

Implantation usually happens 6-7 days after ovulation. In some women it can happen as 6 days after ovulation while for others it can happen as late as 12 days after ovulation.

Light brown or pink discharge before period is a sign of pregnancy.

When the embryo dissolves the endometrial tissues in order to implant itself some blood is shed.

Only 1 in 3 women notice implantation bleeding or spotting in early pregnancy.

3. Ovulation Spotting

Another time a normal brown mucus may be experienced is during ovulation.

Ovulation is the release of an egg from the ovary in order for the egg to be fertilised by a sperm.

During ovulation, a matured follicle bursts out from the ovary and it ruptures to release an egg.

The process of ovulation maybe accompanied by mild pain and bleeding.

When your cervical mucus mixes with this blood if forms a brown mucus.

4. Birth Control

Most women use birth controls to prevent unwanted pregnancies and also to deal with menstrual related problems.

Birth control pills contain artificial hormones estrogen and progesterone which disrupts natural hormone levels and production.

The common side effects of using hormonal birth control is abnormal vaginal spotting and bloody discharge when not on period.

After the first 3 months of starting a birth control, the irregular spotting and bleeding between period is expected to stop.

If the abnormal vaginal bleeding or discharge continues after 3 months on birth control continue see the doctor who may recommend an alternate birth control.

It is also important to note that missing or skip a pill can cause spotting or bloody mucus discharge.

5. Hormonal imbalances

The reproductive cycle of a woman is controlled by the estrogen and progesterone hormone.

Any imbalance between these two hormones can lead to brown spotting and discharge.

Women approaching menopause or women on hormonal birth control pills are often a victim of brown discharge caused by an imbalance of hormones.

6. PID (Pelvic Inflammatory Disease)

Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) is an infection of the upper female reproductive organs such as uterus, fallopian tubes, ovaries and the pelvis.

It is a disease that is caused by the introduction of bacteria from the vaginal or into the uterus or womb.

If sexually transmitted infections such as chlamydia and gonorrhoea are left untreated it can also develop into PID.

Symptoms of PID are:

  • Abnormal uterine bleeding and bloody discharge
  • Heavy vaginal discharge with odor
  • Bleeding during intercourse
  • Lower abdominal pain or cramping

7. Uterine Incapacity

Uterine incapacity occurs when during menstruation the uterus doesn't expel or shed all of its blood.

Due to this uterine incapacity, the left over blood is expelled some days after period. This could be accompanied by cramps and bloody mucus. like discharge.

8. Endometriosis

Endometriosis is a condition that occurs when the tissues in the lining of the uterus(womb) is found outside the uterus in other places such as the fallopian, ovaries and the pelvis.

Dark brown discharge before or after menses is on the symptoms of endometriosis.

Other symptoms are:

  • Painful periods (dysmenorrhea)
  • Pain during or after intercourse
  • Pain and discomfort during when urinating
  • Excessive bleeding
  • Fertility issues

9. Fibroids

Fibroids are non-cancerous growths found in the uterus. The main reason why women develop uterine fibroid is unknown.

Most women who have uterine fibroid do not know they do until they go for routine pelvic examination.

Brown discharge and cramps is one of the symptoms of uterine fibroids.

10. cervicitis (cervix inflammation)

The cervix is the neck of the womb. It connects the uterus to the vagina.

Cervix inflammation occurs when the cervix is irritated, infected by a bacteria, or there are injuries to the cells of the cervix.

Symptoms of cervicitis are:

  • Discharge (Grey or pale yellow)
  • Light bleeding​
  • Pain during sexual intercourse

11. Polyps

Either cervical polyps or uterine polyps can lead to bloody vaginal discharge.

Cervical Polyps are elongated but small tumors the grow on the cervix. Cervical polyps are not cancerous and do not lead to cervical cancer.

Symptoms of cervical polyps are : bleeding in between periods, yellow brown mucus, vaginal spotting.

Frequently asked questions

What does Brown Stringy Discharge in Early Pregnancy mean?

A pink or brown discharge in early weeks of pregnancy can be due to implantation bleeding.

Implantation bleeding happens around week 3 of pregnancy when the fertilised egg attaches itself to the lining of the uterus.​

Light bleeding or spotting is common in the first trimester.

Cervix irritation is also one of the reasons for blood spots during pregnancy.

Ectopic pregnancy is also one of the reasons for vaginal bleeding in early weeks of pregnancy.

Miscarriage is also another reason why bleeding occurs in early pregnancy.

Brown Stringy Discharge Before Period What it Means?

A brown cervical mucus discharge before menses could be due to implantation bleeding, hormonal fluctuations, an infection or a disease such as endometriosis.

Top 7 Causes Of Yellow Discharge Before Period

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Some women also experience yellow discharge after period or anytime in their menstrual cycle.

Some women also experience yellow discharge after period or anytime in their menstrual cycle.

Vaginal Bleeding Between Periods: What Does It Mean

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Vaginal bleeding a week after period could also be due to early ovulation. In the same way pink spotting instead of period may be implantation spotting which is an early sign of pregnancy.

While spotting after period with cramps is common, you should contact you doctor for a diagnosis.

Vaginal bleeding a week after period could also be due to early ovulation. In the same way pink spotting instead of period may be implantation spotting which is an early sign of pregnancy.

While spotting after period with cramps is common, you should contact you doctor for a diagnosis.

Cervical Mucus Before Period: What it looks and feels like

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Or what is the early pregnancy discharge before missed period.

also known as cervical fluid

creamy cervical mucus

Stretchy cervical mucus two weeks before period is a sign of ovulation.

Is Increased Cervical Mucus Before Expected Period A sign of Pregnancy?

An increase in cervical discharge is usually associated with an increase in level of estrogen hormone in the blood.

​Before Period, your level of estrogen hormone should be lower than progesterone hormone.

Progesterone hormone is responsible for thick, stick or creamy discharge in the second half of the menstrual cycle.​

But if pregnancy occurs, the estrogen and progesterone hormone will start to rise to support the new life.

The rise in these two hormones can cause your vaginal discharge to be excessive milky or creamy white.​

When to see the Doctor

If you have an abnormal discharge that has any of the following characteristics:

  • Itchy or foul smelling
  • Burning sensation while urinating​
  • Pain during intercourse​

Cervical mucus right before period starts is sticky if not pregnant. If pregnant or have hormonal imbalance problems you can have a creamy or milky white discharge.