It can be worrying to notice blood clots during your period.
They might raise a flurry of questions, like what are period blood clots? Should I be worried? What if the blood clots are big? When should I call my doctor?
Passing small blood clots during menstruation can be nothing to worry about.
But on the flip side, regularly passing clots or large clots can also be a sign that something needs to be checked up.
Here’s what you need to know.
In this article: 📝
- What causes blood clots during your period?
- When should you be concerned about blood clots in your period?
- What do large blood clots during your period mean?
- Passing blood clots during your period — the final word
What causes blood clots during your period?
During your period, hormones trigger your womb to shed its lining.
And yep, this can be a bloody process.
Blood platelets, the parts of our blood that cause clotting, kick into gear to prevent us from losing too much blood.
If you scrape your knee, your body enacts a similar clotting process, ensuring that you don’t lose more of that red magic than you need to.
Thank goodness our bodies have these built-in defense mechanisms!
You may notice jelly-like blood clots during your period—AKA menstrual clots.
These clumps are a combo of blood cells, proteins, and tissue from the uterus lining and are often not a cause for concern.
It’s more common to find menstrual clots when your flow is heaviest, usually during the first two days of your period.
Their color can vary from bright red to darker red or even brownish later in the period.
Towards the end of your period, you might notice darker clots as the blood is older and is taking more time to leave your body.
When should you be concerned about blood clots in your period?
In many cases, blood clots are a part of the period package. But there are instances where it’s important to seek medical advice.
If your bleeding is heavier than usual, it’s a good idea to contact your doctor — especially if you experience significant pain.
Heavy menstrual bleeding is called menorrhagia.
The medical guidelines are that bleeding is considered ‘heavy’ when you have to change your tampon or pad less than every two hours, pass large clots, or if you’ve been bleeding for more than seven days.
If this is what you are experiencing, it’s worth checking in with your healthcare provider.
Not only can it get in the way of your daily life, but heavy bleeding can also lead to anemia or be a sign of other health problems.
What do large blood clots during your period mean?
You might be wondering, how big is too big?
While this might vary from person to person, blood clots that are smaller than the size of a quarter are generally considered within the normal range.
But if you pass blood clots roughly the size of a golf ball, it’s worth checking in with your doctor.
But it’s not only about the size of the clot. If you are in significant pain or you are passing clots frequently, it’s worth getting checked out.
There are a number of conditions that could be responsible for causing big period clots and related symptoms.
Some of these are:
- Endometriosis, where the endometrial tissue that lines the uterus is found outside it
- Adenomyosis, where that same endometrial tissue grows in the muscle of the uterus
- Uterine fibroids, where tiny tumors grow in the lining of the uterus
- Clotting disorders: Any blood disorder interfering with the clotting pathway can interfere with your periods
Hormonal imbalances and bleeding disorders can also get in the way of the healthy functioning of your reproductive organs.
Passing blood clots during your period — the final word
If your period is heavier than usual and you are passing big blood clots—especially if you are experiencing other symptoms—it’s definitely worth speaking to your healthcare professional.
If you’re concerned about whether your clots are normal or not, it’s probably best to err on the side of caution.
Sometimes a little reassurance is all you need to put your mind at ease.
And if you need some support along the way, check in with your Peanut community.
You don’t have to navigate this alone.