Have you ever looked down at your underwear and thought — wtf, is that normal?! Not only is another pair of cute underwear ruined, but the unexpected colour of the bloodstain can cause some major anxiety.
From super staining bright red, to dark and clotty, i have often wondered — what the hell does this all actually mean? we got you. it’s time to officially decode the period blood rainbow.
Bright red blood
Kudos babe, you’re having a healthy period! Bright red blood indicates a fresh and steady flow. Most people find that they will most often bleed like this, with their period darkening a little as it continues.
Dark brown or dark red blood
No stress here - this is still very normal! blood may appear dark brown or red at the very beginning or end of a period due to oxidation. Slightly older blood has time to oxidize, thus turning a darker red or brown.
*insert joke about only on wednesdays here*
A light-ish pink colour can appear when blood mixes with cervical fluids. But rest assured, it’s not something to worry about! using hormonal birth control can lower your estrogen levels, which can lead to a lighter flow with a pinkish hue during periods.
Other causes may arise from having small tears in the vagina or cervix from having sex. This can sometimes mix with vaginal fluid and look like a pinkish discharge. Again, most of the time, this is pretty common and is nothing to see a doctor about. However, if this does persist longer than your regular period and/or is accompanied by other symptoms (foul smell, itchiness, fever), it’s best to seek advice from your doctor.
*alert* orange discharge or blood can indicate an infection. Telltale signs include vaginal itching, discomfort or a funky smell. with or without these symptoms, it’s best to contact your doctor if your discharge turns orange.
Okay babes, if your discharge or period is coming out grey, it is definitely time to make that doctor's call. Grey discharge can often be a sign of an imbalance of harmful and beneficial bacteria. Make a note of any other symptoms, including itching around the vagina, a funny smell or burning pee.
Take a deep breath — doctors can easily treat these conditions with antibiotics, so get that checked up asap!
The truth is periods come in all shades, shapes and forms. every body is different and as a result, your period will only ever be normal for you. This is why we’re such huge advocates of tracking your period. Understanding your body’s nuances and picking up on your own patterns is the easiest way to know if something has gone awry.
Remember - it always helps to know your body when it comes to your period. you are your own best advocate. So if something is concerning you, insist on a check-up. And take your notes! whether it’s a detailed drawing, scrawled notes on a piece of toilet paper or even a photo, the more information a doctor has, the better it is for your vagina!
Blessed bleeding, babes.
Image credit: Flower Power by doan_ly