Supervisor: Dr. Ayako Shibata, obstetrician and gynecologist
Menstruation is a monthly phenomenon that a woman's body experiences. However, it may be hard for some people to answer when asked, "Do you know the correct state of menstrual blood?"
This article will discuss correct menstrual flow, hypomenorrhea, and hypermenorrhea. We also give advice to those who are worried about menstruation. Please refer to it if you have any concerns or questions about menstruation.
What is menstrual blood?
In a nutshell, menstrual blood refers to the blood that is expelled from the body after the inner lining of the uterus peels off and becomes liquid (blood) due to the action of enzymes.
If you don't get pregnant before your period, the lining of the uterus will be expelled from the body, causing bleeding.
What can be predicted from the color and condition of menstrual blood
In the case of normal menstruation, if the color of the menstrual blood is bright red or dark red, it is normal. However, if you notice any of the following abnormalities in the color or condition of your menstrual blood, consult a specialist as soon as possible.
・Color of menstrual blood
If the blood is light and pink in color, it may be due to mucus from the lining of the cervix or vagina, which has made the blood pale.
The cause of pink menstrual blood is a decrease in the secretion of estrogen, a type of female hormone. You may also have some gynecological disease.
If you suddenly have a lot of pink menstrual blood during your period, you may have a miscarriage, so consult your doctor immediately.
If your period blood is orange, you may have an infection, such as a bacterial infection or a sexually transmitted disease.
At the same time as the menstrual blood approaches orange, the condition of the menstrual blood may be sticky or give off an odor, so in such cases, it is recommended to see a medical institution immediately.
If your menstrual blood is greyish, you likely have Candida vaginitis. There is a possibility of miscarriage, so please consult your doctor.
・Condition of menstrual blood
If your menstrual cycle is disturbed or you have some gynecological disease, you may notice changes in your menstrual flow.
A blood clot that looks like a liver
A typical change in the state of menstrual blood is that menstrual blood clots like a raw liver and is discharged. In such cases, you might have heavy menstrual periods and have gynecological conditions such as endometriosis, uterine fibroids, or adenomyosis uteri.
Watery menstrual blood
If your menstrual blood is watery, you may be approaching menopause. However, if you see a watery vaginal discharge after menopause, you should be careful, as there may be possibly a tumor in your ovaries.
About hypermenorrhea and hypomenorrhea
The amount of menstrual blood discharged during menstruation varies from person to person, but on average it is said to be about 50 to 120 ml.
If you pass more than 150ml of blood during one period, you may have hypermenorrhea. Gynecological diseases such as uterine fibroids, endometriosis, and adenomyosis are the causes of hypermenorrhea.
On the other hand, if the amount of menstrual blood discharged during one period is less than 20ml, it may be hypomenorrhea. Even if you have hypomenorrhea, if you have enough bleeding for 3 days or more, there is often no need to worry. However, if the menstrual cycle is irregular, it may be due to irregular menstruation. Causes include thyroid and female hormone abnormalities, anovulatory cycles, and uterine/ovarian disease.
What to do if you have period anxiety
The amount, color, and condition of menstrual blood seen during menstruation are not always constant. The menstrual cycle often changes from month to month.
However, if the period of menstruation is too long, such as 10 days, or if there is no menstruation for more than 3 months, caution is required.
In addition, if the amount of menstrual blood is too much or too little if the menstrual blood is discharged in lumps, or if there is a clear change in the color of the menstrual blood, consult an obstetrician and gynecologist immediately.
If left unchecked on your own, there is a possibility that some kind of gynecological disease may be hidden or the symptoms may progress. If you have any concerns about your period, consult a professional.
Dr. Shibata Ayako
Yodogawa Christian Hospital Obstetrics and Gynecology Specialist, Perinatal Maternal and Fetal Specialist
After graduating from Gunma University School of Medicine in 2011, he underwent initial training in Okinawa and has been in his current position since 2013. While conducting prenatal checkups and gynecological outpatient care, she is mainly active in disseminating information and holding seminars on women's health.
Book: Women's Emergency Outpatient Diagnosis Now! (Chugai Igakusha, 2017), Obstetrics and Gynecology Pocket Guide (Kinpodo, 2020). Women's Medical Essence 100 (Nippon Medical News, 2021)