What are Period Blood Clots?
Period blood clots or menstrual blood clots are basically your body’s defence mechanism against losing too much blood during periods. Here’s a quick glance at what’s happening inside your body almost every month:
Tissues start to line themselves up inside the walls of your uterus or more commonly known as the womb. They have a very special role to play. By doing this, they are preparing a cosy and comfortable place for the baby to live in during the nine months of the pregnancy. Yes! Every time you get a period is because your body was all set to have a baby. Seems a little excessive, right? All that preparation, every single month! Your body craves babies more than you crave pizza on a cheat day. Needless to say, that is the biological construct of a woman’s body.
But you, you are a hard nut to crack! Despite your body throwing pheromones in every direction possible, you have either been having dry spells or using protection rigorously (as you should when you’re trying not to catch STDs or worse, babies).
Naturally, your body is not happy about it. The uterus starts to contract to shed its lining. The blood vessels inside the uterus start to bleed. This bleeding goes out of your body through the vagina and is what we call chums, shark week, aunt flo and other cute nicknames. Plasma and platelets work together to form clots, lest the uterus might take its revenge a bit too far. Clots of plasma and platelets mix with the liquid blood. This is what gives these clots their red colour.
The clots mix with the liquid blood and flow out of the body in the form of menstrual bleeding.
Normal Period Blood Clots
It is completely normal to pass blood clots during period days. Blood clots happen when the blood remains put in its place for a long time. It mixes with the plasma and the platelets and forms blobs of blood, overtime it turns into clots. Clotting of period blood is okay but not when it happens too much which is usually an indication of a heavier flow. If this is the case for you, you might want to visit a doctor just to be sure that things are okay.
How many blood clots are normal during period?
Unfortunately, there isn’t an exact number of blood clots that we can quote are ‘abnormal’. It depends on the size and frequency of the blood cots you are passing.
Abnormal Period Blood Clots
Passing blood clots is normal until you start feeling pain when it happens. When you pass really large blood clots during period, your cervix has to expand to let them through. This is what might be causing you pain during heavy menstrual bleeding. If you’re passing blood clots larger than ₹10 every couple of hours, run to your ob-gyn ASAP!
What causes blood clots during periods?
You might just be a heavy bleeder or your blood clots during menstruation might be an indication of an underlying condition. Some of these are as follows:
- Thyroid disease – If your thyroid gland is not working properly, it could create reproductive issues for you as well. This is because the thyroid gland is responsible for making and distributing different hormones throughout your body.
- Uterine polyps and fibroids – A uterine obstruction such as a polyp or fibroid too can cause heavy bleeding along with pain and blood clots. Polyps that grow in the cervix or the uterine lining can be a reason for heavy clotting.
- Endometriosis - Endometriosis happens when tissues that are supposed to grow inside the uterine lining start growing elsewhere such as the fallopian tubes. It can lead to you experiencing heavy blood clots, severe cramps and abdominal pain.
- PCOS – PCOS or polycystic ovarian syndrome is a female hormonal disorder. Heavy menstrual bleeding along with passing huge blood clots is often a warning sign of PCOS. This happens because women who suffer from PCOS often go months without a period. The uterine lining keeps building up a until you finally get your period.
- Miscarriage – You don’t experience periods at all during the nine months of your pregnancy. Instead, the tissues keep building up and lining the walls of your vagina, creating a cocoon of warmth and protection for the growing baby. Women who experience a miscarriage might find really heavy blood clots in the blood, which usually is an indication of a miscarriage. The uterine tissues that had been building up and had thickened during the months of pregnancy come out along with the blood. If you’re pregnant and see blood in your knickers, seek emergency medical help immediately.
- Ectopic pregnancy – If you’re pregnant and experiencing heavy blood clots in menstruation, seek emergency medical support immediately. Chances are that you might be having a miscarriage or an ectopic pregnancy, both fatal.
Other conditions that may be a reason of clots in periods are cancer in your uterus or cervix, taking birth control pills and other medications.
You should see a doctor if you notice changes in the size and frequency of blood clots you normally pass during periods. After a few questions and a pelvic exam, your doctor might prescribe the following to deal with blood clots along with heavy menstrual bleeding:
- Contraceptives (birth control)
- Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
- Tranexamic acid
- Hormonal therapy
- Antifibrinolytic medicine
Surgery is usually the last resort doctors suggest when nothing else seems to be working.
So, are blood clots normal during period? Absolutely! But, if you are unsure about your situation, give your ob-gyn a visit anyway! Being sure doesn’t hurt at all. :)
If you have noticed blood clots lurking on the surface of your pad, you need better pads! Period. Try RIO Pads because they:
- Are made to take gushes of liquid blood and also suck in blood clots.
- Are 3X more absorbent than regular pads.
- Are shaped like an hourglass to catch any outflow of blood from the front or the back.
- Contain side leak guards to prevent side leak action.
- Contain Japanese SAP, that instantly locks liquid in gel form.
- Contain an anti-bacterial layer.
- Are treated with aloe and jojoba extracts to keep your skin soft and free of rashes and irritation.
With RIO, better your periods!