SmartParents expert and consultant ob-gyn, Dr Christopher Chong, explains that menstruation happens every month when the lining of a woman’s womb is shed. This process will continue to happen as long as your egg is not fertilised.
It’s also normal if you experience heavier bleeding during the first three days of your period, says Dr Chong. “Most women will lose about 30 to 40ml of blood during each cycle and anything more than 80ml of blood is classed as heavy menses.”
The colour of the blood may also change as your menstrual cycle progresses. It’ll appear brighter red at the start of your period where the freshest part of your lining is being flushed out. Subsequently, your discharge will turn a darker shade of red progressively.
However, Dr Chong states that it is important for you to monitor your period blood and to consult a doctor immediately if anything looks less than normal. “It’s always safer to have an early assessment even through most of the time the condition isn’t abnormal.” Dr Chong offers advice on what may cause your discharge to change its colour and what to do about it.
TREATMENT As most women do not experience blood clots during their menses, talk to your doctor, shares Dr Chong. Growths in the womb are known to decrease your fertility and cause heavy and painful menses. So, it’s best to get it checked and resolved by a trained medical professional as soon as possible.
TREATMENT Depending on its frequency and root causes, your doc may prescribe a course of antibiotics or hormone medication to resolve this issue, he adds.
CAUSES If this form of discharge is accompanied by an unusual smell and severe pain, Dr Chong says it may mean you have a sexually-transmitted disease (STDs) as well as other infections, too.
TREATMENT See your doctor immediately, so that he can diagnose what kind of infection you’re suffering from, as well as advise you on your treatment options.
CAUSESAnaemia ― especially if your menstrual discharge appears diluted and whiteish and gets progressively lighter and lighter in colour as your menstrual cycle progresses.
TREATMENT Ask your doctor to run tests for anaemia. If so, Dr Chong says, you’ll usually be placed a course of oral or intravenous medication and supplements, depending on the severity of the condition.
Mix of grey- and red-looking blood
CAUSES It could be a possible sign of an STD, especially if it is accompanied by a foul odour. Dr Chong says that miscarriage might be another reason why your period blood looks like this.
TREATMENT Check with your gynae, who will run tests to check on the possible cause of this unusual-looking discharge, after which he’ll be able to advise you on how he plans to treat it.
Dark brown (similar to the colour of dried blood), blue or purple discharge
CAUSES As older bits of uterine lining and blood slowly make their way out of your body, the discharge would have oxidised, resulting in the darker colour. Otherwise, another possible cause is the presence of higher oestrogen levels in your body.
TREATMENT Medication will be prescribed to regulate your body’s hormone levels. If the root cause isn’t determined, Dr Chong says your gynae will give you meds to treat the symptoms.