What does your period blood tell you about your health [Photo Gallery]

Your menstrual blood provides important clues that alerts you as to what’s wrong down there! We also highlight treatment options…

Flip through our gallery or swipe left for more

While menstruation can be inconvenient and even painful, this vaginal bleeding in your monthly cycle is essential for you to conceive.


SmartParents expert and Gleneagles Hospital’s 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.


A typical menstrual cycle lasts between 21 and 35 days with bleeding lasting from four to seven days.

It’s also normal if you experience heavier bleeding during the first three day

s 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.


Scroll through the photo gallery to get answers!

Reddish blood with clots

CAUSES Your body may have low progesterone levels and high oestrogen levels . Dr Chong notes that larger clots may also indicate uterine growths like fibroids or adenomyosis or endometriosis in the womb.

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.

Pinkish-looking blood

CAUSES A hormonal imbalance — usually a lowered oestrogen level in your body — which could be triggered by bodyweight issues, Dr Chong says. Exercising excessively, sticking to a diet low on nutrients and chronic conditions like polycystic ovarian syndrome can also cause a pinkish discharge.

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.

Orangey-looking blood

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.

Watery-looking blood

CAUSES Anaemia ― 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.