What Is A “Period Or Menstruation?
A girl or a woman sheds blood from her vagina every month for 4 to 5 days called menstruation or period or menses. It is a normal process that happens in all women once they enter their reproductive age, starting at the age of 11 to 13 years.
Why Does Period Happen?
Menses or menstruation happen every month and the cycle differs in each woman. It may be a 28-day cycle in one or a 30-day cycle in another woman. So why does this happen and that too every month?
It is a natural process and having periods every month means all is okay. Once menarche starts, every month there is thickening of the endometrial lining of uterus to help fertilized egg embed and continue the process of embryo development if egg is fertilized by sperm. This lining sheds every month as menses or period when the egg is not fertilized by the sperm. If the egg is fertilized, then this lining is not shed as the egg becomes an embryo after fertilization with the sperm and later on develops into a fetus which is protected by this endometrial lining, hence period does not occur when pregnancy starts up to 9 months till the baby is born and later the lining is shed again. As the lining detaches, it is shed as menses or period and it contains small amount of blood and endometrium.
Some Information About Menses Or Periods
- Occurs in females
- Start of menstruation is called as menarche
- Begins from age 8 to 15 years
- Occurs every month for a period of 5-7 days
- Bleeding occurs from vagina, blood is shed from the lining of uterus called “endothelium”
- Tampons, pads or menstrual cups used during this time to prevent from staining of clothes and for hygiene and comfort
- It is the body’s way of preparing for a baby every month, which sheds when the egg is not fertilized.
What Are Blood Clots During Period?
At the time of menses, the lining of the uterus is shed and it comes out of the vagina. This lining consists of blood and endothelium. When blood comes out, anticoagulants are released which causes clots in the blood, a natural way of your body controlling bleeding. Blood clots are normal during periods. These come out as blobs of blood from the vagina. But, if these are more in quantity, then visit your doctor to get it checked.
Blood Clots Normal During Periods When They Are
- Smaller in quantity
- Occur at the beginning of periods
- Stops after 3-5 days
- Monthly almost same quantity occurs
Blood Clots May Be Abnormal When
- They are larger in quantity
- These occur frequently and are painful with cramps
- Menses are heavier than usual and last longer
Abnormal Blood Clots May Be Due To
- Size of your uterus – if cavity of uterus is large (after multiple pregnancies), it leads to pooling of menstrual blood and clot formation
- The diameter of your cervical canal
- Presence of any adhesions or polyps (small growths in uterus)
- The ability of your uterine muscles to contract
- Adenomyosis (inner lining of uterus breaks through the muscle wall of the uterus causing cramps and bloating also)
- Obstruction of outflow due to block, less production of estrogen hormone, like in menopause (stopping of periods after late 40s). The absence of stimulation from estrogen causes the atrophy or shrinkage of cervical canal leading to restriction of blood flow and formation of clots
- Problem pregnancies – ectopic, miscarriages may all lead to abnormal clotting
- Endometriosis – a condition in which endometrial tissue grows outside the uterus causing pelvic pain and heavy clots
- Fibroids – noncancerous muscular tumors in the uterine wall causing blood clots, low back pain and fertility issues
- Cancerous tumors – rare tumors or uterus and cervix lead to heavy menstrual bleeding and clots
- Hormonal imbalance can lead to change in thickness of blood clots and frequency and also cause irregular periods.
Read More On How To Make Your Periods Come Faster Naturally?
When Do You Need To Visit Your Doctor For Blood Clots?
There is no need to be alarmed after reading the long list of conditions where clots are formed. It is to inform you about when the blood clots can indicate an underlying condition.
Most of the time, the clots during your periods are normal. You know better every month how is the bleeding, how many days your periods last, the quantity of blood clots that occur and the regularity of your periods. Women normally keep record the date the periods occur every month. If you find one month that you are having periods heavier than normal with more blood clots, observe the next month. Observe whether you also have cramps, pelvic pain or bloating along with this. If it happens every month and is irregular, painful and heavy, you need to consult your doctor to find out if there is any underlying condition that is causing the clots to be more in frequency.
Read More On Blood Clots During Period
Here Is A List Of Things To Observe When You Find The Blood Clots Are Different Than Usual
- Frequency of your periods – whether it has become irregular consistently
- The bleeding quantity – whether it is heavier than usual, how many pads you are soaking every hour
- The size of the blood clots during your periods – whether they are bigger than usual
- The time period these clots last – whether they last longer than before
- Associated symptoms with clots – pelvic pain, lower abdominal pain and discomfort, low back pain, pain after intercourse etc.
Visit your doctor immediately if you have any of the above symptoms, as if left untreated, it may even lead to infertility. All in all, blood clots are normal during your periods, but as discussed above, if they are any different than usual, consulting your doctor and getting treated the underlying condition will help alleviate this.