Why your period colour ranges from brown to black

Menstruation is a natural biological process, and variations in the colour of menstrual blood can be normal, often reflecting changes in flow and the duration the blood has spent in the uterus.

Here’s an overview of what different colours might indicate:

Bright red blood is typically seen at the start of your period and indicates fresh blood that is flowing quickly from your uterus. This is considered the “standard” colour of menstrual blood.

Dark red or brown blood is usually older blood, which has taken longer to exit your uterus. It’s most commonly seen at the end of the period but can also appear at the beginning or during periods of lighter flow. This colour is also perfectly normal.

However, if you consistently see pink blood and have a lighter-than-usual flow, it could be worth discussing with a healthcare provider to rule out any underlying issues like hormonal imbalances.

Grey discharge or menstrual blood is less common and can be a cause for concern. It may indicate an infection or miscarriage, especially if accompanied by a strong odour or other symptoms like fever or cramping. If you notice gray discharge, it’s advisable to see a healthcare provider for evaluation.

Orange menstrual blood can sometimes appear, often the result of blood mixing with fluids in the cervix, similar to pink-coloured blood.

Like pink blood, if it’s a one-time occurrence, it may not be a concern, but if it happens regularly or with other symptoms like an unusual odour or itching, it’s good to consult a healthcare provider.

This is most commonly seen at the very beginning or end of your menstruation when the flow is slowest. The blood oxidizes and darkens as it takes longer to exit your body.

However, black menstrual blood can occasionally indicate more serious health issues. If it’s accompanied by other symptoms such as heavy bleeding, severe pelvic pain, or an unusual odour, it could suggest the presence of uterine fibroids, endometrial or cervical lesions, or other medical conditions.

Variations in the colour of menstrual blood are typically normal and reflect how quickly the blood is flowing or how long it has been present in the uterus. Most colour changes are part of a normal cycle.

However, if you experience significant changes in colour, especially if accompanied by other symptoms like pain, odour, or unusual discharge, it’s important to seek medical advice to ensure there are no underlying health issues.