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Worried about blood clots during periods? Here’s why they occur

Blood clots during period cycle are mostly a no matter of concern. However, in some cases, they can indicate a medical condition.
underwear hygiene
Blood clots are normal! Image courtesy: Shutterstock
Aayushi Gupta Updated: 17 May 2024, 12:22 pm IST
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Medically Reviewed by

It’s usual to experience a heavy blood flow at the beginning of a menstrual cycle. Due to this, we’ve all sometimes leaked through a pad or tampon or noticed blood clots during periods. Period blood clots are a common occurrence.

Passing large blood clots along with heavy blood bleeding may be a sign of something wrong. Read on to know what does it mean to have a period with blood clots.

Blood clots during a menstrual cycle

Before we start it is important to understand what do period blood cots look like. Bright red or burgundy in color, period blood clots resemble tiny pieces of a mashed up substance. They are mixed with blood. The frequency, amount and duration of a menstrual cycle varies from woman to woman and month to month. The same applies to other period symptoms such as cramping, blood clots, blood colour, or odour.

Experiencing a period with small blood clots can be normal and don’t need to be treated. However, seeing big blood clots from period can indicate underlying conditions like anaemia (iron deficiency). Also, if you are noticing lots of blood clots in period, you need to go to a doctor.

What are blood clots?

Blood cells, tissue from the lining of the uterus and proteins in the blood combine together to form menstrual clots. They are a part of the body’s defense mechanism to prevent excess blood from escaping.

blood clots during period
Heavy blood flow is a issue! Image courtesy: Shutterstock

Is blood clots during a menstrual cycle a cause of concern?

Menstrual clots are relatively common in the first two days of the menstrual cycle when the blood flow is typically heavy. “However, this natural monthly cycle becomes a cause of concern when you start passing large blood clots as it can be a sign that something is not normal,” says Gynaecologist and Obstetrician Dr Archana Dhawan Bajaj.

Are period blood clots normal?

Lookout for these symptoms to find when blood clots are not normal

  • Are your periods seem heavier than usual?
  • Are you unusually large blood clots?
  • Are you soaking through one tampon or pad every hour for several hours?

If you’re experiencing these symptoms, it is time to check with your doctor.

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Causes of blood clot during a period cycle

There are several conditions that can cause women to have heavy periods or abnormally large blood clots alongside heavy period blood. Your doctor can help determine if there is an underlying condition that is causing heavy bleeding.

1. Uterine obstructions

There can be some conditions such as fibroids, endometriosis and tumours that can cause extra pressure on the uterus walls. This can lead to the formation of clots as well as heavy periods. Blood can also coagulate in the uterine cavity, and later get released as clots.

2. Miscarriage

A miscarriage is the loss of a pregnancy. This can cause heavy bleeding as well as painful periods and clotting.

Some of the other causes include:

So, if you are concerned that your period may be heavier than usual and the amount of blood clots steadily rising, get in touch with your doctor for timely treatment.

blood clots during period
Always consult with doctor whenever you experience period problem. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

Normal vs abnormal clots

Clots while bleeding are common depending on the size that they are. If you have small clots, that may not be concerning. However, if the clots you are passing are large, that can be a health concern. Also, it depends on the frequency of the clots. If you are passing clots very often, then get in touch with your healthcare professional.

Do all the women experience blood clots?

A very simple answer to this question is NO. It really depends on the menstrual health of women.

Also, read: Heavy bleeding, blood clots and some other period issues that you should NEVER ignore

Complications of blood clots

If you are regularly passing blood clots, it can be a cause of concern. It can lead to iron deficiency in your body. You may experience symptoms such as fatigue, weakness, as well as shortness of breath. Make sure to consult your doctor as soon as possible.

Ways to manage blood clots and heavy bleeding

Finding out the cause behind abnormal heavy menstruation will allow a doctor to plan the course of treatment. “They may advise an iron supplement if they believe a woman is losing too much blood or is at risk of anemia,” says Dr Bajaj.

Besides medication, they may also suggest some actions at home such as, eating a healthy diet that includes iron-rich foods, regular physical exercise, staying hydrated and avoiding aspirin as it may worsen bleeding,

There are many natural remedies as well which you can try out to manage heavy bleeding. Read more about those here.

Summary

Blood clots are natural and can happen to anyone. However, one needs to be careful about their size and frequency in order to determine if they are a cause for concern or not. If you are passing big clots very often, then make sure to consult your doctor for treatment.

 

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About the Author

Aayushi Gupta is a health writer with a special interest in trends related to diet, fitness, beauty and intimate health. With around 2 years of experience in the wellness industry, she is connected to leading experts and doctors to provide our readers with factually correct information. ...Read More

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