Worried about blood clots during periods? Here’s why they occur
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 our periods. But are blood clots making you a little more worried? Do not be alarmed. Passing blood clots throughout the monthly cycle is a common occurrence. But if you’re wondering when you should be worried about it, come let us try and help you understand.
Passing large blood clots along with heavy blood bleeding may be a sign of something wrong.
Blood clots during a menstrual cycle
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. Even though occasional blood clots are normal and don’t need to be treated, they sometimes indicate underlying conditions like anaemia (iron deficiency).
Dr Archana Dhawan Bajaj, Gynaecologist, Obstetrician and IVF Expert, Nurture Clinic, told Health Shots about period blood clots, what they mean and when you need to see 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.
Is blood clots during a menstrual cycle a cause of concern?
Bajaj says, “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.”
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.
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.
Some of the causes include:
- Uterine polyps
- Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS)
- Thyroid disease
- Bleeding disorder
- Cancer of the cervix or uterus
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.
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.
Treatment for heavy bleeding and blood clots during a period cycle
Finding out the cause behind abnormal heavy menstruation will allow a doctor to plan the course of treatment. Bajaj says, “They may advise an iron supplement if they believe a woman is losing too much blood or is at risk of anemia. 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.”