Spotted black period blood? These are the 5 culprits behind it

The colour of your period blood can be different. If you happen to spot black period blood, these could be the 5 reasons behind it!
Period blood varies in colour. Image courtesy: Shutterstock
Aayushi Gupta Updated on: 13 October 2021, 15:24 pm IST

The colour of your period blood can be a good indicator of your health. Before you panic, it’s normal for period blood to be a colour that isn’t red. For example, it can be dark red or brown, pink, grey, and black. A lot of women worry when they see their period blood turning black. 

Before we learn more about black period blood, let’s understand why period varies in colour!

“A woman’s period blood can change in colour and texture from month to month or even during a single period due to hormonal changes, as well as a person’s diet, lifestyle, age, and environment. However, infections, pregnancy, and, in rare cases, cervical cancer, can cause unusual blood colour or irregular bleeding as well,” shared Dr Surabhi Siddhartha, consultant obstetrician, and gynecologist, Motherhood Hospital, Kharghar, Mumbai, with HealthShots.

Black, brown, or red… this is what your period blood colour is saying about your health. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

According to Dr Siddhartha, there are numerous reasons behind thIS dark, black colour of period blood. 

Here’s what causes period blood to be black in colour
1. Start or the end of the periods

In many cases, the variation from red to black has something to do with the flow and time the blood has been in the uterus. Dr Siddhartha says, “When you spot black period blood, it generally suggests that your periods have just begun or ended. It will take a longer time to leave the body and turn black.”

2. Presence of foreign objects in the vagina

Black period blood points to the presence of something stuck inside the vagina. If you notice black blood, it can be due to foreign objects like a tampon, or contraceptive devices lodged in the vagina. “This can be problematic for the vagina and cause infection. Apart from black period blood, you may see symptoms like odour or vaginal discharge,” says Dr Siddhartha. 

3. Cervical cancer

Yes, black blood along with irregular bleeding after sex or even between periods can indicate cervical cancer. Other tell-tale signs of advanced stages of cervical cancer include fatigue, weight loss, painful intercourse, longer or heavier periods, difficulty urination, and pelvic pain. 

Cervical cancer is one of the biggest threats for women. Image courtesy: Shutterstock
4. Miscarriage

Bleeding during miscarriage can appear brown to black in colour. It can alternate between light and heavy or even stop temporarily, before starting again. “It can occur within the first 20 weeks of pregnancy. Dark red spotting is often confused with black period blood, and can sometimes indicate an early miscarriage. So, be vigilant and seek help,” says Dr Siddhartha.

Also, read: Does your period blood smell foul? An ob-gyn tells you all about it

5. Sexually transmitted infections

Black period blood can also be linked with sexually transmitted infections (STIs) like chlamydia and gonorrhea.

When to see a doctor for black period blood?

If black period blood is accompanied by unusual vaginal discharge, foul smell and itching, consult a doctor immediately, says Dr Siddhartha.

About the Author
Aayushi Gupta

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.

Period Tracker

Track your menstrual cycle using the
HealthShots Period Tracker.

Track Period