Your period may be an ongoing mystery, with every month being a different story. One month, it may be a breeze, hardly creating any problems, and then the next month, it is a bear with a seriously heavy flow, blood clots, and cramping.
Some of the things that may change about your period from month to month are the flow rate, the duration, and the color of your period blood. You may also experience breakthrough bleeding, which is when you bleed outside of your normal menstrual cycle. What you experience each month during your menstrual cycle may be completely normal or may indicate an issue, but how do you know?
One thing to pay attention to is the color of your period blood, because it may give you a clue about your reproductive health. Some have asked, “Is light-colored blood bad in a period?” This is a tricky question to answer because it could be an indication that there is something abnormal going on or it could be perfectly normal.
Today we are going to touch on the many different colors that exist in the period spectrum, specifically about light-colored period blood, and what this pale hue might indicate.
What Does Light-Colored Period Blood Mean?
If you have ever wondered why your period blood is a particular shade, you are not alone. For most women, it can be pinkish, bright red, dark brown, and anywhere in between. Light-colored period blood may be perfectly normal, or it can be a signal from your body to pay attention because something is out of the ordinary. Some of the colors you may encounter include:
- Bright Red
- When your uterus begins to shed its lining, the blood that is expelled can be a bright red. Blood contains the mineral iron (Fe) which gives it a rich red color. This color indicates that this is new fresh blood, and it has not had time to oxidize or get darker.
- Dark Red
- This is blood that has been in the uterus or vagina for a longer time and has had a short amount of time to oxidize. It is normal for this color of blood to form clots, which are nothing to worry about unless they are larger than a quarter.
- Many women notice a pinkish color on the first day of their menstrual cycle. This is often the blood mixing with vaginal discharge which makes it look more pink than red. The discharge from your vagina is important because it helps keep your vaginal tissues hydrated while also protecting this delicate area against infection.
- A discharge of brown blood normally just means that this blood has been around for a while and has completely oxidized. When red blood is exposed to air, it begins to oxidize and the iron (Fe) content causes it to turn from a bright red to rust, then brown, and almost black. It normally signals the end of your period for that cycle.
- Light or Pale
- Light-colored period blood can be a result of a hormone imbalance and indicate low estrogen levels. This may cause breakthrough bleeding that shows up lighter in color than your normal period. A period that consists of very light-colored blood may also be an indication of anemia, which is a serious medical condition that requires attention.
Period blood can range from very pale to dark brown (almost black). Sometimes, changes in your menstrual cycle can mean you have a condition that requires intervention. If you notice a big difference in the color of your period or you have other symptoms like chronic pain, very heavy bleeding or your period lasts longer than seven days, it would be a good idea to schedule a visit with your doctor to rule out any issues or get the treatment you need.
Light-Colored Blood During Or Outside Your Cycle Can Indicate Anemia
Anemia is a chronic condition that develops when your body does not have enough healthy red blood cells to carry enough oxygen throughout your body for it to function properly. It makes you feel like you are running on a low battery, causing fatigue and weakness, and you have no energy. Anemia can cause other symptoms such as dizziness, cold extremities, headaches, a racing heart, paleness, or even death in extreme cases.
There are many underlying conditions that can trigger anemia, but one of the most common reasons for this in women is heavy menstrual bleeding. Losing a substantial amount of blood due to heavy and prolonged periods can be a symptom of uterine fibroids (myomas).
Uterine Fibroids Can Be An Indirect Cause Of Light-Colored Periods
Research has shown us that over seventy percent of women will have at least one uterine fibroid before they reach the age of fifty. Many do not even realize they have been affected because they show no symptoms or signs, while other women suffer from life-interrupting fibroid-related issues. These issues can include chronic pain, bloating, frequent urination, and significant bleeding during their menstrual cycles.
Uterine fibroids can grow within the uterine walls and affect the lining of the uterus. This is the tissue and blood that are discarded each month when there is no viable embryo to implant. When fibroids decide to hone in on this valuable area of real estate, they disrupt the natural cycle of things and can create excessive bleeding and make your menstrual cycle last longer than it should.
Losing large volumes of blood can quickly deplete your iron reserves and lead to Fe-deficiency anemia, followed by a host of serious symptoms. Your red blood cells may be exiting your body faster than your body can make new ones, which makes it more difficult for your body to produce the hemoglobin it needs to transport oxygen to all the tissues and organs that need it.
Women who have perpetually heavy periods that last a long time are at significant risk of developing iron-deficiency anemia. This can result in light-colored period blood because blood gets its rich red color because of the iron content. If the iron levels are depleted, it can result in a much lighter period of blood color.
If your monthly cycles are light in color or you are seeing light-colored blood clots during your period, you may have iron deficiency anemia. This is a serious condition, and you should seek medical assistance immediately. Your doctor can help locate the source of your blood loss and start treatment.
If your light-colored period blood and anemia are related to uterine fibroids, there is a 45-minute treatment that is available to you that is scientifically proven to work in most cases. It can be performed as an outpatient procedure without involving surgery or a hospital stay, but it can stop the relentless cycle of heavy bleeding. Uterine fibroid embolization (UFE) is done to block the blood vessels that supply the fibroids, so they shrink and die. By getting to the root cause of the heavy bleeding, UFE can get you on the road to recovery from anemia without having to resort to surgery, where there is a risk of losing even more blood. If you have encountered any period symptoms that you know are not normal for you or breakthrough bleeding that is coupled with abdominal pain, set up an appointment with your doctor.
If you are aware that you have myomas and they are causing your periods to be very heavy, last a long time, or your period blood is light in color, contact the Atlanta Fibroid Center. Our team of experts is ready to answer your questions and talk to you about the UFE treatment and the benefits it can provide. If your anemia is caused by fibroids, there is a 90% chance that UFE can get you back on track and restore your health.
Most patients find tremendous relief from fibroid symptoms within three months of having the UFE procedure. They get their lives and their health back, and they always tell us they wish they would have had the treatment sooner and not wasted all that time missing out on things and feeling awful. Set up an appointment with the first Georgia Fibroid Center Of Excellence, The Atlanta Fibroid Center, and become free of fibroids so you can live your best life.