Experiencing changes in menstrual flow is a common occurrence for many women, and small blood clots can be a part of this. These mysterious occurrences can leave us wondering what’s normal and when to be concerned.
Today we will explore the potential causes of small blood clots both during and outside of your period and provide insights on potential causes and when it might be time to seek medical attention. Next, we’re delving into some frequently asked questions (FAQs) about small blood clots and other menstrual cycle concerns.
Small Blood Clots During Your Period: Normal or Not?
During your menstrual cycle, it’s generally normal to pass small blood clots. These clots are usually a result of the natural blood-thickening process that occurs when blood flow is slow.
During your period, the cells of the endometrium that make up the lining of the uterus gently detach and are naturally released from the body. The body responds by releasing proteins, which initiate the coagulation of blood in the uterus, which helps to stop extended bleeding in the blood vessels of the uterine lining. Some relatively normal or common factors that can influence the formation of blood clots include:
- Flow Intensity: Heavier menstrual flow can increase the likelihood of clot formation.
- Menstrual Blood Characteristics: The consistency and color of menstrual blood can affect clot formation.
Small period blood clots are quite typical; however, there are instances where they could be a sign of an underlying issue. If you observe significant variations in the quantity and size of the clots during your period, it may indicate a more serious issue.
Some causes that might result in blood clots include:
- Fibroids: Uterine fibroids can cause heavy bleeding and clot formation;
- Endometriosis: This condition may lead to heavier periods with clots;
- Adenomyosis: Similar to endometriosis, adenomyosis can result in clot formation;
- Hormonal Imbalances: Changes in hormone levels can impact the thickness of your uterine lining.
Small Blood Clots Between Periods: When to Worry
Small blood clots occurring between periods can be more concerning, as they are less expected than during menstruation. Causes of small blood clots between periods may include:
- Implantation Bleeding
- In early pregnancy, some women experience implantation bleeding, which can resemble small blood clots. This is typically harmless but should be discussed with your doctor.
- Hormonal Changes
- Fluctuations in hormones due to factors like birth control or menopause can lead to irregular bleeding, including clot formation.
- Sexually transmitted infections or other infections of the reproductive organs can cause bleeding and clotting outside of menstruation.
- Uterine or cervical polyps may create bleeding between periods and small clots in period blood. PCOS, also known as polycystic ovarian syndrome, can provide challenges in the process of becoming pregnant and can result in irregular menstrual flow and passing small blood clots.
- Birth Control
- When starting a new birth control pill or an IUD, it’s common to experience some bleeding during the first 6 months, which may also include passing small clots. This is a normal part of the adjustment period but should not persist indefinitely. Additionally, breakthrough bleeding and passing clots may result from using the morning-after pill. Typically, there’s no need to consult your doctor under normal circumstances. If bleeding persists for more than a week, or if you are soaking a pad or tampon after only an hour or two, passing large clots (bigger than a quarter), getting dizzy, or experiencing significant abdominal pain, you should contact your doctor.
- In rare cases, breakthrough bleeding and passing blood clots can be signs of uterine or cervical cancer. Other Medical Conditions: A very heavy flow and clotting can also be caused by other medical disorders, such as hypothyroidism, liver illness, or chronic renal disease.
When to Seek Medical Attention
While small blood clots during your period are often normal, there are instances when you should consider seeking medical attention:
- Excessive Clotting
- If you’re passing extremely big clots (over the size of a quarter) or soaking through your sanitary protection pretty fast (less than 2 hours) it is probably time to get in touch with your doctor to identify the cause.
- Severe Pain
- If you have severe abdominal or pelvic pain accompanied by clotting, it could be indicative of an issue like endometriosis, fibroids, or adenomyosis.
- Bleeding Between Periods
- If you’re experiencing unexpected bleeding or clotting between periods, especially if it’s persistent or accompanied by pain or other unusual symptoms, consult your healthcare provider.
FAQs About Small Blood Clots And Other Concerns During Your Menstrual Cycle
Is it normal to have watery period blood with small clots?
“Watery” period blood with small clots can be normal for some individuals and may not necessarily indicate a health issue. Menstrual blood can vary in consistency and color from one person to another and even from one period to another. Here are some factors that can influence the texture and appearance of menstrual blood:
- Hormonal Fluctuations:
- The consistency of menstrual blood can be influenced by hormonal changes throughout your menstrual cycle. During the start of your period, it’s common for the blood to have a slightly thicker consistency. As your period continues, you may notice that the blood becomes lighter and more watery.
- Hydration Levels:
- The texture of your menstrual blood might be affected by your general level of hydration. When you’re well hydrated, your bodily fluids tend to have a thinner, fluid-like consistency. On the other hand, if you’re dehydrated, they can become thicker.
- Blood Flow Rate:
- The speed of blood flow can influence the presence of clots. Slower blood flow can lead to the formation of small clots as blood has more time to coagulate.
- Other Conditions:
- In some cases, underlying health conditions like uterine fibroids, endometriosis, or hormonal imbalances can affect the texture and flow of menstrual blood. It is important to pay attention to any significant changes in your menstrual patterns. If you notice unusual or concerning symptoms, consult with a doctor so they can investigate any underlying conditions that may require treatment.
I am passing small blood clots but no period blood at this time; should I be worried?
It can be unsettling to be passing small blood clots when you are not on your period. While this is not cause for immediate alarm, it is one of those symptoms that many conditions share, so you should speak with your preferred medical provider to rule out anything serious. They can help figure out what might be causing this issue and provide appropriate guidance or treatment if needed.
What could be causing a sudden gush of blood? I’m not on my period and have no pain.
A sudden gush of blood outside of your regular menstrual cycle, without accompanying pain, can be disconcerting but may not always indicate a serious issue. There are several potential reasons for this occurrence, such as hormonal fluctuations, breakthrough bleeding, or hormonal birth control methods like pills, implants, or intrauterine devices (IUDs). However, if this happens repeatedly or is accompanied by other unusual symptoms, it’s time to consult with your doctor to rule out any underlying health conditions.
Pay Attention To Your Cycle
It is important to understand that small blood clots during your period can be a normal occurrence within your personal cycle. However, it’s always a good idea to stay aware of any changes in your period patterns and discuss them with your OB-GYN.
Knowing the causes of small blood clots can assist you in distinguishing between what’s normal and when it could indicate an underlying health concern that needs to be addressed. Not only that, but most women do not talk casually to their friends or family about their menstrual cycles, so often they do not know that what they are experiencing is not normal. If you are dealing with chronic heavy bleeding and severe pain every month during your period, this is not normal, and you should talk to your doctor.
Contact The Atlanta Fibroid Center For Help!
If you are diagnosed with a condition such as uterine fibroids or adenomyosis, you may find relief for your symptoms through a non-surgical procedure called uterine fibroid embolization (UFE). Drs. John Lipman and R. Mitchell Ermentrout with The Atlanta Fibroid Center have helped countless numbers of women eliminate their monthly pain and suffering with the help of UFE.
This 45-minute procedure impedes the blood flow to the fibroids, so they can no longer grow or live. They become softer and smaller and eventually die, so they cannot cause future issues. This is all done as an outpatient procedure, and you go home with just one bandage.
UFE has many advantages over surgery, the biggest being that you get to keep your uterus and its integrity unaltered. The experts at The Atlanta Fibroid Center would love to have a chance to explain the UFE procedure in more detail so you can make an informed decision. No need to continue suffering! Book your appointment for more information today!