The color of your period can be viewed as a vital sign of your overall health, same as blood pressure, temperature or pulse, according to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.
Your period can provide key insights on your hormone health which is extremely important, because they are responsible for keeping everything running smoothly.
Here are 6 things the color of your period is trying to tell you about your health.
According to Margaret Romero, a New York-based functional medicine nurse practitioner, you might have low estrogen levels, especially if you are experiencing lighter-than-usual flow. Keep in mind that exercising, especially running can also lower estrogen levels, which mess with your period.
If left untreated low estrogen levels can increase the risk of osteoporosis. It`s wise to talk to your doctor if you have recently started training or working out and your periods are suddenly lighter than usual.
Ob-gyn Alyssa Dweck, MD, assistant clinical professor at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York says that watery-looking periods can be seen as symptoms of severe anemia, especially if the color gets lighter. The most usual diagnosis for watery-looking periods is nutritional deficiency. If your periods are the same color for few cycles talk to your doctor and get tested for nutritional deficiencies.
3. Dark Brown
There is no need to panic because it’s normal to have older bits of uterine lining and blood that are just starting to find their way out.
“We’re not sure why this happens in all cases, but sometimes the blood is sitting around for a while and comes out particularly slowly. It has a lot of time to oxidize, which is why it can look brown or almost black,” Dweck says.
4. Thick Jam-colored Red With Large Clots
This color, usually means three things, either you have low progesterone levels or low progesterone levels, or sometimes even both. According to Dweck clots the size of a quarter or bigger may indicate serious hormonal imbalance. In order to get to normal you should reduce your consumption of sugar, soy and dairy. Hopefully this will be enough.
Uterine fibroids, which are most often benign, are another possibility. Ask your doctor for an ultrasound if you`re in pain or suspect they are the reason behind your heavy periods.
5. A Mix of Gray And Red
Dweck says that you might possibly have some kind of an infection like STD/STI that`s frequently accompanied by a “foul, necrotic stench.” In order to get the right treatment you should get tested.
Call your doctor ASAP if you think you`re pregnant or having a miscarriage, especially if you notice gray chunks of tissue that look like “liver.”
6. Bright Cranberry Red
This color means that everything is working as it should and it’s a clear sign of a healthy, regular period. Nonetheless everybody`s “normal” is different, so make sure you are always aware of what`s going on in the period department.