Women in their childbearing years may notice blood clots in their menstrual blood at some point. Whether the blood clots are bright red or a darker shade of brown, it can be worrisome to experience this if you never have before. What causes menstrual blood clots, and more importantly, is it normal to experience this?
Are Blood Clots Normal During Menstruation?
Blood clotting can be a normal part of menstruation, according to the Mayo Clinic. It tends to be most common during the heaviest days of your period. Your body normally prevents blood clots from forming because it releases anticoagulants. When your menstrual flow is heavier, however, anticoagulants do not have enough time to prevent clots from developing, according to WebMD. If you are experiencing blood clots regularly during menstruation, it may be a reason to be concerned.
What Conditions Cause Menstrual Blood Clotting?
Excessive menstrual bleeding, which is generally referred to as menorrhagia, can cause a woman to pass blood clots during her period. Some of the conditions which can cause menorrhagia include uterine fibroids, low progesterone and high estrogen levels, pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), and polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), according to Women to Women. Endometriosis, which causes heavier menstrual periods, can also be to blame.
Miscarriage can cause blood clotting or tissue clumping, according to WebMD. If you are pregnant and experience any type of vaginal bleeding, it’s important to seek medical attention immediately. You may also experience lower back and abdominal pain if you are having a miscarriage.
Can Medications and Contraception Cause Blood Clots During Menstruation?
Certain medications, such as steroids, can cause changes in menstrual periods as a side effect. Any time you use a medication which changes your hormones, there is also a risk of changes in menstruation. Just as certain hormonal methods of birth control can lighten menstrual periods, others can cause them to be heavier. If you switch from one birth control method to another, the change in hormones may cause you to notice changes in menstruation, which may lead you to notice clotting for the first time. Non-hormonal intrauterine devices (IUDs) can cause heavier menstrual periods and, ultimately, blood clotting.
Blood clots during menstruation can be completely normal. If you begin to experience clotting during menstruation along with heavier periods more frequently, it’s important to consult with your healthcare provider. A number of health conditions and medications could be to blame. If you suspect that you could be pregnant at the time of vaginal blood clotting, be sure to seek medical attention right away.
Disclaimer: This article is intended for educational purposes only. Consult with a licensed healthcare provider if you are concerned about your health.
Women to Women