Are blood clots during periods normal or harmful?

Releasing blood clots during periods is normal, but don’t take it easy if it’s happening too frequently, and in large amounts.

Is your sanitary napkin or menstrual cup laden with blood clots, all of a sudden? Do you see more menstrual clots when you pee, and is it more than the blood you release during periods? If you answered this in the affirmative, it’s important not to ignore this symptom. Because it could be an indicator of something wrong!

Releasing blood clots is generally normal during periods. The jelly-like thing that you see is basically coagulated blood and tissue that is from the uterus, while menstruating. Most women release big or small hard lumps, which are hardly a cause for concern. That being said, if you are oozing clots frequently, a visit to your gynae is due.

That’s why we want you to understand what normal menstrual clots look like. It will help you differentiate between the ones that are not!

There are different types of period clots

Are you aware of this? According to Dr Madhuri Burande Laha, consultant obstetrician and gynecologist, Motherhood Hospital, Kharadi, those period clots of a size of a quarter or larger actually come under heavy bleeding territory, also known as menorrhagia.

blood clots during periods
Period blood varies in color as well. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

Normal clots are smaller in size, are seen rarely and only at the beginning of the cycle. Abnormal blood clots are bigger in size and accompanied by heavy flow. This means one has to change sanitary pads very often.

But why do you get menstrual clots in the first place?

There are three primary reasons:

1. Uterine problems: Conditions like fibroids, endometriosis, and adenomyosis that enlarge the uterus can exert pressure on the uterine wall. This can increase menstrual bleeding and clots.

2. Cancer: Those cancerous tumors of the uterus and cervix can cause heavy bleeding and clots.

Also, read: Decoding menstrual mysteries: Are blood clots during a period normal?

3. Hormonal imbalance: One’s uterine lining relies on a balance of estrogen and progesterone to grow properly. If there’s too much or too little of these hormones, there will be heavy bleeding and clotting. There can be hormonal fluctuations, because of perimenopause, menopause, weight loss or weight gain, and even stress.

“The clots are normal when they are smaller in size, and do not steal your peace of mind. But, when the clots hamper your day-to-day activities, and you start to feel constantly fatigued, and experience pelvic pain, don’t wait to consult a doctor, as the clots aren’t normal. If you have these types of clots, see a doctor immediately,” Dr Laha told HealthShots.

blood clots during periods
Don’t neglect other period problems as well. Image courtesy: Shutterstock
Can you do something to prevent menstrual clotting?

Thankfully, yes! Here are some tips that might prevent menstrual clotting:

  • Eat iron-rich foods: It’s important to stick to a well-balanced diet. Do not forget to eat iron-rich foods like leafy green vegetables, peas, raisins, apricots, and beans. Also, do not forget to stay hydrated and drink an adequate amount of water.
  • Exercise regularly: To ease your menstruation process and stay fit, exercise every day without fail.
  • Take medication: Take it only after consulting a doctor. Self-medication is a strict no-no. Your doctor can also advise you to go for hormonal therapy.

“In extreme cases, we also recommend surgery to some of our patients. This is when we diagnose any underlying condition,” says Dr Laha.

blood clots during periods
Eat well to keep your hormones in total control. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

The bottom line is that if you haven’t been observant enough about your menstrual bleeding pattern, this time to try and be a little more vigilant. If you find something fishy, ​​then regardless of the cause, go and see a doctor right away.

If not, then everything is perfectly fine down there!

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