Blood clots during menstruation: what to do?

Menstruation affects all pubescent women. However, each woman has different menstrual cycles. Premenstrual syndrome, volume of flow or viscosity vary according to the subject. When menstruation is thick, it can even take the form of blood clots. These impressive periods often causeconcern. Rest assured, Elia explains everything about blood clots during menstruation.

What are blood clots in the period?

With their slimy appearance or dark red color, blood clots during menstruation can quickly become a cause for concern. Often referred to as a menstrual disorder, this phenomenon is in fact quite normal and even very common. The arrival of menstruation corresponds to the moment when the uterine mucous membrane detaches from the uterus to be evacuated when the ovum has not been fertilized. This mucous membrane, being none other than the endometrium, is extremely vascularized. When it disintegrates, it causes bleeding. Menstrual blood clots sometimes give the impression of a loss of pieces of flesh, but this is not the case. It is blood that can sometimes clump together and create clots. During menstruation, pieces of mucous membrane can be discharged.

Where do blood clots in menstruation come from?

The body is trained to make blood clot. When you cut yourself, this slows down or even prevents bleeding. However, during menstruation, the blood must be thinned to be evacuated quickly. Women secrete a natural anticoagulant (plasmin) to prevent the formation of blood clots during their periods. Sometimes this is not enough, as after a night of sleep. In the lying position, the blood is more difficult to evacuate. As it stagnates, it clumps together and then flows out as a large blood clot in the period.

Heavy periods encourage blood clots

Blood clots in menstruation usually occur on the two days with the heaviest flow. Moreover, heavy menstruation favors this phenomenon. In fact, when faced with a heavy flow, the body may show its limits or not secrete enough anticoagulant. Blood clots in the period then appear more frequently.

Is it normal to have blood clots during my period?

It is normal to have blood clots during your period, especially after dark, because the flow has not been able to flow as freely. Similarly, a large blood clot during your period on the pill is nothing to worry about. Even if it is not a period, the presence of blood causes clotting.

However, you should be careful because menstrual blood clots can also be related to iron deficiency (anemia). If this is the first time you're experiencing this phenomenon, consider your diet. Are you eating enough lentils, kidney beans or meat? When blood clots during your period are accompanied by severe fatigue, dizziness or unusual shortness of breath, you should make an appointment to see your doctor. He or she will take a blood test. If the iron deficiency is confirmed, he will prescribe food supplements.

Finally, if you are menopausal or have bleeding with blood clots, see your doctor, even if you are on hormone therapy.

Loss of a piece of flesh or mucous membrane

Women often describe menstrual blood clots as the loss of pieces of flesh, but this is not the case. During menstruation, pieces of mucous membrane that have not disintegrated properly can eventually become part of the clots. Their viscous, but also dark appearance makes them quite similar.

What is the usual size of blood clots?

The size of menstrual blood clots can vary from a few millimeters to several centimeters. Although not alarming, the repeated presence of a large blood clot in your period(more than 2.5 cm) should prompt you to consult your doctor.

Is there a treatment for blood clots?

There is no treatment for blood clots in menstruation, unless you have anemia. In the case of blood clots due to heavy periods, oral contraception can reduce the menstrual flow.

How can blood clots in menstruation be reduced or eliminated?

Certain foods or grandmotherly tricks can strengthen the body's ability to thin the blood during menstruation:

  • Omega-3 rich foods (fish, avocado, eggs, milk, almonds) ;
  • Nettle and thyme infusion (rich in iron);
  • Infusion of sage (rich in vitamin K with strong anticoagulant power);
  • Warm compress on the lower abdomen when the flow is abundant;
  • Food supplements to prevent iron deficiency.

Should I consult a doctor about blood clots?

Blood clots are nothing to be afraid of. However, there are times when a health care specialist is needed.

In case of pregnancy

If you are pregnant, blood clots in your period are not necessarily a sign of miscarriage. However, you should consult your doctor as soon as possible to make sure that everything is fine. In fact, even a blood flow without a clot should be seen by your doctor.

If you have a bleeding period

Bleeding periods can be very uncomfortable. We use this term when the flow is heavy and lasts more than 7 days. The presence of blood clots in these periods, which are difficult to control with conventional sanitary protection, should also be a warning sign. These bleeding periods can be caused by:

  • A copper IUD;
  • An early miscarriage;
  • A polyp (small growth of flesh in the uterus);
  • A submucosal fibroid;
  • Adenomyosis (mostly in women between 40 and 50 years old).

The FAQ of bleeding periods

Are blood clots in the period serious?

In most cases, blood clots in menstruation are not serious. Blood clots or loose pieces of flesh should not worry you, especially if they are smaller than 2.5 cm. If they are larger than that, seek professional advice. Also, if you experience bleeding during pregnancy or menopause, see your doctor even if the discharge does not contain blood clots.

What causes blood clots in the period?

Blood clots in menstruation appear when the flow is heaviest (one or two days). In this case, your body is not able to secrete enough natural anticoagulant to thin your period. A large blood clot in the period can also be seen in the morning, because the flow has more difficulty being evacuated at night and therefore coagulates. The heavier a woman's period, the more prone she may be to the phenomenon.

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