Periods are different from person to person. Not only are they different from person to person, they can be different from period to period. Sometimes heavy, sometimes light. Sometimes one day, sometimes seven.
Did you know that symptoms you experience at the different stages of your cycle can tell you a lot about your hormones?
There are a few different indicators when it comes to figuring out what’s going on in your body, but the main one is menstrual blood. Knowing as much as possible about your cycle can help you to take control of your body, improve your health, and feel great as often as possible.
Let’s dive in!
Bright Red Blood, Steady Flow
This is the healthiest type of period. It is bright red in color, comes in steadily, and lasts around 4-5 days. Your blood texture should be thicker than water, but smooth.
The flow can either start heavy and then taper off, or it can start lighter and get heavier as it goes on and then tapering off again.
This is because the cycle starts with estrogen building up the uterine lining in the first half of your cycle, when progesterone holds it in place until it’s time for your monthly bleed. Keeping it at this level is ideal.
Dark Blood, Heavy Flow
Blood can be dark red, purple, or almost black. This means your cycle has too much estrogen.
You may have clots and a clumpy consistency, and you’ll usually be on heavily. Women who experience this type of period are more prone to emotional PMS outbursts, tender breasts, endometriosis, and fibroids. This can be due to excess weight, processed food, too much alcohol, or foods high in soy.
To help get your period healthy again, start eating leafy greens, reduce your alcohol consumption, and minimize soy in your diet.
Light Pink Blood, Light Flow
Light pink blood with a light flow usually means you have too little estrogen in your cycle.
You may experience a regular flow for a day or two followed by very light bleeding. If you can go for more than 6 hours without changing a tampon for the length of your cycle, your cycle is classed as light.
You may also get symptoms such as dry skin, joint pain, and a low sex drive. Periods can become sporadic and unpredictable if nothing is done.
This can happen to those who have a very low body fat, disordered eating, over-exercise, stress a lot, and take the pill. Make sure you eat plenty of healthy fats like avocado and nuts and try replacing a heavy session with yoga or something relaxing and see if this helps your cycle.
Brown Blood, Spotting
This indicates too little progesterone in a cycle. It can be in combination with too little/much estrogen too. As well as spotting, you may get a heavier than average flow. You may find yourself feeling anxious in the second part of your cycle, with PMS, breast tenderness and difficulty getting pregnant.
Stress and high cortisol levels are the biggest culprits, so figure out how you can reduce stress in your life. Walking, meditation and deep breathing can all be a huge help.
As you can see, there are a few things you can do to get your cycle back into a healthy color and pattern, but make sure you wait for a few cycles to see the full effects!