Clots in Menstrual Blood
Women have been menstruating for thousands of years. Yet, the medical community still does not fully understand what causes clots in menstrual blood. Ladies of all ages wonder, “what is normal and what is not?” In this article, we explore common causes of period clots and their potential implications for your health. Read on to learn more.
What are Period Clots?
Period clots form when menstrual blood coagulates. Menstrual blood sheds from the uterus through the vagina when a woman does not get pregnant. While flowing, menstrual blood may coagulate into clots. The size of the clots can range from small dots to large clumps that resemble liver. Clots may be normal during menstruation and do not always need to be treated. But clots may also indicate heavy bleeding or another problem.
Causes of Menstrual Blood Clots
Certain conditions can cause heavy or irregular bleeding with clots in menstrual blood:
- Thyroid disease
- Heavy bleeding
- Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)
- Uterine fibroids
- Cervical cancer
- Uterine polyps
- Uterine cancer
- Endometrial hyperplasia or pre-cancer of the uterus lining
Should I Be Concerned?
When in doubt, consult your doctor. Your physician will ask you a series of questions to understand your medical history and identify potential causes of heavy bleeding. They may also perform a physical exam to examine the vagina, cervix, uterus, and at times the rectal area. At that time, they may check for signs of sexually transmitted infections (STI’s).
If the cause of heavy bleeding is not clear from the physical examination or lab results, then the clinician may perform additional tests.
Record Your Menstrual History
Recording your menstrual history is important. Doing so can help you to determine if your cycle is normal. The following steps ensure that you are keeping a complete record:
1. Record the date that your last period started
2. Record how many days your menstrual bleeding lasts, including any spotting, noting any clots and how heavy the flow is
3. Track the number of days between the first day of one menstrual period to the first day of the next menstrual period.
This will help you monitor and see whether your periods are regular. If not, you can take the necessary measures to be proactive about your menstrual health.
When to See a Doctor
Are you concerned about the amount of blood you are losing? Do you have heavy bleeding between periods or after your period is over? It is time to contact your doctor. You should also see a physician if you experience severe pain or cramping during menstruation.
Your doctor will take tests to identify any underlying health issues causing excessive menstrual bleeding. These tests provide a clearer picture of what is going on, so he/she can develop an appropriate treatment plan for you.
Maintain Your Menstrual Health with Women's Health New England
Women’s Health New England in Middleboro, MA is the trusted medical facility for all things women’s health. Women in Southeastern and Eastern Massachusetts, Southcoast, and South Shore visit Dr. Edelman when they have concerns about their health. If you have any questions about your period or clots in menstrual blood, reach out to us at 508-947-0800.