If you pass blood clots during your period, you may be wondering if it is normal. Read on to see what kinds of blood clots are normal and what are not.
Do you pass blood clots during your period? Are they large or small? What color are they, bright red, purple or black? Do these clots cause pain or accompany heavy menstrual bleeding?
These are some of the questions I ask when supporting ladies in our community to harmonize their menstrual cycles.
What about you?
It can be alarming to see big, dark blood clots during menstruation. You may be asking yourself: Is it normal to pass clots? What causes this? And what can I do about it?
In this post, I’ll help address concerns you may have about clotting during your period.
Is it normal to have blood clots during your period?
To answer this question, we first need to know just what normal is. Perfect menstrual blood should have the following characteristics:
Color of the Menstrual Blood:
Normal red, not too pale and not too dark
Quantity of the Menstrual Blood:
Not too heavy and not too little, usually between 4 and 12 teaspoons each cycle
Consistency of the Menstrual Blood:
Not too thick and not too thin, without clots
This is, of course, an ideal situation. In reality, many women do not meet the criteria for perfect menstrual blood.
Blood Clots Could be Normal or Abnormal
So by the consensus of the medical community, it’s considered normal to pass blood clots during your period, as along as:
- The clots are not as big as the size of a quarter;
- The clots do not accompany severe menstrual cramps or abnormally heavy menstrual bleeding; and
- The clots do not occur in between periods or during pregnancy.
If your blood clots meet one of the criteria listed above, it’s important that you see your gynecologist and get a checkup.
What causes blood clotting during your period?
During menstruation, a woman’s body sheds the uterus lining along with blood.
To facilitate the blood flow, our bodies typically release anticoagulants to keep menstrual blood from blotting.
But when the period is heavy and blood is being expelled rapidly, there’s not enough time for anticoagulants to work, which enables clots to form.
Common causes of blood clots during periods include:
As you know, estrogen and progesterone regulate the production and shedding of the uterine lining.
When this delicate balance is disturbed, it can lead to the development of an excessively thick uterine lining.
This thickness can contribute to more bleeding than usual. It can also cause clots in the menstrual blood when the lining is shed.
Estrogen dominance is perhaps the most common type of hormone imbalance that causes thick uterine lining and blood clotting during period.
Find out if you have any of the signs and symptoms of estrogen dominance, and learn safe and natural ways to lower your estrogen levels.
Uterine fibroids or leiomyomas are non-malignant tumors of the uterus.
Women with uterine fibroids have increased menstrual bleeding and are also prone to pass blood clots during their period.
Endometriosis or Adenomyosis
In endometriosis, the tissue of the uterine lining grows outside the uterus, whereas in adenomyosis, it grows in the uterine muscle.
Abnormal periods with heavy blood flow can occur in both of these conditions, so can blood clots.
Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)
In PCOS, irregular hormone levels lead to symptoms such as weight gain, abnormal hair growth, irregularities in menstruation, prolonged or heavy bleeding during menses, and the passage of blood clots during menses.
How to prevent or reduce blood clots during your period
Now that you understand the likely causes of menstrual clotting, you can take steps to address these root causes.
And when you do, you’ll not only take care of the blood clotting during your period, but also take care of the accompanying period pain, heavy menstrual bleeding and PMS.
Here are some tips:
1) Keep warm during menstruation.
2) Avoid exposing yourself to cold, damp environments.
This may include swimming, wearing midriffs, or sitting on a cold or wet floor during menstruation.
3) Avoid eating cold and raw foods during your period.
Coldness constricts blood vessels, which can cause the formation of blood clots or make them worse.
Personally, I also love cuddling up with a cozy microwavable warmer.
4) Reduce stress and relax.
Stress and unpleasant moods tense up the uterus and inhibit a smooth blood flow. So it’s very important that you keep yourself relaxed and calm during menstruation.
5) Try herbs.
Cramp Bark exact is known to relaxes uterine muscles, help pass blood clots, and reduce menstrual cramps.
And if you like tea, try Traditional Medicine’s Healthy Cycle Tea, a blend of raspberry, nettle, angelica root, thistle and cramp bark that support healthy menstruation.
6) Take Fish Oil and Vitamin E Supplements.
Omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin E are anticoagulants, which means that they can help prevent and reduce the formation of blood clots.
7) Eat foods with high amounts of aspirin-like substances called salicylates.
Salicylates is a natural blood thinner, which can be found in many spices, fruits and nuts.
Herbs and spices high in salicylates include:
- Curry powder
- Cayenne pepper
Fruits high in salicylates include:
Other substances high in salicylates:
- Green tea
8) Rebalance your hormones.
Since estrogen dominance is a primary cause of heavy menstrual bleeding and blood clotting during period, it’s important to address the underlying causes of high estrogen, and learn natural ways to lower estrogen dominance and increase progesterone.
I hope you find the information helpful. Please let me know if I’ve addressed your concerns, and if you have any further questions.
To reduce blood clots and heavy menstrual bleeding, it’s important to address both the symptoms and the underlying causes of hormonal imbalances.
Cypress Oil (reduce heavy menstrual bleeding)
Reduce Estrogen Dominance
Liver Cleanse Detox and Repair Formula (support liver functions)
Dim Plus (improve estrogen metabolism)
Amazing Grass Super Foods (clear excess estrogen and alkalize the body)
Chasteberry (proven to help treat low progesterone and regulate menstrual cycles in more than 60 years of clinical research, including 5 randomized trials)
Vitamin B6 (one of the best vitamins to boost progesterone)
Progesterone Cream (bio-identical hormonal support)
Support Adrenal and Thyroid Functions
Adrenal Health Daily Support (promote overall hormone balance)
Thyroid Support Complex (support energy and metabolism)
Once Daily Organic Whole Food Vitamin Supplement (provide essential nutrients for health and hormone balance)
Liquid Iron (support healthy blood)
Omega 3 Fish Oil (reduce inflammation and promote overall health)
The Hormone Cure, by Dr. Sara Gottfried
Cooking for Hormone Balance, by Magdalena Wszelaki