If you’re a woman who gets periods, you will notice that they vary greatly from month to month. From their consistency to the colour, to even how heavy the flow is. Sometimes, you’ll even notice clots of blood emerging on your pad that don’t get absorbed easily. While blood clots in period blood are not exactly pleasing to the eye, they’re perfectly normal.
Blood clots are, in fact, a function of the body’s defence mechanism. Our bodies are designed to clot blood whenever we’re bleeding, so an excess of blood does not leave the body. When it comes to the period lining, with the help of internal chemicals, called anti-coagulants, the blood breaks these clots down as the body recognises that period blood is not a form of dangerous bleeding. However, if a period is particularly heavy, not all clots are broken down. This is when you see blood clots during your period.
Clearly, the frequency of blood clots majorly depends on how heavy or light the period flow is going to be in that particular month. For heavier period flows that are simply unmanageable, try the Hi Life Organic Period Pads. These pads are carefully designed using GOTS-certified 100% organic cotton sourced from Texas. These pads are exceptionally soft and super absorbent and can support you during all kinds of period flow: heavy, medium, or low.
Coming back to period clots, if you think that you’re spotting them way too often, and think they’re definitely ‘irregular’ in frequency. Here are a few reasons why that could be happening:
Fibroids refer to the benign (also known as non-cancerous) growths of muscle that can crop up inside the womb. They may differ in shape or size and may even present with no symptoms whatsoever on the surface level. Even though only 10% of women with a relatively heavy period flow are known to have fibroids. However, the size of the fibroid can’t predict the kind of symptoms you will face.
It really depends on where they grow. Some fibroids grow outwards, at a distance from the vaginal cavity, some protrude from the womb’s wall itself, and some fibroids grow inwards pushing into the vaginal cavity. The latter situation tends to cause heavy bleeding and blood clots when a person is on their period. This happens because they tend to enlarge the surface area of the womb, so there is more lining that sheds each month.
Polycystic ovarian syndrome (or PCOS) is a common condition that affects about one in five women according to the NHS. The typical symptoms of PCOS include irregular, infrequent periods that are often associated with a heavier blood flow because the monthly lining inside the womb tends to be thicker which also results in more blood clot residue.
3. Bleeding Disorders
Generally speaking, the body makes blood clotting agents which are pivotal in limiting the amount of blood that one loses amid the period cycle. If these agents are over-active, one can get more visible blood clots than usual. On the contrary, if these are deficient, you might experience a light period. If you’re experiencing a deficiency of any kind, it might present from a young age and can also be diagnosed with blood tests. These conditions are often hereditary, so taking into account the family history makes a huge difference in the diagnosis.
4. Thyroid Problems
With thyroid, there are two kinds of problems that women might face. With an underactive thyroid (or hypothyroidism), one is likely to get particularly heavy periods regularly and also blood clots. An underactive thyroid is also associated with fatigue, hair loss, muscle weakness, and cold intolerance. In general, one of the major reasons the thyroid is responsible for the period flow can be attributed to the fact that thyroid hormones play a role in regulating female hormone production, and also directly impact the frequency of blood clots in the flow.
This condition affects about 10% of women worldwide. Endometriosis refers to the condition when tissues similar to the uterine lining builds up outside of the womb. Endometriosis is also strongly associated with extremely painful periods and women with endometriosis are likely to have a heavier period than women who don’t have the condition. Again, a heavier period flow is associated with more blood clotting than usual.
6. Copper Coil
While getting a copper coil inserted in the vagina is a rather effective and reliable method of contraception, in terms of its side effects— a prominent one is known to increase bleeding and clotting each month with the period. In fact, heavy bleeding during periods is one of the major reasons why women get them removed before their ‘best before date.’ So, if you’re using one, you could consider alternate contraception options after speaking to your gynaecologist.