Your period is an expected and regular part of the menstrual cycle for most women, though its severity can fluctuate during monthly cycles.
Period blood can vary in thickness and consistency; thick or clotted periods are regular, while watery ones could signal hormonal shifts that could signal anything from pregnancy to other issues.
Women experience differing menstrual cycles, meaning period blood may vary in color and texture for everyone. What you see depends on where in your cycle you are as well as whether or not you are pregnant or using hormonal birth control; typically, darker colors and thicker textures indicate older uterine lining, taking longer for blood to oxidize and coagulate out before leaving the uterus; watery period blood means newer uterine lining which takes less time for blood to leave your body.
Healthline reports that during the initial and terminal days of your period, new blood is rapidly flowing out of your uterus, creating a watery flow of menstruation. At this stage, some women experience implantation bleeding – light spotting that indicates when fertilized eggs have arrived at their intended destinations – but note that light pinkish streaks in the middle of an expected period do not indicate pregnancy (please refer to 5 reasons you shouldn’t use an at-home pregnancy test for more info).
Watery periods are standard among women in their 40s and beyond due to menopause or perimenopause, when their ovaries cease producing eggs and estrogen levels decrease, leading to thinner menstrual bleeding that becomes larger and scantier over time.
If your doctor has diagnosed you with polycystic ovarian syndrome or fibroids in the uterus, this could also make your period blood more watery and irregular. These conditions can interfere with typical patterns of uterine lining growth and shedding; symptoms could include intermittent vaginal discharge and bloating. Sometimes, liquid period blood indicates that something is amiss within your uterine lining that needs treating; depending on its symptoms, you may require an ultrasound scan or consultation with a gynecologist for treatment options.
Polyps or Fibroids
Dark red and watery period blood is generally normal during the later stages of menstruation when your uterine lining thins down. However, if your menstrual flow starts with light or jelly-like blood, this could indicate an underlying health problem and should be taken seriously by medical practitioners.
A stringy or clumpy period of blood may be expected. These thick, slippery menstrual blood clumps could be bits of your uterine lining that have shed as your body prepares to release new menstrual cycles; if large clumps appear, this could indicate more severe conditions like fibroids or polyps.
Fibroids are noncancerous growths found within the uterus that may lead to heavy menstrual bleeding, abdominal pain, and infertility. Composed of muscle cells and connective tissue, fibroids may either attach directly to your inner lining (submucosal) or be attached to it via an outgrowth, known as pedunculated growths (pedunculated growths attached by stalks of tissue).
Polyps are small, noncancerous growths found on the endometrium in your uterus that appear roundish and usually grow to several centimeters or more significantly over time. They are often painless but can be detected using pelvic ultrasound or hysteroscopy for diagnosis.
Both fibroids and polyps can cause heavy menstrual bleeding, although the symptoms associated with fibroids typically include abnormal bleeding at either the beginning or end of your period. Differentiating between polyps and fibroids can sometimes be challenging since their symptoms overlap considerably.
If you are experiencing excessive or abnormal period blood, it is crucial that you immediately consult with a healthcare provider. They will evaluate your symptoms and devise the most appropriate course of treatment based on individual circumstances. To identify what’s causing them, tests such as transvaginal ultrasound scan, hysteroscopy examination en, endometrial biopsy, or curettage could be conducted to understand why.
Cervical or Vaginal Infections
If your period blood is watery, it could be because its bright red menstrual blood has been mixed with the cervical mucus produced in your uterus to protect it and guide sperm toward the egg during conception. But if there’s also a jelly-like substance within it that has a non-pink hue (gonorrhea or chlamydia infections, for instance).
Your period blood may contain clumps or thick chunks of blood that appear irregular, which is normal. Clumpy menstrual blood comprises shed uterine lining cells; this usually occurs on heavier days of your cycle when the clots have time to form inside your uterus. However, if these irregular clumps of menstrual blood regularly reach golf ball size or five pence coin thickness consistently, it would be wise to consult your physician as this could indicate miscarriage, fibroids growth inside, or even cancerous growth inside of your uterus called uterine fibroids – something they cannot see with their naked eye!
According to NHS, bright red and watery period blood can sometimes indicate implantation bleeding. Implantation bleeding refers to light spotting within the first few days of the menstrual cycle and suggests that fertilized eggs have successfully implanted into your uterus.
But only take a pregnancy test if your spotting is accompanied by other symptoms, like breast tenderness or swelling, that are out of sync with when your period should typically arrive. Also, if you’re trying to get pregnant (TTC), make an appointment with an ob-gyn so they can guide you about the next steps.
Your lighter periods could be an indicator that you are entering perimenopause, the stage when estrogen levels begin to decline as your body prepares for menopause. Symptoms such as hot flashes, fatigue, and abdominal discomfort may develop during this transitional stage.
If your period blood is unusually clumpy or chunky or lacking its typical bright red color, this could be an indicator of low estrogen levels, uterine fibroids, thyroid issues, or Von Willebrand disease – issues that a doctor can assess and diagnose as appropriate.
Perimenopause may also contribute to watery periods of blood. This condition precedes menopause, typically beginning around age 40. Still, it can start earlier due to hormone fluctuations and is associated with frequent bloating, abdominal or pelvic pain, and irregular periods as symptoms. Watery period blood can be one such symptom of this condition.
Pregnancy can also make your period bloody, especially early on in your gestation. This phenomenon, called implantation bleeding, typically happens near the start or end of your period and differs from spotting by being light in color and thin consistency, nearly like water.
If you’re pregnant and experiencing watery period blood, it could be an early warning of miscarriage or other severe complications. Therefore, you must get tested or visit a healthcare provider as soon as possible – regardless of any other symptoms of gestation that might indicate otherwise.
Always remember that every woman’s body varies; what may seem normal for one might not be for someone else. Period blood can appear anywhere between Kool-Aid or ketchup in color and thickness/consistency throughout your cycle – it is best to be prepared by having extra sanitary kits on hand and consulting your physician if any concerns arise, especially if it appears watery without the typical clots present.