Reasons for Blood Clots during Periods
Period blood clots affect the majority of individuals at some point in their life. These are gel-like lumps of coagulated blood, tissue, and blood that are removed from the uterus during menstruation. Period clots are rarely a cause for concern, and does not always indicate any issue, but it sometimes may be an alarming sign, if larger and regular blood clots during periods persists.
It's common to pass blood clots during a period. Menstrual bleeding varies in amount, length, and frequency from month to month and from one person to another. One may experience a large flow with menstrual blood clot, followed by a lesser flow with no period clots in the next month. This fluctuation is normal, and variations may occur as a result of changes in food and lifestyle.
What are Period Clots?
Blood cells, tissue from the uterine lining, and proteins in the blood that help control blood flow make up the period blood clots that act as a natural defense mechanism for the body. A period blood clot's thick, jelly-like nature helps keep too much blood from escaping. When the flow is heavy, these clots are more likely to form. They're most common during the first two days of menstruation, when the cycle is usually the heaviest. Blood clots in periods can be a bright red or a darker, deeper red, and large clots may appear black. As menstrual blood ages and leaves the body slowly, it becomes darker and brownish toward the end of each period.
If the clots are little (less than a quarter inch in diameter) and only occur on occasion, they're usually not a cause for concern. Period blood clots, unlike clots that grow in your veins, are not harmful on their own. Passing big menstrual clots on a regular basis during your period could indicate a medical concern that requires further investigation by a physician.
|Smaller than a quarter
|Larger in size
|Typically, in the beginning of the period
|Appears in cases of a heavy period
|Appears bright, dark or deep red
|May appear blackish
Reasons for Blood Clots During Periods
In response to estrogen, a female hormone, the endometrium thickens and develops throughout the month. Its function is to aid in the maintenance of a fertilized egg. Other hormonal processes prompt the uterine lining to shed if pregnancy does not occur. This entire process is commonly known as menstruation.
When the lining sheds, blood and its metabolites, mucus, and tissue combine with it. The contents of the uterus are subsequently ejected through the cervix (opening of the uterus) and the vaginal opening. The uterine lining sheds and collects at the bottom of the uterus, where it waits for the cervix to contract and expel its contents.
Anticoagulants are released by the body to aid in the breakdown of hardened blood and tissue, allowing it to pass more easily. Clots during periods are formed when blood flow exceeds the body's ability to manufacture anticoagulants. The endometrial cells that line the uterus shed and leave the body during menstruation.
The body responds by releasing proteins that cause the blood in the uterus to clot. This coagulation stops the uterine lining's blood vessels from bleeding further. These coagulation proteins are also present in the blood that the body has already shed. When the flow is the most intense, the blood's coagulation proteins may begin to clump together, resulting in menstrual blood clots.
Medical Causes for Period Blood Clots
While blood clots during period are a normal part, passing large period clots may indicate an underlying condition. In case of a heavy period, wherein there are very large menstrual clots, you must see a doctor. Your menstrual cycle might be affected by physical and hormonal causes, resulting in a heavy flow. Period clots are more likely to form when you have a lot of flow. Conditions that cause the uterus to expand might place additional strain on the uterine wall. Menstrual bleeding and period blood clots may become more common as a result of this. Below are some of the medical conditions that may be reasons for blood clots in periods.
Obstructions can also make it difficult for the uterus to contract. Blood can pool and coagulate inside the well of the uterine cavity when the uterus is not contracting properly, forming blood clots during periods that are subsequently evacuated. Uterine obstructions are caused by fibroids, adenomyosis, endometriosis and cancerous tumors.
The uterine lining requires a balance of estrogen and progesterone to develop and thicken appropriately. Heavy menstrual bleeding can occur if one or both of these factors are out of balance. Hormonal imbalance can be caused by a variety of factors, including perimenopause, menopause, stress, and considerable weight gain or loss. Irregular menstruation is the most common sign of a hormonal imbalance. Periods, for example, may be later or longer than usual, or you may completely miss them.
In case of a miscarriage, it leads to heavy bleeding, cramping and blood clots in periods.
Von Willebrand Disease
Von Willebrand disease can produce high menstrual flow. While VWD is uncommon, it affects between 5% and 24% of people with chronic heavy menstrual bleeding. If you have a heavy menstrual period on a regular basis and bleed easily after a little cut or your gums bleed excessively, VWD could be the cause. If you feel this is the cause of your severe bleeding, see your doctor.
Menstrual clots are a common occurrence in most menstruating individuals. Small period blood clots are typical and common, despite their appearance. Even clots larger than a quarter aren't worth worrying unless they occur frequently and persist longer. If you frequently pass large period clots, your doctor may suggest one of several effective medications to help control severe bleeding and minimize blood clots during period.