What Does The Color Of Your Period Blood Mean?

A monthly period might seem fairly standard, but changes to your cycle are bound to happen. One way that your period might change is in the color and quality of your period blood. If you notice that it's a bit out of the ordinary, don't fret — from light pink to dark brown, it's all normal.

Once a month, most women will shed the lining of their uterus, also known as menstruation or a period (via Cleveland Clinic). This happens when pregnancy doesn't occur, and the tissue lining the uterus is no longer needed for implantation, which is controlled by the levels of hormones in our body. It flows out through the cervix and vagina, leading to three to five days of bleeding, on average. It's considered normal to bleed for as short as two days and as many as seven days. Along with bleeding, symptoms can include moodiness, trouble sleeping, abdominal and back cramps, bloating, and food cravings — especially before you get your period each month.

What the color of your menstrual blood is telling you

Typically, we think of menstrual blood as red, like any other blood. But sometimes its color can vary, and it's usually no cause for concern. At the very beginning of a period, the blood can look pink (via Verywell Health). This happens when it is mixed with mucus, giving it a very light color. When menstrual blood is fresh and new, it will appear bright red. This means that it has recently passed through from the uterus.

If blood is older and has more exposure to oxygen, it will begin to darken in color, appearing dark red or even brown. This can happen toward the end of your menstruation, but can also be the result of "old" blood that's been sitting in the uterus for some time, maybe even since your last period (via PopSugar). It can also be a sign of a passing blood clot, especially if your flow is heavier. At the very end of your period, the blood tends to get darker and darker, which may look concerning but is usually nothing to be alarmed by.