Are Period Clots Normal? Find Out Here

Periods are weird. On any given day (or, to be more specific, any given day on which one is having their period), it is possible to experience a whole litany of things that, chances are, you’d rather not be dealing with. You know, things like period cramps. Period leakage. Period breakouts. Basically, things that are bad to begin with, but become infinitely more terrible as soon as you put the word “period” in front of it. Then, of course, there are the clots.

vagina

You know what I’m talking about, right? Those little bits that come out along with your period that definitely came from your body, but also kind of looks like alien ectoplasm. Period clots can be scary when you first start getting them, simply because, quite frankly, they look super scary. Their appearance, with the dark red clumps and stringy globs (you’re welcome for the image) make it look like there’s something seriously wrong with you, or, at the very least, like you’re undergoing some creepy afterbirth for the demon baby you didn’t even know you had.

I’ll start off with the good news–period clots are totally normal. Most women have them, and they’re not really something that you should e too worried about. Still, it’s important to know what, exactly, period clots are, why you have them, and when you should start paying more attention to them. So, find out everything you need to know about period clots here:

So, what are period clots?

Period clots are thick chunks of period blood that look different from the rest of your menstrual blood. Usually, they’ll be dark red and jelly-like in consistency, though they vary in size and color. You’ll pretty much always be able to spot a clot, though–it sticks to toilet paper when you wipe and seems to be independent from the blood that soaks into your pad or tampon.

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Why do I get them?

When you’re menstruating, the lining of your uterus sheds. During this time, anticoagulants (which are basically blood thinners that your body creates) break down this lining of the uterus, giving it a smoother, more liquid-like consistency when it comes out. But during the heaviest part of your menstruation (usually during the first few days of your cycle), your uterus may be shedding too fast for the anticoagulants to take effect, so it comes out in a thicker, blob-like shape. That’s a clot.

So, the short answer? Period clots are little bits of your uterine lining that didn’t get a chance to break down.

 

Is it bad if I don’t get them?

You don’t need to worry about not getting clots, per se. Everyone’s period is different, so not getting clots could mean that your period flow isn’t heavy enough to slow down the anticoagulants, your anticoagulants are more effective than most, or that you do have clots but you just don’t notice them. But if your period is super thin, very light in color, or only lasts about a day, this could be a problem–this could indicate that you have an issue with your hormones or another period issue. So, it’s not the clots themselves you need to worry about, but rather a period that’s abnormal in other ways.

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Are clots ever actually bad?

Clots usually aren’t bad, but they can be. If you find that you period is basically all clot, or the clots you have are larger than a quarter and come along with severe cramping and can soak through a pad or tampon, you should see a doctor. This could be a sign of endometriosis, fibroids, a blocked blood flow, and more. (Plus, it’s probably not comfortable at that point anyway–periods are never exactly fun, but they shouldn’t cause you debilitating discomfort every month.)

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Is there any way I can minimize my chances of getting clots?

If you have clots, chances are good that you can’t really do much to stop them. If you really hate them, talk to your gynecologist and see if they recommend anything–some people say that oral contraceptives and IUDs can make clots less likely. But, honestly? Just embrace ’em. Most people get clots, so you’re definitely not alone in tihs.

 

Do you get period clots? Do you have any questions about them? Let us know in the comments!

You can reach the author, Sara Hendricks, on Twitter and Instagram.

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