Some women pass period blood clots during their monthly cycle. We know, that may leave you feeling anxious, wondering what’s going on with your body. But we want you to know that you aren’t alone!
Of course, when most people think about blood clots, they think about blockages that form in your veins—and these can cause serious health problems. Yet a blood clot during your period, while a different type of problem, could still be cause for concern.
You see, clots during your cycle have a different composition than ones in your veins. They contain partially coagulated blood along with uterine lining tissue (endometrial tissue) as well as dead skin cells. For many women, these clots are a normal part of your healthy menstrual cycle, forming when your flow is at its heaviest. Still, heavy periods can be a sign of underlying health conditions. So how can you tell if period clots are normal or something to discuss with your healthcare provider? Keep reading for the answers you need!
Menstrual Blood Clots: When to Worry
As with so many other health concerns, size matters here. If you pass a small period blood clot —no bigger than a nickel—you probably don’t have to worry. Especially if your other menstrual symptoms, like cramps or pelvic pain, are minor and manageable. You also don’t really need to worry about the clot color. They can vary in hue dark to light red and still be perfectly normal.
Now large clots, on the other hand, are worth worrying about. If clots are bigger than a quarter, bring the concern up at your next gynecologist visit. And if a clot is the size of a golf ball or larger? Get to see your doctor for an immediate checkup.
Period Blood Clots: Frequency and Changes
Along with size, you also need to consider how often you’re passing clots. If period blood clots are becoming a frequent issue, even if they are in the normal size range, they’re worth discussing with a doctor. Plus, if passing clots is a new symptom for you, it’s also worth mentioning at a medical visit, since your doctor should know about any big changes in your cycle.
Clots and Other Symptoms: When to Worry
Why the worry about period blood clots? The concern is that these are signs of an underlying health condition. So, if you’re noticing clots and:
· Dealing with periods that last longer than seven to 10 days
· You have to change your tampon or pad every hour to keep up with heavy flow
· You spot regularly, even between periods
· Severe cramps and pain
It’s time to talk to your healthcare provider right away.
Why am I passing period blood clots?
Sometimes, clotting is a normal part of your menstrual flow. But some underlying conditions may be the cause of these clots. These include:
These are growths that form in your uterine cavity or within the wall of your uterus. While they are not usually cancerous, they can cause symptoms like heavy and long periods, along with severe pelvic pain and more.
When your endometrial tissue grows outside of your uterus, it can cause many painful symptoms—and it can make you pass large period blood clots.
This is also a condition in which endometrial tissue develops outside of your uterus. But instead of growing on other organs, as is the case with endometriosis, women with adenomyosis experience tissue growth withing the muscular uterine walls.
These growths attach to the inner uterine wall, extending into the cavity of your uterus. Again, the growths aren’t usually cancerous, but they can cause problems for your health.
Now, these are not the only conditions that manifest with large blood clots—these blood clots could also mean you had a missed miscarriage, or could even be a sign of cancer. For that reason, we urge you to speak to your doctor about concerning clots. But don’t worry too much. If fibroids or adenomyosis are the cause of your flow changes, we can offer relief with a minimally invasive, outpatient treatment option known as UFE. So, if you’re concerned about heavy periods and clotting, schedule a consultation with our Dallas fibroid specialists, to explore your treatment options.