There are two main influences on the color and consistency of the blood that you pass during your period:
- The structure of the uterus and cervix
What Should Normal Period Blood Look Like?
Normal menstrual flow should be bright red in color, have heavier flow for the first 2 days, and gradually taper off over the remaining 3–4 days. There shouldn’t be much in the way of clots in the flow.
What Are Clots?
A clot is a clump of blood that is made up of red blood cells, platelets, and stringy tissue known as fibrin. Normally, a clot forms when you cut or injure yourself; the clot forms over the cut to stop bleeding.
You may notice small clots, the size of the tip of your pinkie fingernail. An occasional clot like this is not cause for concern. Some of my patients have reported clots as big as a teacup. These are cause for concern.
Clots During Period
Small or infrequent clots are probably not anything to be worried about. Clots with every period and larger or frequent clots may be something to address to prevent the cause of the clots from getting worse or causing other problems.
Why Are Clots Present In Periods?
- Hormone imbalance: Excesses of either estrogen or progesterone can promote blood clotting. Hormones that are out of balance can contribute to other problems like fibroids, heavy periods, severe cramping, fibrocystic breasts, endometriosis, PMS, and even hormone-related cancers.
- Structural issues: If menstrual blood flows freely out of the uterus, there is no opportunity for the blood to coagulate or form into clots. Fibroids (benign growths that can protrude into the uterine cavity) can obstruct the smooth flow of period blood out of the uterus. The blood can then pool and form into clots. Polyps (benign growths that have the potential to become cancerous) can also obstruct menstrual flow and increase blood clotting.
How To Fix The Clots In Periods
1. Balance Your Hormones
One of the most important aspects of healthy hormone balance is your diet. Eating a diet that is high in carbs and sugar disrupts hormone balance. It can increase the level or activity of estrogen and increase body fat that also produces estrogen.
Cut back on your carbs and sugar intake to maintain a healthy balance of all the hormones. Regular exercise also helps to keep hormones balanced by keeping blood sugar more stable and reducing the need for insulin.
2. Treat Fibroids Or Polyps
If you have uterine fibroids, treating them can help remove the obstruction to the flow of period blood and decrease the presence of clots. Natural treatment for fibroids and polyps includes the diet changes mentioned above to keep hormones balanced and also enabling the liver to remove any excess hormones or pollutants that may be acting like estrogen (called xenoestrogens).
It’s your liver’s job to remove chemicals, toxins, waste, and excess hormones from your body. To do this, the liver requires certain vitamins and minerals, including vitamin B6, vitamin B12, magnesium, L-5MTHF (active folic acid), indole-3-carbinol (found in vegetables like broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, and Brussels sprouts), and calcium-d-glucarate (found in the vegetables mentioned earlier and apples and grapefruit).
Sometimes, fibroids are caused by excessive progesterone activity. In this case, there is a natural progesterone moderator, called kaempferol, which is found in the following foods. Increasing the consumption of these foods can help to balance progesterone.
- Green tea
- Brussels sprouts
- Green beans
Dos And Don’ts For Period Clots
Summarizing the points given here,
- Do cut back on carbs and sugars.
- Do eat more cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, and Brussels sprouts.
- Do eat more kaempferol-rich foods like apples, grapes, tomatoes, green tea, onions, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, squash, cucumbers, lettuce, green beans, peaches, blackberries, raspberries, and spinach.
- Do exercise regularly to keep your hormones balanced.
- Do see your doctor for blood work and a pelvic ultrasound if you are passing large or frequent clots with your period.
- Don’t worry if it’s just the occasional small clot.