The first time I got my period, I thought I had pooped my pants. I felt a strange wetness in my underwear and went to the bathroom to check on it and noticed a huge brown streak. It didn’t smell quite like poop but I had never seen anything like it before, so I changed my underwear and went about my business. When I went to the bathroom again a few hours later, I noticed more brown discharge. It wasn’t until that moment that I realized I hadn’t accidentally soiled myself at all: I had gotten my first period. For too many teens, they have the same nerve-wracking experience simply because we don't talk enough about what to expect before it happens.
It’s completely normal to have a brown period. Read on to learn more about why first periods are often brown and what brown period blood means os you can chat with your child about it.
Is their first menstrual flow brown?
There is no guarantee when it comes to what the color of their first period will be. Many people experience brown period blood coming out of the vagina the first time while others have a red menstrual blood almost immediately. In my own personal experience, a first period can absolutely be brown. While there is no guarantee that their first period will be brown because every menstrual cycle is different, there is a very good chance it will be.
Why is period blood brown?
When period blood comes out brown it means that the blood has been in your body for a longer period of time. The longer it sits in the uterus, the more time it has to oxidize and the exposure to oxygen causes the blood to darken from bright red to brown. Usually, once the body has passed the brown blood, the color of your period will lighten from brown to red blood.
What do different colors of period blood mean?
There are a multitude of colours that period blood can be; From bright red blood, dark red, light red, to brown, pink and even grey. If you’re curious about why there are different colors, read this Kt by Knix guide explaining what the various colours mean. While variation in color can be completely normal, some colors are signs of sexually transmitted infections. (Here’s the short version: if your period comes out grey, you are definitely going to want to speak to a trusted adult or medical professional about it.)
What else do I need to know?
The most important thing to remember is that there is no such thing as a normal period. Menstrual bleeding patterns change from person to person. Every single body is different and what might be normal for your teen might be totally off-kilter for someone else. There’s no need to compare their period (or themselves!) to anyone else — tey are totally unique! If your teen is experiencing extreme pain or severe period symptoms, contact a medical professional immediately.
Otherwise, encourage them to embrace their first brown period. Soon, it won’t feel so scary anymore.