It might sound weird, but your period has its own little rainbow of colors. Menstruation can range from classic crimson red to brown, black or blue (blue?! I know). It can be super confusing and even a little scary when you see a color you’re not expecting ~down there~ but fear not – there’s an explanation for all the shades of your period and the causes are almost always harmless.
Read on to find out more about the different colors of your period and what they mean (and feel free to browse our range of menstruation panties if you'd like a little extra protection from menstrual leaks, odor, and moisture).
As you may know, period blood is different than the kind of blood that would come from a scraped knee or a papercut. Since it’s mixed with your uterine lining, the color isn’t quite as bright as your papercut blood and ends up more of a fresh cranberry red. When your period blood is this color, it means this is the freshest blood your uterus is shedding.
You will usually see this color during the middle of your cycle. If this turns up when you’re not supposed to be on your period, it could be spotting, which is completely normal. However, if it’s accompanied by cramping or pain, it could be an indicator of an underlying problem, such as a cyst. You know your body best, so if you feel like something is up, contact your family physician or gynecologist.
The longer blood as been in your uterus, the darker the color becomes. Dark red blood has been around longer and will often show up when you wake up in the morning or when your period is a little heavier than usual. Dark red or maroon colored blood can also indicate the rate your uterus is shedding is beginning to slow down, so as your bleeding comes to an end, you may see this.
Seeing extremely light red or pink colored blood can happen when your period is lighter than usual or when you’re spotting. It’s normal to have a light period flow on occasion, especially if you’re stressed out, highly athletic, or have experienced a significant change in your weight.
If your period is light month after month, it could be an indicator of a vitamin or nutrient deficiency, which could put your bones and heart at risk. Take this time to reassess your diet and make sure to eat lots of protein-rich foods.
Brown or black
As mentioned, the blood that sticks around the longest in your uterus will be the darkest. Most commonly, this blood will be brown, but it’s not abnormal if it’s black. You’ll most likely see this darker color right at the beginning of your cycle on the first day when your period is starting (leftover from last month!), or right at the end when your period is on its way out.
Orange or rust
If your period blood has an orangish tint to it, but the consistency and scent doesn’t seem any different from your usual period blood, it’s most likely nothing to worry about. However, if the texture or scent is off, these can be symptoms of a sexually transmitted disease or infection (STD/STI). If this is the case, make a trip to your doctor’s office ASAP.
Blue or purple
Ok, I’ll admit when I heard your period blood could be blue or purple, I was very surprised and almost didn’t believe it. However, while it’s never happened to me personally, it’s certainly not abnormal. You’ll see a blue or purple hue when the blood is clotted. Keep in mind, period clots and clumps are completely normal during your monthly cycle.
If you’re seeing dark blue or purple bleeding, it means you have too much estrogen in your system, but don’t worry – this isn’t a huge deal, it just means you need to incorporate more fiber into your daily diet!
Congrats! You have now officially learned all the colors of your period rainbow! I don’t know about you, but it’s comforting to know that it’s completely normal and healthy to see some different colors going on down there. However, if you’re seeing any abnormal colors that weren’t listed (green? yellow?) you need to make a trip to the doctor’s office immediately.
And just incase you forget any of this handy-dandy information, we made a chart to remind you. print it out, put it in your pocket, tape it to your wall - or don't, but here it is anyways:
Whatever the color of your period, stay dry and leakproof with our ‘Oh-No' Proof Bikini.