6 period blood colors and what they mean

You must be thinking, isn’t all blood always red? Well, not exactly … Period blood can be in several colors.

Sometimes back we conducted a survey with a group of men and women on the level of their awareness of menstruation. Two of the questions that ignored a debate were about how much blood is lost during periods and the other the color of period blood and 96 percent of the respondents said it was red. Do you agree?

If you are going to forget everything about this article, please remember that during menstruation, the body sheds tissue and blood from the uterus through the vagina and this bloody discharge can vary in color.

 Blood that stays in the uterus long enough will react with oxygen (oxidize) and therefore, it would appear darker in color. Importantly, hormonal changes and health conditions can also affect the color and texture of period blood.

Let’s explore the various period blood colors and what they indicate:


‘Black’ blood is likely to be dark red or brown in color but it appears black. It can appear at the beginning or end of a person’s period. This color is a sign of old blood or blood that has taken longer to leave the uterus and has had time to oxidize, first turning brown or dark red and then eventually getting darker in color. It is not necessarily a reason to worry.

Brown or dark red

Like black blood, brown or dark red is a sign of old blood, and it may appear at the beginning or end of a period. Brown or dark red blood has not had as long to oxidize as black blood and can appear in a variety of shades.

Brown blood or spotting can sometimes also be an early sign of pregnancy that doctors refer to as implantation bleeding.

Bright red

Bright red blood indicates fresh blood and a steady flow. This color shows that the blood has not been in the uterus for long. A period may start with bright red bleeding and darken towards the end of the period. Some people may find that their blood stays bright red throughout their period.


You may notice pink blood at the start of your period. Pink blood or spotting can occur when period blood mixes with vaginal discharge. Using hormonal birth control methods can lower estrogen levels in the body, which can lead to a lighter flow with a pinkish shade during periods. In addition, during sexual intercourse, you can experience small tears in the vagina or the cervix, and blood from these tears can mix with vaginal fluids and exit a person’s body as pink discharge.


Blood that mixes with cervical fluid can also appear orange (in reality this blood is a lighter shade of red). It is not usually a cause for concern but it can sometimes be a sign of an infection such as bacterial vaginosis. It is important to check for other symptoms, such as vaginal itching, foul smell, and burning sensation, and seek medical attention.


Gray discharge is usually a sign of bacterial vaginosis, a condition that occurs due to an imbalance between beneficial and harmful bacteria in the vagina. If you’re pregnant, a gray discharge may be a sign of miscarriage.

 Every woman’s period is different, and blood can change color and consistency during a period and from month to month. It is essential for you to learn what is normal for you.

Always go to the hospital if you have any concerns about any color changes in your period or if you experience unusual color changes.

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