What are the blood clots in your period? Understanding the basics

Aug 21, 2023

What are the blood clots in your period? Understanding the basics

While periods vary from person to person, it’s not uncommon to notice blood clots in your menstrual flow. If you've ever wondered about the causes, normality, and significance of blood clots during your period, we're here to offer resources to help you get to know your body a little better, and ease any worry you have about experiencing blood clots in your menstrual flow. We'll dive into the basics of blood clots, how they form, and with the expertise of obstetrics and gynaecology doctor Dr Emily, suggest when it's appropriate to seek medical advice.

In this article we’ll be covering: 

  • What are the blood clots you see during your period?
  • Are blood clots in your period normal?
  • Does the size of the blood clots matter?
  • When and if you should be concerned about blood clots around your period

What are the blood clots you see during your period?

During menstruation, the uterus sheds its lining, resulting in bleeding. The menstrual flow consists of blood, tissue, and other fluids. Period blood clots are jelly-like substances that form when blood coagulates, or clumps together. They are usually darker in colour and have a gelatinous consistency.

Why do you get blood clots?

The presence of period blood clots is a normal occurrence for many women. Several factors can contribute to their formation:

  1. a) Hormones: Hormonal changes during your menstrual cycle can affect the consistency of your period blood. Higher levels of the hormone oestrogen can lead to a thicker endometrial lining, potentially resulting in larger blood clots. 

  1. b) Uterine contractions: The uterus contracts to expel the lining during menstruation. Sometimes, these contractions can be strong, causing the blood to clot before it is expelled from the body.

  1. c) Heavy flow: Those with heavier periods are more likely to experience blood clots. Increased blood flow and faster expulsion can lead to clot formations.


Are blood clots in your period normal?

Yes, blood clots in periods are generally considered normal. The presence of small to moderate-sized jelly-like blood clots during periods is not usually a cause for concern. However, if you have unusually large clots or if they persist for an extended period, consult with a healthcare professional.

Does the size of the blood clots matter?

The size of blood clots can vary from person to person. Smaller clots, similar in size to a grape or smaller, are generally normal. However, if you consistently pass clots larger than a pound coin (around 2.5 cm or 1 inch) in diameter, it may indicate an underlying issue. Large clots could be a sign of conditions like uterine fibroids, endometriosis, or hormonal imbalances. It's always a good idea to consult a healthcare professional if you have concerns or questions about blood clots during your period.

When and if you should be concerned about blood clots around your period:

While blood clots during menstruation are usually harmless, there are instances when you should seek medical advice:

  1. a) Persistent large clots: If you regularly experience significant blood clotting or pass clots larger than a pound coin, it's important to consult a healthcare professional. This may indicate an underlying condition.

  1. b) Severe pain or heavy bleeding: If your period is accompanied by intense pelvic pain, excessive bleeding that saturates a pad or tampon in under an hour, or symptoms such as dizziness or fainting, seek medical attention. Dr Emily warns that other signs of heavy bleeding include needing to use more than one type of period product together, bleeding through onto clothes or bedding or having to take time off school or work. Feeling very tired or short of breath can be a sign of anaemia. These features should prompt you to seek medical advice to address any potential underlying cause.

  1. c) Change in menstrual patterns: If you notice sudden changes in your menstrual cycle, such as increased clotting or irregular periods, consult a healthcare professional. Dr Emily emphasizes that there are many causes of abnormally heavy bleeding, but the good news is many are treatable. These can include hormonal imbalance or change in hormonal contraception, structural changes such as fibroids, PCOS, infections, and many more. Anyone having bleeding between periods, after sex, or after menopause should see their doctor.

In most cases, period blood clots are a normal part of the menstrual process. However, paying attention to any significant changes in clot size, consistent large clots, or accompanying symptoms is important. Being aware of your body and seeking medical advice when necessary gives you both peace of mind and ensures good menstrual health.

Periods are an essential aspect of life, yet people’s experiences of them are still treated as taboo topics meaning they are often under-discussed. For many people, this has led to a lack of proper education about our own bodies. At Fluus, we are committed to changing that. Not only do we want to open up conversations around our period, but as a business our mission is to make period products that are sustainable and convenient so you have one less thing to worry about during menstruation. Explore our range of flushable pads for hassle-free disposal and an overall more comfortable period experience.