If you feel that your period is not your normal, it is recommended to see your doctor. You know your body best!
The colours you are most likely to see during your period are:
Bright red – this shows up for the longest amount of time during most people’s periods.
Dark red – this colour is associated with heavy days, first thing in the morning, and clots. This colour will only be seen at some points during the period, not the whole time. If this colour is the dominant one, get it checked out. Heavy periods might indicate anemia.
Brown or black – this colour is usually at the beginning or end of the period, and it’s just the old blood that has been oxidized the longest. If this colour is the dominant one, get it checked out.
Pink – this colour is mildly unusual. It might mean the flow is very light, that estrogen levels are low, an unbalanced diet, or that a high level of exercise is shortening the period. Not all of this is bad! However, if this colour is the dominant one, get it checked out.
Any other colour (in my research for this, blue, purple, orange, and grey have all been mentioned) should be seen by a doctor asap, as they indicate some health issues.
Any bleeding in between periods should be checked out asap as well, as that could indicate other health problems.
Trying to find good, sourced references on this topic was very difficult. I’d find an article that told me all about the colours of the blood, but then there’d be no references in the article, and I’d have to start all over again. Very frustrating!
Before I get started on the post, I’d like to share a piece of good news I got yesterday from my publisher. The Blush cards have been completed, and the printer has shipped them! They should be arriving at the publisher’s on Monday! I am ridiculously excited about this, as it is earlier than anticipated. Whee!!
This Chinese swimmer got her period during the Olympics. The day before her race. And apparently she gets debilitating cramps while on her period. Ouch. As someone who (usually) bleeds every month, it surprised me that it hadn’t occurred to me before this point what athletes did about the cramping that (might) come with their periods while during a meet.
Apparently it hadn’t occurred to me because it’s a taboo to discuss it in the sports world. Really? Ok then. Not my place at all to judge. But it certainly surprised me to hear that. But what surprised me even more was what was said as I continued to read the article; only 2% of Chinese people who get their periods use tampons. (In the US, 42% of menstruating people use tampons, for comparisons sake.)
I am a swimmer. Not competitively, but I was a lifeguard. I taught swimming lessons. I love the water. I used tampons from age 14-23. Not always successfully… but that’s a story for another time. Now (when needed) I use a menstrual cup called a Diva Cup.
So to hear that only 2%, TWO PER CENT, use tampons… it boggles my mind. How do they swim? Or do they just forgo swimming one week every month?
Not only do they not use tampons, but a lot of people aren’t even aware that they exist. Or weren’t, until Fu Yuanhui talked about swimming on her period on national television. Apparently someone even accused her of lying about being on her period, because how could she swim?
Hopefully this opens up a healthy discussion about menstruation and the variety of products available, and more menstruating people can have the opportunities that were so long denied to them.
P.S. If you go and read the article, there is more content, including whether menstruation affects sports performance, and whether using a tampon stops the person from being a virgin. The former would be an incredibly long post involving a lot of research that has yet to be done conclusively, and the latter is another post entirely – about what virginity means. I’ve been avoiding talking about this subject because I’m afraid of including too much of my opinions, but I think it’s time for that discussion…in two weeks.
P.P.S. If you are interested in doing a guest post about a topic that would fall under Blush, please let me know! This can be done with credit given, or anonymously. Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
So far we have received almost three digits worth of questions, but I’m greedy, and I want more! Ask us your anonymous questions here!
What is menstruation?
To put it simply, menstruation is when the female body sheds the lining of her uterus.
This happens for the first time in between the ages of 10 and 17. Please note that the age you get your first period does not necessarily run in your family. My grandmother was 17, her youngest daughter was 10. I was 2 months shy of 14.
The length of period can vary between 3 days and 1 week. If it is longer than this, please consult your doctor to be safe.
The lining of the uterus is built up over a 28-36 day period, to protect and nourish a fetus. If no fetus is present, the old lining is removed from the body to prepare for a new one.
Participating in continuous strenuous activity may extend the time in between your periods, and might delay you getting your first period. Being under excessive stress might extend the menstrual cycle. Not having enough to eat, or not eating healthy, might affect your period. An imbalance of hormones in your body might affect your period. Being around a group of girls for extended periods of time might cause your periods to sync.