Updated: Mar 19
Blood Clot During Periods? Blood Clot During Periods Blood clotting is the formation of a gel-like thrombus (clot) inside blood vessels. Blood clot during period is one of the most common problems that women face during menstruation period. Blood clots can form for many reasons and contribute to numerous health conditions including stroke, heart disease, pulmonary embolism (PE), deep vein thrombosis (DVT) etc. Blood clot during pregnancy is also relatively common than other times in life. This article will cover how menstrual cycle contributes to blood clots , its diagnosis and management.
For many women, getting a period is never a cause for concern. However, for some women, periods can be accompanied by blood clots. Blood clots during periods can be alarming and confusing, but with the right information it is possible to understand what is happening and how to treat it.
What are Blood Clots?
Blood clots are small masses of blood that have become solidified. They can occur for a number of reasons, including injury, illness, or pregnancy. When they occur in the context of menstruation, they are often called "menstrual clots." Menstrual clots can be caused by a number of factors, including hormonal changes, dehydration, and trauma to the uterus from intercourse or tampons. Blood clots can be worrisome, but they don't pose any serious health risks and they often dissolve on their own within a few days.
What Causes Blood Clots to Form?
The exact causes of blood clots during periods are not clear, but it is probably related to hormonal changes that occur during the menstrual cycle. Blood flows from the uterus through small holes in the cervix toward the vagina. This flushes out old tissues and leaves behind cellular debris such as dead cells and blood cells for disposal by way of your bowel or bladder (depending on where you are in your cycle). Healthy uterine lining tissue may also pass with this flow. However, when estrogen levels drop before menstruation begins, these holes may become narrower and impede the flow of blood. This can cause blood to pool and form clots.
What are the Symptoms?
The most common symptoms of blood clots during periods are pain and/or heavy bleeding. Blood clots can also cause nausea, vomiting, or dizziness. If you experience any of these symptoms, you should see a doctor right away for diagnosis and treatment.
How is Blood Clotting Diagnosed?
If you experience pain or heavy bleeding during your period, your doctor will likely perform a physical exam and order some tests to diagnose the problem. One common test is a pelvic ultrasound, which uses sound waves to create an image of the uterus and ovaries. This test can help the doctor determine the cause of the blood clots and whether or not there is an infection that needs to be treated. Blood tests can also help doctors measure hormone levels and screen for medical conditions like kidney disease that may contribute to blood clots during periods.
How are Blood Clots Treated?
When blood cannot flow out of the uterus, it becomes trapped. Blood clots can restrict circulation in your body, affecting your nervous system and causing contractions of the uterus (which further restricts circulation). Blood clots can also lower iron levels in your body, leading to anemia (and its associated symptoms). Fortunately, there are plenty of treatment options for period-related blood clots. The first line of defense is pain medications for cramps and NSAIDS (anti-inflammatory medications) like ibuprofen. If you develop anemia, your doctor may prescribe oral contraceptives to help correct hormone levels and menstrual cycles. Blood clots that persist for more than a week despite treatment should be removed using suction or medication.
What Women Can Do to Reduce Risk of Blood Clots During Periods?
There are several things women can do to reduce the risk of getting blood clots during periods:
- Exercise regularly
- Eat healthy foods low in fat and sugar
- Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water every day
- Limit consumption of alcohol and caffeine for overall health
- Use tampons instead of pads when possible
- Avoid wearing clothing that is too tight
Taking care of yourself during your period can reduce the risk of developing blood clots and their symptoms. Blood clots have no serious health consequences, so there's no need to be unduly concerned when you get them during menstruation. Blood clotting often occurs in women who are pregnant or taking oral contraceptives, so it is important to talk with a doctor right away if you experience pain or heavy bleeding while on birth control pills. Blood clots have no connection with cancer, but it is still important to see a doctor if any abnormal changes occur with your body (including painful periods). Blood clots are usually benign, but they can signal serious conditions like endometriosis or uterine fibroids. Blood clots during periods are not something women should ignore, but they are usually not severe enough to require emergency intervention.
This blog provides information about telemedicine, health and related subjects. The blog content and any linked materials herein are not intended to be, and should not be construed as a substitute for, medical or healthcare advice, diagnosis or treatment. Any reader or person with a medical concern should consult with an appropriately-licensed physician or other healthcare provider. This blog is provided purely for informational purposes. The views expressed herein are not sponsored by and do not represent the opinions of nōni.