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Home/Cycle Matters / Period & Bleeding

What does the color of period blood mean?

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Written by Lauren McKay

Lauren McKay

Lauren McKay is a writer and journalist with more than ten years of experience writing across a variety of topics. She is a passionate advocate for driving women’s health knowledge and is a trained yoga teacher. She earned a Masters in Creative Writing from the University of Glasgow and currently lives in Scotland.

Fact checked by Jack Pearson, Medical Affairs Manager at Natural Cycles

Jack Pearson

Dr. Jack Pearson is a previously HCPC registered Embryologist with a PhD in reproductive medicine. Prior to joining Natural Cycles leading Medical Affairs, he worked for more than 10 years in a clinical setting working at some of the busiest fertility clinics in the UK. Today he spends most of his time working with experts at the world’s leading institutions to carry out important research with the vision to further the field of female health. He earned his PhD from the University of Sheffield specializing in Sperm Metabolism and currently lives in London.

Key takeaways:

  • Period blood isn’t always red. In fact, period colors can vary depending on what stage you’re at in your cycle and whether there are any other health concerns 
  • Changes in period blood colors are usually simply an indication of how fresh the blood is — although there are other potential reasons for color variations too, including infections and pregnancy

If you’re on your period and notice that your blood is black, brown, or even orange, it’s not usually a reason to panic. But it is always a good idea to get to know your menstrual cycle better and understand what’s normal for you. Let’s unpack what different period blood colors mean and when it’s a good idea to consult with a doctor.

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