A lot of women worry when they see their menstruation blood turning black. There are numerous reasons behind the dark, black color of period blood. The black or dark color is basically caused when the blood is not released from the uterus at a normal, fast rate. This slow discharged blood then becomes oxygenated and on account of this, blood changes from red to black. But, again, there are several reasons for this transition in color. Let’s find out what black period blood signifies, what are its causes and how to treat it.
The causes of black period blood are many. But a word of caution, if the same kind of an issue of dark blood release is noted in pregnant ladies, the doctor must be immediately consulted. Black period blood is caused due to many of the following reasons.
#1 Part of Normal Periods
At the time of the period, black blood may be discharged from the vagina before the start or end of the period. Black blood is noticed during a menstrual discharge as old tissues are eliminated from the endometrium in preparation for periods in the uterus. Black blood at the beginning of the period is common. This is the process through which the uterus sheds its old blood not expelled in the previous cycle. The period blood should return to red after one to two days of black period flow or spotting. Generally, the color of the discharge is clear white or yellow after periods. Sometimes, women may face black discharge on account of disease, infection, improper or lack of nutrition, changes in menstruation cycle and intake of birth control pills. While the menstruation is normal, women should consult the doctor if the black discharge is excessive. Taking medications also causes black discharge post periods.
#2 Uterine Polyps
A polyp in the uterus prevents the cervix from gathering blood in the uterus. This causes blood to darken while being released.
#3 Hormonal Imbalances
Fluctuations or imbalances in the level of hormones due to medical conditions cause black colored periods.
This is when the developed follicle splits in the ovary post the release of the egg or ovum. This egg or ovum, when fertilized through union with a sperm, leads to pregnancy. During the ovulation, some amount of dark blood can be released a week after the period’s end. Ovulation halts in the few days with the onset of cramps. Other signs of ovulation include stretchy clear discharge that is watery, increase in the temperature of the body post ovulation, dip in basal body temperatures just prior and an increase in libido.
If the brown-black blood is experienced in a week or just days after your periods, it causes implantation bleeding or pregnancy.
Black blood before periods is not necessarily a sign of pregnancy; it could also result from infection or diseases. In certain cases, women may experience a brown discharge and not a period. Light bleeding past the ovulation indicates the release of fresh blood from the fertilized egg attaching itself to the uterine lining. If one is trying to conceive and has sex close to ovulation, a brown-black discharge may signal pregnancy. Those with PCOS, endometriosis and Ovarian premature failure also experience the discharge before the period.
One potential reason for black period blood is there is something blocking the blood from coming out. It could be a signal you have an imperforate hymen. In this condition, the hymen obstructs the vagina completely and it is a birth condition. When this takes place, period blood does not make its way out of the vagina. As this is a congenital condition, it cannot be developed later in life. Other potential obstructions include tumors. These are not common, though.
#7 Delayed Period
Another common cause of black blood during menstrual discharge is a delayed period. This is when the blood becomes oxidized and old blood then exits the body. The same symptoms are reported whenever a delayed period is experienced. If one goes through it, there are many possible reasons for delayed periods. Talk to your doctor about it, if you are looking for specific answers.
#8 Infected Vagina
A more serious cause that needs to be tackled is the vaginal infection. These lead to chronic blood pressure, black period blood and pain. Infections of the vagina are on account of bacterial overgrowth. There are other symptoms as well such as foul smell and pain in the pelvic area. If there is a vaginal infection, the doctor can treat it using antibiotics. Vaginal infections caused by bacteria can also lead to black colored period blood.
Another reason for black colored period blood is the possibility of a miscarriage. If you are pregnant, closely watch your menstrual cycle. Black colored discharge could mean a miscarriage. Talk to a doctor about confirming this.
#10 Stress or Depression
One of the biggest reasons for discharge of black colored blood during menstruation is the period irregularity. This can be triggered due to stress or depression. How so? The thinning of the inner uterine walls is the reason. Over time, this leads to a delay in shedding and the onset of periods. If one is stressed or worried or even experiencing depression, black period blood can result. Some top ways to reduce stress include eating a healthy diet, exercise, yoga as well as meditation. Stress can result in many negative health consequences including chances of heart disease. But black discharge is also a symptom caused by period irregularities.
Another cause of the symptom of black period blood is medication. While not each woman reacts to medications uniformly, what works for one woman may result in black period blood in others. If one is on medication and thinks these medicines are responsible for the discharge, it is essential to inform the doctor. In turn, the doctor can find a replacement. Medication can result in many side effects. This includes period blood that changes in color. Blood that is black can be due to medicines, therefore.
#12 End of Cycle Discharge
Blood is red while exiting the body as it is fresh. When black blood is released, this indicates the blood has remained in the body for some time. Finally, the blood starts to dry and turns dark red, brownish or even black. During the menstrual cycle, blood lies dormant in the body and is not expelled fast enough. This occurs to a lot of women until the end of their cycle, when the blood is finally released. Then, the blood clot closes up. In case the blood has remained in the body for a long period of time, it appears black or darkish brown in color. This should only take place at the end of the cycle and not at the start. Black menstrual blood at the start of the cycle is the result of clotting possibly.
#13 Blood Clots
Blood clots are natural when a woman is menstruating. Normally, it is bright in color and has a red, jelly-like structure and this blood should not be black. If one does pass clots that are black, this is essentially a cause for concern and indicates a further internal issue. If black blood clots are experienced, visiting a doctor is a must.
#14 STD Infection
It is also possible that black period blood may be caused by an STD infection. Uterus infections can lead to blackening of the blood along with STDs. Many women who have sex while they menstruate may also experience black bleeding as blood is pushed back into the vagina post intercourse. Unless it is regular and repetitive, black blood is not a cause for concern. A lot of black blood or menstruation towards the beginning of a cycle can be a problem too.
#15 Extreme Changes in Weight
Irregular periods can be a reason for black discharge, and the cause of that further is a change in hormone levels, stress or extreme weight changes. This causes periods of blood to become lighter or heavier even and impact the duration of the menstrual cycle. If periods become light and less frequent, it may be possible that dark brown or black period may be experienced towards the close of the period. This is an indication of changes in weight too.
#16 Birth Control/ Contraceptives
While taking birth control pills, it may be that you have dark or black colored menstrual discharge in the first few months. Oral contraceptives can impact the hormones of the body to ward off monthly ovulation and affect the uterine lining to prevent conception or pregnancy from occurring. These changes in progesterone and estrogen impact monthly cycles and cause dark period blood release. Dark brown spotting also occurs on account of oral contraceptives, because this causes the hormones to drop in level and dark blood is there because menstrual flow lightens and absorbs more oxygen. Some types of hormonal contraceptives can even lead to break-through bleeding. This causes black discharge due to spotting on account of old uterine blood.
Most doctors say that dark blood spotting takes place when birth control pills are used only for the first three months or so.
#17 Uterine Fibroids
Uterine fibroids are non-malignant growths in the uterus that upset menstrual cycles and cause black blood during menstruation. Uterine fibroids can also cause spotting or bleeding between the period, painful and prolonged periods and consistent pelvic pain. If there are symptoms of heavy, abnormal bleeding, a doctor must be consulted for checkups. Ovarian cysts can also cause black blood discharge.
In years that follow post the change to menopause, darker periods with less or dark brown blood may be the result. Your periods also lower in frequency and lighter menstrual flow is possible. In the years transitioning to menopause, periods can change in frequency and light/heavy flow may result as ovulation lessens in regularity. On account of changes in the menstrual cycle, old blood can be passed out and cause periods blood to darken or blacken,
Another reason, albeit a rare one, for dark discharge, is the possibility of a cancerous growth in the uterus or reproductive system. While a majority of the causes of black period blood are nothing to panic about, doctors have said that womb cancer can result in pathological bleeding, causing vaginal discharge that is dark and foul-smelling.
Only some cases of irregular or dark colored bleeding are due to cancer. However, postmenopausal women with vaginal bleeding worried about abnormalities must visit the doctor.
#20 PID/Pelvic Inflammatory Disease
An infection triggered by reproductive organs known as PID or pelvic inflammatory disease affects the monthly cycle resulting in a black colored discharge. The disease does not turn the period black but can lead to menstrual irregularities. Some symptoms of PID are irregular menses, foul discharge, and pelvic pain. It is vital to get PID treated, as lack of treatment can lead to permanent infertility and other complications.
#21 Retained Menses
This is another cause for black discharge during menstruation. This means the period blood is being retained either in the vagina or the uterus. It can also be retained in the vagina. The hymen covers the vagina completely and this does not permit blood to flow out unless pushed by uterine contractions. In older women, narrowing of the cervix can also cause retained menses. This is why medical assistance is needed.
You need to worry about dark period blood if it takes place every time during the period. Another problem area is if the discharge occurs after intercourse, due to polyps obstructing the cervix. The abdomen may also get bigger due to larger fibroid mass post the discharge. Additionally, along with the discharge, there should be odor or itching down there. Smelly discharge can be a sign of infection. Additionally, another risk is when the woman is more than 40 years of age, with black blood releasing from the vagina. Dark blood releasing from the vagina after menopause can also be an indication of hyperplasia or endometrial cancer. In such cases, medical care is critically needed. Insertion of an IUD may also have black blood coming out. The doctor needs to be informed in such cases.
When To See a Doctor?
The doctor should be visited if black period blood comes with burning or itching feeling, severe cramping, excessive blood and pain at the time of sex or urination as well as burning sensation while peeing. Loss of hunger, mood swings and abnormal bleeding also need to be looked into, if they accompany black-colored discharge.
Remedies for Black Period Blood
Drinking a lot of water is the simplest remedy. Water helps to flush out toxins, chemicals, and undesirable bacteria whenever one pees or sweats, and also dilutes the blood so it remains viscous to the right degree.
Another home remedy is to avoid infections. Wearing cotton underwear and keeping private areas dry and clean is important. Additionally, wiping your vagina clean after urination is recommended.
To avoid period black blood, douching needs to be avoided. Additionally, pH neutral soaps or water needs to be used for cleaning the vagina to keep the balance right.
STD can only be avoided if you are cautious about protection. Avoid infections that lead to discharge by keeping the immunity strong.
Meditation is yet another way to bust stress induced black discharge. Opt for soothing therapies such as meditation. All one needs is a slow chant, a quiet environment and alone time. Following the chant or just focusing on not thinking about worries can be a way to bring down stress levels. It is also advisable to meditate for 30 minutes each day before starting the daily routine.
Aromatherapy is another trusted way to get rid of stress-induced black discharge. Buy a small infuser from the store and essential oil then needs to be added to the water. This causes the room to smell good and alleviates tension and worries. Choose herbs like chamomile, sandalwood, ylang-ylang, rosewood, and lavender.
Sleeping well is essential and one of the easiest ways to de-stress. Devices around you should not distract or disturb your sleep. A way to effectively deal with the stress is to exercise. Signing up or exercising for physical activities is a way to ensure that the body sweats out toxins. Channel your anger and frustration effectively to achieve ideal weight or body shape.
Stop Using Contraceptives
Another thing is to stop using contraceptives and pills and look for methods such as rings, condoms, patches and IUD devices, Calling your doctor before making a decision is important.
Bring About Dietary Changes
For better health, dietary changes are a must, and a well-balanced diet is essential. Choose food items such as green leafy veggies, pulses, fruits, coconuts, dry fruits, avocados, and fruits.
Use Health Supplements
Aside from ensuring the diet is well-balanced, add supplements to your diet as well. This includes VItamin C, E, iron, zinc. Other good choices for gynecological issues like these are evening primrose oil and folic acid. These supplements are packed with high degrees of hormones as well as regulating agents that boost the functioning of the reproductive system in women.
Some experts suggest upping your intercourse is an effective way to reduce the occurrence of black period blood. Many bloggers, medical sites, and people talk about how effective this is. The method is more psychological than medical or physical. It serves to de-stress the person and release hormones which better regulate the reproductive system. When there is an orgasm, the levels of endorphins and oxytocin rises causing contractions. This pushes out blood trapped in the hymen or the cervical opening.
Thus, while black period blood is a real problem when regular, accompanied by a foul smell or other serious symptoms. Any differences in vaginal discharge color or frequency should be reported to your gynecologist. It is essential to consider medical treatment along with home remedies, especially if the black colored menstrual discharge is associated with serious medical conditions. Work on your stress levels, maintain good levels of sexual hygiene and wellness and monitor your diet and water intake to keep irregular periods and black menstrual discharge at bay.