Written by Yoppie
15 Nov 2021
What consistency should my period be?
What if my period is watery?
What if there are clots in my period blood?
What if the blood is stringy or mucus-y?
What about lumpy period blood?
Should I see a doctor?
Got stringy period blood? How about the watery kind? Or maybe it switches up month-by-month? Whatever’s coming out of your vagina at the moment, it’s time to have a chat about consistency, what’s considered “normal”, and what your period blood could be telling you. Let’s take a look...
Period blood looks and feels different for absolutely everyone, and it also changes depending on where you are in your cycle, so try not to get hung up on what it should look like. There are far too many variables. Jennifer Ashton, M.D. put it best when talking to Women’s Health magazine when she said your period “shouldn’t be thin like Kool-Aid and it shouldn’t be thick like ketchup.” Somewhere in between is good.
Light periods are the norm for some people, and you may get a lighter period if it’s just starting or ending - that’s nothing to worry about. However, if the blood is looking thin and watery, there could be something else going on. Some reasons for this could be:
If you tend to get heavy periods you may notice some clots every so often, and that’s normal. According to the NHS, clots that are smaller than a 10p coin are pretty standard, but there’s no doubt excessive blood clots can be gross and distressing at best.
Clots tend to occur in the first couple of days of your period when it’s at its heaviest, and if you get them regularly that’s totally fine. If you start to notice period blood clots that are larger in size or appear more often, it’s worth exploring this with your doctor to make sure it isn’t a sign of something else going on, such as:
While blood clots are normal when menstruating, it’s good to know your body’s typical blood clot size and frequency. If this changes, you have any additional pain, or you start to require a tampon or towel change every 1-2 hours, you may want to speak to your doctor to make sure everything is working as it should be.
The short answer? It’s probably fine and healthy. If your menstrual blood is seeming a little more stringy, jelly-like or mucus-y (yes, let’s pretend mucus-y is a word) then it could be mixed up with some of the slippery fluid that comes from your cervix, called cervical mucus.
Cervical mucus is there to protect sperm and becomes thinner around the time of ovulation to help them reach the egg, and becomes thicker at other times. If you’re taking hormonal birth control, your cervical mucus is thickened precisely to stop sperm from getting through the cervix!. Ultimately, stringy or mucus-y period blood is usually nothing to worry about. If it has suddenly changed and you are concerned, speak to your GP to make sure everything is A-OK.
It’s normal to have some blood clots, which are a squishy, “jelly-like” consistency, but sometimes there might be more “tissue-like” clumps. These may be what’s called decidual or endometrial casts, which occur when most or all of the uterine lining comes away in one chunk, which might be the exact size and shape of your whole womb. While this looks alarming, it’s rare and no cause for concern.
Cheesy white lumps within period blood may be a symptom of thrush, a fungal infection which often pops up or gets worse when you’re on your period. This is particularly likely if you also have an itch down there. Look out for yellow or greenish lumpy discharge too, as this could be a sign of an infection, particularly if it’s smelly.
To summarise, if you are regularly passing large clots during your period, or the consistency of your period blood has changed alongside accompanying symptoms, then it doesn’t hurt to speak to your doctor.
In most cases, changes in period blood consistency are due to hormones, and will continue to change throughout your life. Get in tune with your flow and be aware when things seem different so you can reach out for help if needed.
Got a question about the consistency of your period blood? There are no embarrassing questions here at Yoppie! Feel free to chat about it in our private Full Stop FB group, or DM us on Instagram at @itsyoppie. Don't forget that our personalised menstrual cycle care box covers everything from organic tampons to hydrating face masks (and plenty more!) delivered regularly through your letterbox - so however your cycle is acting, we've got you covered.
Fact checked by Doctor Samantha Miller.
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