Blood Clots During Your Period: Causes, Symptoms and Treatments

Most blood clots during period are quite normal and do not always mean something is wrong. But you should be worried if you pass giant or large clots that are larger than a quarter.

You should also be worried if the clots are accompanied by heavy periods or severe menstrual cramps. 

What is a blood clot?

A blood clot or coagulation is a jelly like clump or mass of blood that prevents excessive blood loss when a blood vessel is damaged.

For example, when you have a cut, clotting prevents you from losing so much blood.

It does this by changing the state of the liquid blood to a semi solid or solid state.

You can have a clot in various parts of your body such as the leg, arms, heart, lungs, abdomen and even the brain.

Causes of Period blood Clots

During menstruation, the uterus contracts to shed its thick lining as blood. Your body produces anticoagulants as you menstruate.

This is to prevent your menstrual blood from clotting as they are being shed.

Any form of blood stagnation in the uterus can lead to clots.

During heavy periods or abnormal period, blood is expelled quickly, than the anticoagulant can handle.

When blood is expelled too quickly, the anticoagulant released is unable to thin most of the blood. This results in the presence of some clots during menstruation.

There are other variety of reasons why clots of blood form in your menstruation:

1. Endometriosis: 

Endometriosis is a disease that affects women in their reproductive years. 

Endometriosis is a condition in which the tissues of the lining of the womb(endometrium) is found outside the womb. The tissues starts to grow in the fallopian tube, ovaries and abdominal cavity.

Symptoms of endometriosis are:

  • ​Menstrual blood with large blood clots
  • Bleeding between period
  • Stale brown blood
  • Irregular periods or heavy bleeding during menses
  • Abdominal cramps and back pain during menstruation

2. Adenomyosis

Adenomyosis is a condition in which the tissues of the lining of the uterus(endometrium) breaks through the muscle walls of the uterus (myometrium).

Symptoms of Adenomyosis

  • Blood clots during menstrual bleeding
  • Heavy menstrual bleeding with pain
  • Spotting between period
  • Pain during sex

3. Hormonal Imbalance

The menstrual cycle is regulated by two key hormones : estrogen and progesterone.

These two hormone are involved in how the uterine lining is thickened and expelled monthly.

When there is an imbalance between the two hormones,​ the lining of the womb can become very thick.

A very thick uterine lining results in excessive or heavy blood flow with clots.​

3. Heavy Menstrual Bleeding

Blood clots are common when you have heavy periods (menorrhagia). This is because the blood is expelled at a rate faster than what the anticoagulants can work on.

Heavy flow also causes blood to accumulate in the uterus(womb). Blood stagnation enables blood to clump together to form clotting.

4. Perimenopause

Perimenopause is the period of 4-10 years before a woman attains menopause( period cessation). During this stage the ovaries produce less estrogen.

One of the first signs that you are in the perimenopausal stage is having heavy period with blood clots during your monthly flow.

Your period may also become irregular and you can also experience unusual heavy bleeding from time to time.

5. Pcos

Polycystic ovary syndrome occurs when there are multiple cysts on the ovary.

It is caused by excessive androgen(male hormone) in women.

Women with PCOS are at a higher risk of blood clot if they are taking oral birth control pills

6. Birth Control pill

Women on the pill are more likely to have clots in their menstrual blood.

Women with heavy period are often prescribed birth control pills to slow down blood flow.

The artificial estrogen in birth control pills helps to form clots to slow down the flow of blood. And pills also shorten duration of the flow.

Not all women with heavy period gets treated with the use of birth control pills.

7. uterine Fibroids

Uterine fibroids are benign (non-cancerous) tumours that are found on the walls of the uterus.

Fibroids can interfere with the ability of the womb to fully contract.  Blood clots are likely to form if this happens.

In general any uterine obstruction such as polyps or fibroid can in some cases cause blood clotting.

8. Miscarriage

During miscarriage women experience bleeding and cramping that are accompanied by blood clots with tissue.

If you suspect you are pregnant and you notice clots of blood on tissue or on your pant. See the doctor immediately.

What does big blood clot in period mean?

Is it normal to have big clot in your period? is a question we get asked.

You may be surprised and worried if you see a big blood clot in your menstrual period.

A big clot that is bigger than a quarter is usually a sign that there is an underlaying condition. You should seek a medical advice if this happens.

See a doctor if:

  • Your period is heavier than it would normally be, you are soaking your pad or tampon every 1 or 2 hours
  • You are passing large blood clot that is larger than quarter
  • You have a thick menstrual period
  • You have a prolonged menstrual bleeding that lasts more than 7 days

Signs of blood clot

Incase you are not sure of what a period clot is or what it looks and feel like. Here are the common symptoms:

  • ​A blood clot is a jelly-like mass of thick menstrual blood that comes out of your vagina during menstruation
  • Clots are common at the beginning of your period
  • Clots are clumpy and jelly like and they can be bright red or dark red in color

Pictures of Heavy Periods With Clot

What do blood clot look like?

Here is what a miscarriage blood clot look like:

What does clots with with tissue mean?

Wondering what the difference between passing blood clot or white tissue is?

The lining of the uterus(endometrium) consist of tissues which are expelled with blood during menstruation.

Also expelling tissues and blood clot is common during an early miscarriage.

Blood Clot larger than a quater in period is it normal?

No, a very large clot in period is not normal. See a doctor immediately. 

Is Golf sized blood clot bad?

A golf sized clot in a period is bad. It means something is wrong. See your doctor immediately.

A normal size blood clot should be a dime size and not as big as a quarter.​

How To stop blood clots in period

Most times, you would not need to worry if you have a small clot in your period a few times.

To treat a period clot, you would need to find the underlaying issue causing it.

Most blood clots are caused by a heavy or strong period flow.​ 

Seek medical attention if you are new to clots in your menses.

Home remedies to prevent blood clot during menstruation

Fishoil : Fish oil is an anti coagulant which helps to prevent clumpy blood.

Vitamin E : Vitamin E is also an anti coagulant which helps to thin blood.

Menstrual Cups : Use menstrual cups to monitor the color, size and consistency of the clots you are experiencing.

Balance Hormones : An imbalance hormone is one of the causes of blood clotting. Take herbs and supplements that help to regulate your estrogen and progesterone hormone.

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