Black, Brown, Bright Red: What Does It Mean?

While menstrual cramps and discomfort may be the worst three to five days of your life, you will be surprised at the benefits of having your monthly period.

Our periods are seen as a health indication and let us know how our bodies are doing.

For example when your immune system is low, the colour and texture of your menstrual blood change.

Let’s take a closer look at what each colour means:

Bright red

This is normally the typical colour of your period. Red period blood is an indication of a steady flow.

If you find that you are spotting red period blood during your cycle we advise you to see your gynaecologist as this can be an indication of pregnancy or infection.

Brown or dark red

Brown or dark red blood is often seen at the beginning of your period. This is because the iron in our blood reacts with oxygen to undergo the chemical process known as oxidation.

This makes the period appear darker. Brown or dark red period blood could also be a result of remaining blood called lochia, which often occurs after a woman has given birth.

Black or dark brown

Blood flowing from the uterus can change colour from dark red to brown and then to black.

Black blood is often only just old blood and shouldn’t be a raise for a concern. You should only be concerned if you have a high fever, swelling or itching around your vagina which is followed by discharge and unpleasant smells, these could all be signs of a vagina or cervical block and needs to be seen by your local GP.


Pink or a lighter colour red period could be caused by your contraceptive, which may have altered your hormone levels.

A pink period could also indicate anaemia which is most commonly due to an iron deficiency. It could also be an indication that you are at the start of your period and the blood has mixed with cervical fluid, diluting its shade.

Orange or grey

Your period blood is often orange when there is a change in the acidity in the vagina causing an increased overgrowth of bacteria or fungi causing vaginal thrush.

Grey period blood is a sign of bacteria vaginosis. This condition is often watery and associated with vaginal itching.

This is just a simple guide as to what your period may indicate about your health.

Young women who have just started their periods may experience a variety of colours and textures until their menstrual cycle becomes regular.

(Kindly note if you are experiencing any of the above issues please seek your GP for medical advice.)

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4 thoughts on “Black, Brown, Bright Red: What Does It Mean?

    • selishadhilraj #1221 says:

      I always panic when i get my period as i experience severe menstual and body cramps. I bleed for more than 7 days and its always heavy. I experience bleeding dark red and black blood during my period. I get alot of blood clots along with pain.

      Now that i read the information about the different blood it makes sense to me to oonsult with a doctor as soon as possible.

  1. manyatizimkita says:

    This is very interesting and awesome to read there’s so much that I didn’t have any idea off some of use don’t get to learn those at school

    Thank you for the article