If you’ve had your period for a number of years or even if you’ve given birth, blood clotting during your period is old hat! If you’re just starting your period, you need to know you’re normal, blood clots during your period are normal and you are PERFECT! We’re answering the common questions regarding clotting while menstruating for anyone who’s ever wondered or is curious.
What are blood clots during your period?
As you may know, during your period you shed the lining of your uterus because you had an egg that wasn’t fertilized and your body is ridding itself of that to make everything new and ready for the next ovulation. Crazy, right? During this time, it’s super common to see blood of almost all kinds: bright red, dark red, brown, and even different consistencies like water-like, thick and then clots. This wide variation is most present during your heaviest days (usually day 1-3).
IMPORTANT: You are normal and all the things stated are a normal part of your period!
What causes blood clots in periods?
So, you know when we get a cut and it starts to scab? Our body immediately releases “procoagulants” which starts the clotting process. This is our body’s way of trying to stop the bleeding or stop us from bleeding too much. Well, during our period we shed the lining of our uterus, it’s not a cut, but the clotting is still our body’s mechanism to regulate the blood loss. (Your body is amazing!)
When we see small clotting during our period, “anticoagulants” are also released, forming a balancing act that ensures the blood is thinned out enough. During the heaviest phase of your period, the anticoagulants can be get lost by your flow, so they don’t have time to kick in and break down the clots before they are released from the body.
That is why during the first few days of your period when your flow is at its heaviest, is the highest chance of seeing clots. Some women experience clotting the first few days of their period when it’s the heaviest and others experience it right up until the end of the menstrual phase. Don’t worry either way! Your body is doing what it’s comfortable with.
When should I be concerned about blood clots during my period?
As we’ve mentioned, clotting is a perfectly normal part of the menstrual process. If you notice significant changes or any of these following symptoms, it’s best to consult your physician in case there is any sort of medical condition that is lurking.
If your clotting is grey-ish
You experience periods that are longer than 7 days
The clots are consistently larger than a nickel
You pass a lot of clotting in a short period of time
Excessive bleeding where you have to change your menstrual cup, tampon or pad every couple of hours.
Is my period blood normal?
Like every menstruating human, we are unique! This means our periods aren’t the same either. There are definite things to watch out for like we mentioned above, but in general, your period is fine. If you notice your period is bright red, it means your body is expelling it quicker. If you notice that your discharge is brown or darker, it just means it’s been ready to come out for a little while. One hint to help this is to keep incredibly hydrated during your period. Your vagina and uterus thrive off of water. Do you know when you’re thirsty? And your mouth is dry? Your uterus and vagina are similar because they too are always creating fluids. They need water to function properly and to continuously create a flushed and happy environment.
How can I better manage my period?
Take it from us! Periods are messy no matter what, however, if you find that seeing clots on your menstrual pads is disturbing to you or you’d rather not, we highly recommend a menstrual cup. Have you ever tried one? A menstrual cup is a small cup with a stem that is made of medical-grade silicone. It’s inserted in the vagina and collects menses safely for up to 12 hours. Imagine the period freedom, right? Not having to change your pad or tampon only but a couple of times a day? Crazy! Once you master a menstrual cup and how your body works with it, you’ll find immense freedom in it. And if the natural clotting bothers you, you just dump, wash and go!
If you’ve Googled any sort of feminine health issues, concerns or questions, chances are you’ve heard something about a low cervix or at least the mention of it. Fact of the matter is, nearly all women have a low cervix at some point during their menstrual cycle because that’s just the way the body is designed… and it’s amazing! YOU are amazing. Today we’re chatting about what a low cervix actually is and how it plays a role in your everyday life.
Women’s Health Magazine put together some really amazing photos of the cervix during different stages or events in life. [GRAPHIC PHOTOS WARNING]
How can I find it?
You can locate your cervix by inserting a finger into the vagina (wash your hands first!). If you feel squeamish about checking your cervical position, this is perfectly normal! It’s not something most of us are used to doing, but it will get easier in time. Breathe slowly and try to relax. It may help to squat or put one foot up on the edge of the bathtub. Slowly slide your finger in until you feel the firmer tissue at the top of your vaginal canal. That’s the cervix! You can tell the difference between your vagina and the cervix because, while vaginal tissue is soft and gives way to pressure, the cervix is more firm. It may feel like the tip of your nose.
Depending on where you are in your cycle, the position and feel of the cervix can change. If you are ovulating, it may be softer, higher, and more difficult to reach. Someone who is trying to determine and monitor their fertility will find this very helpful. During your period, your cervix is likely lower and firmer to the touch, and the opening is a bit larger to allow the menstrual flow to escape.
Some women also have a cervix that is naturally lower, no matter where they are in their cycle. Having a low cervix does not make you odd, and it doesn’t affect your menstrual cycle or your feminine health. It’s just the way your body is designed.
Can I use a menstrual cup with a low cervix?
Yes! How low your cervix actually sits during your period varies from woman to woman. Here at Pixie Cup we have a menstrual cup specifically designed for a low cervical position, tilted, or tipped uterus! Our Pixie Cup Slim is especially soft, making it super comfortable. It’s also narrow to prevent discomfort in the opening of the vaginal canal.
Having a low cervix doesn’t necessarily mean you have a prolapsed uterus. However, if at any point you feel your cervix is alarmingly low or protruding out of the vaginal opening, we urge you to see a physician as soon as possible. A prolapsed uterus is not the end of the world and there are several ways that it can be fixed! Depending on the severity, you could implement some pelvic floor exercises to help firm and strengthen your pelvic floor muscles.
Ready to try a Pixie Cup? Head over to our store to get 10% off your first order!
We recently posted on our Instagram about how to fertilize your plants with your period blood. Here at Pixie Cup, we are all about periods and period hacks and this was new to us! In light of the time of year and everyone starting and tending to their gardens, we did some digging. Quickly, we realized how popular this method was as a green-living ritual from feminists and plant lovers alike.
Is it ok to use period blood to fertilize your plants?
While studies haven’t been specifically done on it, we can look at the chemical breakdown of menstrual blood and see that some things make sense. Blood contains three primary plant macronutrients—nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. So, if you’re a gardener and menstrual cup enthusiast, you may want to try to use your next cycle to help your plants!
Nitrogen.Put simply, nitrogen promotes plant growth. It’s the star of the show and makes your plant bushy, leafy, and promotes growth! Nitrogen is part of every protein in the plant, so it’s required for virtually every process—from growing new leaves to defending against pests. Nitrogen is part of the chlorophyll molecule, which gives plants their rich green color and is involved in creating food for the plant through photosynthesis. Lack of nitrogen shows up as yellowing (chlorosis) of the plant.
Phosphorus. Phosphorus is responsible for transferring energy from one point to another in the plant. Energy from the stem can be transferred to the tips of the leaves with the help of phosphorus! It’s also critical in root development and flowering.
Potassium. Potassium helps regulate plant metabolism and affects water inside and outside of plant cells. It is important for good root development and for these reasons, potassium is critical to plant stress tolerance! When you repot a plant it disturbs the root system and can cause shock. Potassium helps the plant bounce back and re-establish its roots in the new soil and new pot.
Using a menstrual cup will make fertilizing your plants easier
If you want to give period blood fertilization a shot, using a menstrual cup will help make that easier! A menstrual cup is a cup-shaped device made of medical-grade silicone. It is inserted into the vaginal canal and creates a seal. It collects menstrual blood for up to 12 hours, safely. When you go to empty your menstrual cup, be sure to pinch the base or slide a finger up one of the sides to “break the seal” which makes removal quick and easy.
What if I use reusable menstrual pads?
Great point! We actually had a reader comment saying she did this exact thing. Soak your reusable menstrual pads in a bucket or container and use the liquid that comes from the soaking to fertilize your plants. This is a great method as it’s already diluted for you and ready to go. As a precaution, if you intend to use your soaking water on your plants, do not allow it to sit/soak for longer than a few hours. Bacteria can grow if left stagnant for too long.
PLEASE NOTE: You cannot soak a disposable pad. This is only for reusable period pads
It’s not recommended to pour period blood directly onto the soil to fertilize your plants. The concentrated fluid could cause an odor as it dries and could attract insects. It’s best to dilute and make a watering solution! Empty your menstrual cup right into a half-gallon container and fill with water. This dilution is fit for daily watering. It’s also not an exact science so more water is fine too if you need to make it stretch to feed your garden!
PLEASE NOTE: menstrual blood should be used right away and not stored. It is a bodily fluid that contains bacteria and could become a hazard the longer it ages.
Maybe watering your plants with blood has a deeper meaning
More than nourishing plants, maybe this practice also nourishes women’s relationship to their periods. This is crucial because traditionally society has taught us that the natural, healthy experience of menstruation is embarrassing and a source of shame. We whisper for a tampon. We log our periods on a locked app on our phones. We apologize to our significant other for the “inconvenience.” Maybe using something from us to feed something else, connects us to ourselves and to the earth. Our periods are a perfect time to focus on self-care and adding gardening and tending to our plants could be a great addition.
Do you have a routine during your period? Do you think fertilizing your plants with your menstrual cup would be a good addition? Let us know if you have tried this before! If you don’t have a menstrual cup, head over to our store for a variety of styles and sizes.