It disturbs me when I read that clots in your period blood are normal.
They're not. Even though I know we've all had them!
So here's the rule when it comes to clots
Pea sized or smaller is ok - any bigger should be considered not normal and worth taking note of.
Larger clots are common - but not considered normal.
But why do you get them?
Right of the bat I feel it's important to mention they could be a sign of Fibroids, PCOS, Endometriosis, Cysts, or Polyps.....these can all cause clots in your period blood - and can be serious conditions - the clots could be a valuable sign your body's giving you that you need some further investigations done.
BUT you may have clots in your menstrual blood - and NOT have any of these conditions..........
Clots could be indicating a few other less serious, but still good to address issues.
There are a variety of reasons you get clots in your menstrual blood - and because Im not a doctor, I'm more of a researcher.....I've rounded up all the information I can find and I'm sharing that here today.....
1. You may not be ovulating.
So yes, it is possible to bleed without having ovulated (technically they don't class this as a menstrual bleed, it's called withdrawal bleeding - but it totally looks and behaves like a menstrual bleed - and many women wouldn't even know the difference, and so if you haven't ovulated, your body won't be producing progesterone like it typically would in a luteal phase, (after you ovulate). Progesterone is involved in the way uterine lining is processed before it leaves the body - so there's evidence to suggest that if the progesterone isn't there, or there in high enough levels - the clots will be.
2. You can have an too much estrogen in your system.
Estrogen is that gorgeous hormone responsible for building up the lining of the uterus......but if you have too much estrogen - you can kinda "overgrow" that lining.
So I know what you're gonna say;
"What would cause too much estrogen?"
Here are a few top contenders.
- If the liver's overloaded when it's trying to detox from the estrogen that naturally occurs in your menstrual cycle - it will prioritise other substances that are overloading it, before estrogen - like coffee, sugar, alcohol......which means the estrogen gets pushed out of the liver and back into your system, where it builds up.
- If you're stressed, your body may be making less than optimal levels of progesterone, because it's busy making cortisol. What happens is, when your body's needing to make lots of cortisol, it steals cells that could be used to make progesterone, and instead uses those cells to make cortisol - so then you don't have the building blocks you need for progesterone!
- You may have a couple of attempts to ovulate, in which case you could have a very thick uterine lining. If this is the case, it may be that you never actually ovulate during that cycle - or you could ovulate - with more than one attempt at ovulation before you actually do ovulate.
- Xenoestrogens. A fancy word for "foreign estrogens" meaning - not made in the body, except your body doesn't know that, and invites the xenoestrogens to the party........Too many of these bad boys and you start to get out of balance......they're basically found in everything. Ok not everything, but lets just say you're probably swimming in them. They're in shampoo and conditioner, nail polish, makeup, cleaning products, soy products, dairy products.......and this is the short list.
3. Other reasons could include.....
Miscarriage, affects of medication, peri-menopausal changes, rapid weight gain or loss, other illnesses, such as cancer, liver dysfunction, kidney problems, thyroid disorders or it could be an enlarged uterus after child birth......
4. Here's a wacky idea - it could be related to the way you live.....your energy
I used to have heavy clotted bleeds as my regular period - and then I saw my acupuncturist, and she used her magic needles to cure me. My clots and heavy, heavy flow were a symptom of something more energetic that was going on in my life - that absolutely needed to be addressed.
(I'll have more on acupuncture in a later post - because this is a biggie)
So what am I saying?
If you've got menstrual clotting - it's definitely something to pay attention to.
Here are a few things you could try......
- Avoiding coffee, refined sugar, and alcohol - especially around the time post ovulation, and when you have your period.
- Slowing down, and reducing the level of stress,worry or upset in your life
- Supporting your livers detoxification process with milk thistle, lots of water and leafy greens
- Start cutting down on anything that's a xenoestrogen in your life.....if you're wondering where to start you could go through your products at home and notice what has lauryl sulfate, in it - or avoid soy and dairy products...you know just to get started.
If it's a continuing problem, I would also reccomend seeing a health practitioner who understands and values menstrual health - and doesn't immediately suggest hormonal birth control like the pill, the injection, the Mirena or the rod. Because while these things may help - they're actually not helpful. You have clots for a reason, and when you understand what that reason is - you can do something about it.
If you're not keen on a regular MD - or your not finding the support you need when you see them, you may find it helpful to see a Traditional Chinese Medicine acupuncturist, a herbalist, abdominal massage therapist, Osteopaths - or find a different doctor and ask for another opinion........my point is, find someone who can really help you - and you'll see the evidence of their work in your cycle.
Here's to nice healthy period blood!