It’s a taboo topic that we need to normalize: period blood. The color, consistency, and texture of your flow can reveal way more about your overall health than you realize. It’s time to de-stigmatize this essential vital sign and start decoding symptoms.
Period blood is not something we’re taught to talk about. In fact, we’re pretty much raised to hide from it. Pay attention to any maxi pad or tampon commercial and all you’ll see is the same blue liquid over and over again.
The truth is: periods matter. They matter SO much, in fact, that the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) has declared menstruation a vital sign. The appearance, frequency, and consistency of your menstrual blood provides invaluable clues into your overall health, and if you want to finally banish symptoms and feel amazing, it’s time to get familiar with your flow.
Think of checking your flow every month like being able to access free lab work for your hormone levels. Knowing the color tells you which hormones are in and out of balance and if your eating is synced with your hormones. Your period provides genius (and free!) biofeedback for you.
Your Guide to Interpreting the Color of Your Period Blood
Ready to recognize what’s normal and what’s not? Check out my guide to period blood:
- The color: Bright, cranberry-red
- The consistency: Like jello mix that hasn’t set (medium viscosity: not too thin, not too thick)
- The length: 5-7 days
- The frequency: Every 28-30 days
What it means: Congratulations! This is what’s considered a normal, healthy period. If you’re already cycle-syncing and eating nutrient-rich, FLO-supportive foods, keep it up. Make sure to also incorporate all the necessary lifestyle tweaks and essential supplements to ensure your cycle stays on track.
- The color: Brown
- The consistency: Thin/streaky
- The length: Varies
- The frequency: Varies
What it means: That brown stuff is old oxidized blood that didn’t make it out of your uterus during your last cycle and it’s caused by low progesterone levels. These low levels may be at the root of your period symptoms and may also cause you to struggle with regular ovulation.
- The color: Dark, purple/blue
- The consistency: Thick with clots
- The length: Longer than a week
- The frequency: Varies
What it means: This frozen blueberry color is a sign of too much estrogen. Estrogen levels that are higher in proportion to progesterone cause a lot of the typical symptoms associated with problematic periods, and potentially lead to endometriosis, cysts, or fibroids. Over the long term, excess estrogen can lead to more serious health consequences.
- The color: Barely-there pink
- The consistency: Too light to tell
- The length: 3 days or less
- The frequency: Varies
What it means: A super-short period and extra light bleeding may indicate low estrogen levels. Your hormones are made from the food you eat, so your low estrogen is likely due to vitamin and nutrient deficiencies from improper and extreme dieting as well as from adrenal burnout.
So now what?
Whether your period is the perfect shade of cranberry-red or a different less-than-ideal color of the rainbow, it’s crucial to know which foods, supplements, and lifestyle habits will support your menstrual health and your overall well-being.
Start small: take my free V-Sign Quiz to confirm your period type and get a lot more information about what the color, consistency, and more mean for you. Then be sure to download the MyFLO app to immediately start troubleshooting your issues today.
And when you’re ready to kick your healing into high gear, stock up on the supplements every woman needs to keep her hormones balanced, and find the FLO Living program that will help you squash your symptoms, reclaim your sex drive, and optimize your fertility.
Menstruation matters, so let’s stop the secrecy and get real about periods! By paying attention to the clues that your brilliant, beautiful body is giving you, you’ll have all the clues to overcome hormonal issues once and for all and look and feel your best.
Is Your Period Healthy?
How do you know if your hormones are healthy? The answer is in your 5th vital sign – your period.
The color of your flow, frequency of your period, and symptoms you have each month can tell you a lot about your health. There are 5 different V-SIGN TYPES, and knowing which one you have will help you get healthy now and prevent disease in the future.
I was wondering what it means if the first day of my period colour is usually a very light and pink/brown colour, then on days 2-4 its a dark healthy cranberry colour. And on the last day-day 5- its light again and a brownish colour.
I would love to know about any other symptoms that you may be experiencing in order to round out the picture. But it sounds like estrogen is in good range, and progesterone may be a little low. Testosterone may play a roll here as well.
I’m currently going off the pill (literally just stopped taking it yesterday)…but my periods are always 2-3 days long with a VERY light, dark brown flow. What could this indicate? And will it likely change now that I’m off my period and/or would supplements help? Thank yoU!
Your period will likely change some a few months after you have been off of the pill. Your body will detox the synthetic hormones and then you will see where you land. Support yourself now with tons of dark leafy greens, orange root veggies like sweet potatoes, and drink lots of water. Let us know how things feel in a few months!
I took a morning after pill, in october and I missed a period in November and got a relatively normal period in early December. My period then came in late January, it was very heavy for two days, light on the third day and then brown discharge for the last two days. The same happened 35 days later. My period is now due, I have achy boobs, and cramps, however I have had brown discharge, enough to fill a medium pad for three days. Are my pregesterone levels too low, should my period come. Has the morning after pill caused problems since or am I pregnant. I havent had sex since January.
If you think you may be pregnant, please take a test either at home or at your doctor’s office. The morning after pill can destabilize hormones since it is a good dose of hormones that gets put into your system. If you are not pregnant, then you can do the 4 day detox from FLO (free online or in the WomanCode book) to support your liver to detox and hopefully normalize your cycles. If it’s not the liver, then you want to cycle sync your diet and stabilize your blood sugar with your diet.
This is exactly how mine are as well! Some very light spotting of brown a day or two before my period. Then, I have the normal cranberry red for a few days and back to the brown to end my period. I usually experience fatigue, a few blemishes, irritability, headache, mild to medium back cramping, bloating, gas, constipation leading up to my period and then looser stools while on my period. All of my symptoms are dependent on how well I stick to eating properly within each phase leading up. I am also still breastfeeding my son 1-3 times a day (morning, nap, bedtime). He does not want to give it up! Could this also affect how my hormones are functioning? I have just started using your balance supplements!
I have a bright red period every 26-30 days but only lasts 2-3 days. Could this be a sign of hormonal imbalance? During the echo in my gynecologist visits we can see multiple ovaries in my cysts, but I don’t have other PCOS symptoms as I get regular periods approximately every 28 days, don’t have acne, etc. Neither do I have PMS symptoms. is the low length of the period a worrying sign per se?
I was wondering how would u treat me with little brown blood at the beginning then later 4th or 3rd day its like cranberry with clots? Which are the best foods to balance both estrogen and progestrone Thank you
Sage Gallagher says
I also have a variety of colors appear during my period. I often get a light pink spot the day before my period starts, which I consider a friendly notice that my period will start. Then it is dark brownish purple for part of the first day before becoming cranberry red for 2 to 3 days at full strength (I’m in perimenopause and have heavy flow of 8 to 12 oz). Fourth day is often no flow at all, then days 5 and 6 are light, usually still cranberry red. Any ideas on what my hormones are doing? I suspect low progesterone, but any additional info would make me buy your app!
I am 47 years old, and my periods are awesome! I was really afraid of peri-menopause because of everything the medical community tells us. But, I am finding that by eating a healthy diet and drinking herbal teas like red raspberry leaf and nettles, I am feeling great!
So great! Keep up the good work!
the first 3 days my period is pink in color from there i got a heavy flow with clots dark in color for 3 days and the other two days i got light period. i usually took 8 to 9 days of my period. is that normal?
Hey there I used to be regular up until August 30th and I’ve had my period still up until now! It’s that normal pink colour but I’ve been have very large clots passing my doctor put me on birth control cause I was down In estrogen it stopped for about 5 days but it’s back to being very heavy again. Any suggestions on what could be going on?!
Why my period is brown after 12day of my normal period
Good morning! My periods last 8 days, are mostly regular. They start off very light and pink in color for 3 days, then are heavy and cranberry colored with some dark red blood clots in it for 2 days with cramps, then back to light pink for the last 3 days. I get mood swings the day before and this month I have been weepy more than usual. I also have hot flashes the week before and during my period. What can I do to help with this? Is it normal?
So I have pcos and I have the brown periods every so often due to low progesterone.
One thing I really would like to ask you that I can’t seem to find on your website
is what can I do to stop excess facial & body hair growth ? Can this be fixed w nutrition? Doctors have told me my only option to help w the facial hair is to go back on birth control. I don’t want it get worse if I dont go back on birth control.
Same problem for me but I don’t know how to stop it so much hair fall my period will be brownish and light black colour can anybody tell me the cure for colour of period and hair fall and notice I have pcos since 5 months
I’m only 39 and no Dr (I’ve seen three so far) will run hormone panel on me since I “get a regular period.” But I get a brown warning to start, then it comes on heavy and dark with clots for two days (cranberry is accurate). It stops for a day, then I get an annoying “smuding” for another day or two, dark brown. Severe pms and cramps. I have been reading your website and eating better and I exercise. Any ideas?
My periods shows a bright red little blood then nothing comes out the all night then like after 12hours i.e yesterday evening I saw a bright red then it stopped and nothing came out but after taking my breakfast around 8:00am my flow started in the morning normal periods occur. My question is when is my first day of periods. The little bright blood or the day it comes out total red and heavy flow
I am 15 and I started my periods when I was 13 and my periods were always red but this month my period came late and now it’s brown and I am not Sure if that is even my period can you plss help and also it’s my 5th day seeing it brown and my flow is really light and I usually get heavy periods I also saw a little bit of red yesterday but after that it was brown can you plss tell me what is happening
Hi I am 15 and I have been having normal red periods since I was 13 but this time my period did not come and I saw brown blood and don’t know if that is my period plsss help this is also my 5th day seeing brown but yesterday I saw a little red blood but after that it was brown plss help and tell me and tell me if I am on my period I am confused
Thanks so much for this article, it confirmed and clarified so much. I am 33 and have been ttc for 2 years now and take the holistic approach. I have made small health conscious to maintain a balanced diet and height/weight proportion, daily vitamins but 6 months ago i added Maca root, evening primrose oil and recently yoga(chakra based). My periods use to be 2-3days, very light flow/darker and clotty/heavy mood swings pms with 2 MC each year, my last 4 cycles have been 5 days/bright red and no clots, i get mild cramps the 1st day but thats it, no pms! Reading this article lets me know im on the right path to a healthier me whether we are able to add one more to our home or not this journey has become so much more. I hope this helps any others out there trying the same thing i am or still searching like your stories have for me, this page is a blessing thank you FLO!
Hi, I am curious if my period is normal or not, my blood typically comes out black and clumpy and last a couple months to only happening every couple months; I am 16 and a virgin and I’m kinda scared something might be wrong.
I need your help. I have always had periods with pretty much only some dark brown and sticky stuff, light enough to MAYBE fill one pad during the entire cycle. And with full I mean; to the point where another person would change it, not flooded. But my light periods do last for 5-6 days, which is strange.
I thought if it’s estrogen dominance, why would my period be so light? And if it’s just low progesterone don’t they turn red at least for a little bit? Obviously I don’t know enough about it yet.
It’s always been like this (I’m 24, got my periods at 14) and have been pretty much regular (25-33 days, but often a clean 28-29).
I also suffer from pretty bad PMS. Especially not being able to sleep before my period starts, mood swings and crazy sore breasts.
Do you have any idea what’s going on? I’ve only been on hormonal birth control for about a year when I was 16, but that didn’t seem to change much, if anything they made my periods SLIGHTLY heavier. I can’t seem to find any similar experiences. Help!
It sounds like lower estrogen and progesterone, so following the protocol would be very helpful for you! are you using any of the tools that Flo offers?
28 day cycle but on the 4th day it was a pinkish color then on the 5th day it was back red and it was light since it started .. is this normal or should I be worried ?
Buy High Quality Real/Fake Passport says
I am now not positive the place you are getting your information, but
good topic. I needs to spend a while finding out much more or understanding more.
Thank you for excellent info I used to be searching for this information for
Hi my period has always been. Regular. In October and November I didn’t have a period got it back December 22nd through the 25th 2018 now it’s January and I don’t have a period again. Not really sure what’s going on. Any thoughts?
It sounds like you are experiencing some hormonal fluctuations. This could be caused by stress, a change in diet, or micronutrient deficiency. to name a few possibilities. Missing periods are a symptom that your body needs some attention. By focusing on diet and lifestyle you can bring your body back into balance once you get to the core of what is causing this disturbance.
I am doing good woth the amount of day and the colou of the blood…but my period is REALLY LIGHT on my 3rd day like how my 5th day should be ,and my 5th day is has a slightly medium flow which ahould be like my 3rd day.What do you thick is going on in my body as this is my 1 year of my period
My periods have always been regular, lasting 5-7 days. For the last year or so, they are only like 3 days, and it is very light. I am still regular. Color is brown to pink to red. I still have my usual menstrual symptoms, but maybe not as severe. I am 39. Could this be early menopause?
It sounds like hormones are shifting – look at what could be causing stress on the body: diet, sleep, exercise, life stress and support yourself in these areas!
Today i started my period and tonight when i went to the bathroom i noticed it was like a sunburst i guess. it was bright red and orange like a red orange. There is no smell i have light cramping and the small clots which is typical for my first day or two. of course google can be scary and the only thing ive been able to pull up on it is 3 things. STI- trich and bv specifically, implantation bleeding and just cervical mucus mixing with period blood. I am sexually active, i did have sex around the time i wouldve been fertile but i dont feel like i am pregnant. I was treated for bv years ago which followed certain symptoms of an infection but this time it isnt and even then it wasnt this color. If you have any insight please share.
I can only recommend that you consult with your doctor – you want to get this checked out.
Hi did u ever figure out what was going on I am currently going through this now
My period flow since quite sometime is brownish/ blackish.. nd my flow is very less.. since few months every month is almost the same. My main problem is my flow that is very less.. could u tell me wat the problem is? Is it something serious? My periods are regular but the flow and the days it lasts varies.. earlier it lasted for 6-7 days.. then it lasted from 4-5 days. Nd now it has clme down to 3 days. . I don’t think it’s normal, is it?
This can be due to low estrogen/progesterone, or higher testosterone. Was there an increase in stress at the time or before this change? Has anything else changed in your life? You want to look for the possible lifestyle/dietary causes and then support yourself with cycle syncing your diet and supporting your body to rebalance naturally.
Vivian Silva says
Hello! I am 29 years old! I was wondering what does it mean when you have light pink periods for 3 days, 1 day a slight heavy flow, and then the next 2 days of light periods? I’ve been off my Depo birth control for 2 years now! Me and my husband is trying to make another sibling for our Son!
Hi Vivian, it sounds like estrogen may be a little low.
My period is usually 4 days long and red but this time it’s dark brown, horrible cramps, light and lasting for 5 days. I took the morning after pill on March 1st but I’m not sure if that’s the cause
Please help, I have a normal 30 day cycle with two kids, I started trying for my third kid January so my husband stopped using a condom but February, I started having brown discharge a day before my period, prior to this brown discharge, I do have pregnancy symptoms but I always end up not pregnant, what is wrong please
Hi, my period used to be normal, 5 days. now its brown on the 1st day then the other days are red but VERY little flow
Hi,my name is Ella,
I’ve been having normal periods although I started seeing twice a month form June last year it corrected and started coming from around 20th,but last month on the 21st I saw only brown spottings till25th I had a normal period after that day it continued with brown spottings till 30th.I’m a virgin. I’m worried what would be wrong?
Hi Emmanuella, It sounds like low progesterone.
Trying to track your period by the regular calendar can be difficult, because even a perfectly healthy period isn’t going to start on the same date each month. I’ve found it easier to track mine by the moon phases, and you can even use a wall calendar to track that as the moon phase changes are usually printed on them. It might take a couple of months to figure out roughly which phase you start in, and a couple of days variation from month to month can usually be expected. Depending on which phase you typically bleed in, you might bleed more than once per calendar month. Alisa knows more than I do about the medical/hormone part. 🙂
Hi,my flow is used to be normal until last year June I started seeing it twice a month,then it became normal again,but last month march around 21st I started seeing brown spottings and on the 25th I had a light period for that day the next day I continued seeing the brown spottings. I’m a virgin,I’m worried.
Hi!! I’ve been on new broth control for a month now and throughout the whole month I had brown/ pink discharge. Now on supposedly day 2 of my period and have a very light period !? Is this normal btw myself and my boyfriend use conforms as well 🙂
I’m 25 years not. I have been normal periods and on due date every month. For the last two months I had brown spot in first two days of my periods then normal cherry-red flow for 5 days. During the normal flow (5 days) I experience itching and dryness on face which results in redness on face which gradually decreases after few days. Whats wrong? and please tell solution.
Hello, my period only lasted only 5 days and it was very light when I started but when it was towards being the end of it I’m spotting. It’s really light pink with a little brown but mainly light pink like it’s a water color light pink so I want to know what that means.. thank you!
It sounds like low estrogen.
this is a very interesting side which I believe I will learn a lot because my periods are painful in the first 2days but sometimes on the fourth day of my periods which I only go 5days but I would be in pain that I can not handle.
I am 44 and when I have my period it is just big dark brown clots. Sex is also very uncomfortable. Help!
I need help. I’m having the worst periods. I had Mirena put in in 2016. Ever since then, my flow has been crazy. At first, it would bleed constantly, than it slowed down, That was 2 years ago. My flow has always been irregular. I’ve been in the worst back pain, cramps are excruciating, and tje color has usually been dark brown. I’ve been put through a whole lot of stress and pain, anxiety due to 3 Family members passing away within a few days of each other. What’s strange is I’ve been feeling like I’m in my time of month constantly every other day, and now every day. I don’t know what to do. Could this possibly be due to the Mirena, with particular levels of either estrogen/ and / or estrogen? Also, I was wondering if the facial hair I get could be caused or in connection with any of these ? I’m worried about my health.
Hi,please i took a morning after pill like twice last two months and the following month which is July and august my period don’t flow well,they are light,have a color like cocoa tea,it doesn’t even fill have of the pad. What do i do?
The hormones in the morning after pill can have longer term effects on your cycle. Focus on liver support and blood sugar balancing!
Hello I have really short period.not enough fill up the pad first day. Period last 2 days. Bright red like koolaid color spotting before period on and off. Day 21. Spotting . with blood clots passing .
Currently TTC. I’ve had the Mirena for five years and then replaced at the five year mark and placed for another two years. I just had it removed in August 2019. 3 “cycles” later.
Cycle one length was 33 days from removal of IUD (regular menstruation- dark brown one day and bright red medium flow to light red flow – total length 5days), then second cycle was 19 days later (5 light days brown and light red), now currently on day 40 (on day 35 dark brown spotting to light flow for 5 days and now on day 40 with dark brown splitting and spotting/light flow bright red. All negative HPT’s.
What is going on?!
Hello. I’ve been stressed for this whole month. I felt this pregnancy symptoms for 3 weeks. I thought I was pregnant.
My expecting period was 29 but I’ve have bled this 26 and it was bright red for 5days and sometimes pink. I’ve test but it was negative
My periods are 5 days long and I always considered them normal but reading this makes me wonder if my hormones are out of whack.
When I wipe and realize I’ve gotten my period, it is red. Then the rest of the first day it is usually light and brownish/redish. Days 2-3 are normal flow and red with cramping. Then days 4 & 5 are lighter and usually fade to brown again. Leading up the my period, I get irritable/mood swings and some mild cramping. Any thoughts?
im 39 not on the pill & the past 18 months had a period for only 3 days then very light brown spotting for a few days after.no labido no pmt anymore.All clear test with doctor.Could it be early menopause thanks
HELP! I came across your article while researching what is wrong with me and seeking a renowned gynecologist for answers. About 10 months ago I tested for a bacterial infection. It was strange to me, my husband and I have been each others only partners and have been together for almost 12 years. After antibiotics they retested and said it cleared up but I didn’t get any relief and I had let them know that. The doctors continue to treat this like a yeast infection, throwing this and that cream at it, cream steriods, cream yeast infection meds, and on, and on. The bad burning sensation and feeling of dryness never went away, which was what I originally went in for, I eventually gave up with these local doctors. These visits were getting expensive and not getting me anywhere. I had just turned 40 at the time this all happened. This was the first time in my life that things weren’t right down there. After seeing 2 local gynecologists multiple times each and trying a billion things on the market, nothing has worked. Everything from prescriptions, to over the counter. So I just learned to live with the discomfort, which some days is unbearable, which brings me to now… The last several months, I’d say about the last 6 months, I have been still getting my periods, pretty much on time, however over the 6 months my periods have gone from looking more normal to the entire cycle being just clotty old dark blood, brown to almost black, and brown spotting. No fresh blood at all. This last month my period came early also, I went from having a 26 day cycle to a 23 day cycle. My period lasted barely 3 full days, and it was gross, just dark and gross. I always had the dark either at the beginning or end but now you can’t even see normal red at all. On a side note Sex is uncomfortable and overall I just want my health back. The stress of this has been so horrible, the constant discomfort, and I have a stressful career to add, but now over the last several months my hair is falling out from the root. No idea if those are being caused from the same but just to many things going on at once. When I had seen one of the local doctors back in February/March they supposedly tested my PH and told me it was fine. So is it perimenopause? Is it an infection, which I believe maybe due to the discomfort, I don’t know but I am desperately seeking answers… I would love some advice. Thanks for reading.
FLO Coach says
You are in the perimenopause age range, so some of these changes could be attributed to hormonal shifts during this time. But perimenopause doesn’t have to be uncomfortable if you are looking out for key areas in your diet, selfcare and supplementation. During perimenopause estrogen and progesterone start to decline – this causes the skin in your vagina to become thinner and more sensitive. Add to this lubrication can decline with age. Make sure you use a healthy lube and you can try a cream like Julva from The Girlfriend Doctor. You mention a stressful career – check on your sleep quality and self care around destressing, support your adrenals and get your vitamin blood levels checked – make sure you are in optimal Vit D range, Vit B’s and iron. If adrenal stress turns into adrenal fatigue, your thyroid can get disrupted which can lead to hair loss and some of the other symptoms you mentioned. Make sure you are eating lots of dark leafy greens, whole grains, sweet potatoes and protein regularly to nourish your body.
XO, Christina – FLO Coach