Are blood clots normal during a period? 

Are blood clots normal during a period
Medically reviewed by Dr. Ola Tarabzuni


Periods can vary in length, amount, and frequency, but blood clots during periods can be alarming.

Although most blood clots during periods may be considered normal, if your menstrual cycle drastically changes or you pass large blood clots during your period, seeking medical consultation is essential. This article will assist you if you are passing blood clots during a period and want help figuring out the causes. 

What do large blood clots during the period mean?

If you are experiencing blood clots during your period or have heavy menstrual bleeding, it can be serious. However, the size, frequency, and amount will need to be considered.

The clot size can range from small clots to a dime-size or a quarter-size during the day, and it may be normal, but passing golf ball-sized clots every few hours can be concerning and indicate an underlying health issue. 

If you find the need to change your pad/tampon about every hour, this may be classified as heavy bleeding leading to anemia or low blood pressure if blood clots in period blood cause significant blood loss.

Heavy bleeding is problematic if it occurs frequently and lasts for a long duration.

Have you noticed clots in period blood? Talk to our doctor to find out the possible causes.

Could your huge blood clots during your period be caused by something else?

The following conditions can cause clots during a period or a heavier flow than usual:

During pregnancy, experiencing heavy periods with clots can indicate a miscarriage or an ectopic pregnancy; hence, visit the nearest emergency room immediately.

What causes period clots?

During menstruation, hormonal fluctuations induce shedding of the lining of the uterus. As the small blood vessels bleed, platelets and plasma work in conjunction to form blood clots to prevent the body from losing too much blood. 

To some extent, blood clots appear as you cut yourself. But in the case of menstrual clots, if you are bleeding heavily, they can accumulate inside your uterus and pass out as large blood clots during your period.

Blood clots during periods can be felt if you are sitting and then you stand up and pass out when you go to the bathroom.

Clots in period can lead to cervical dilation accompanied by a heavy flow and cramping. Big blood clots during the period as a one-time occurrence can be normal, but continuous or prolonged heavy flow can be serious and needs proper evaluation by a doctor. 

Are jelly-like blood clots during a period normal?

Dark red or maroon period clots during the first few days of your period when the flow is heavy are considered normal. At the beginning and/or the end of your cycle, the appearance is bright red because the blood doesn’t have time to darken as it flows out quickly.

Having jelly-like blood clots during the initial few days of our period hence can be normal, but close monitoring is required. 

What are the causes of the period clots?

Clotting during periods or big clots during periods is always shocking. In some cases, it may be normal, but some conditions that cause this include: 

  1. Hormone-related problems
  1. Uterine-related problems:
  • Growths/tumors of the uterus, such as uterine fibroids or polyps.
  • Uterine or cervical cancer.
  • Certain types of birth control, such as intrauterine device (IUD).
  • Problems related to pregnancy, including ectopic pregnancy or miscarriage, can cause abnormal bleeding. 

       3. Other illnesses/conditions:

  • Bleeding disorders, namely von Willebrand disease or platelet function disorder.
  • Conditions affecting the kidney, liver, or thyroid or causing pelvic inflammatory disease and cancer.

Moreover, certain drugs, including aspirin, increase the risk of bleeding.

If you have lots of blood clots during the period, you will need to consult your gynecologist for further investigations to ascertain the cause.

Have you been prescribed Tranexamic acid for heavy bleeding? You can get a refill after consulting with our doctor

What are the treatments for stringy blood clots during the period?

Depending on your condition, there are a lot of treatment options:

1. Over-the-counter medication

  • Iron supplements. If you develop anemia due to heavy bleeding or blood loss, iron supplements can be taken.
  • Ibuprofen (Advil). It helps manage menstrual cramps and bleeding. 

2. Prescription medication

Treatment of large clots depends on the condition and severity of the individual’s symptoms; some treatment options include: 

  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
  • Contraceptives (birth control)
  • Tranexamic acid
  • Hormonal therapy
  • Desmopressin Nasal Spray(this is used in people with certain bleeding disorders, including von Willebrand disease and hemophilia)

3. Surgery.

  • Dilation and Curettage (D&C): This procedure removes the top layer of the uterus lining to reduce menstrual bleeding. This may need to be repeated.
  • Operative hysteroscopy: A surgical procedure that helps remove polyps and fibroids, or the lining of the uterus, in order to manage heavy menstrual flow.
  • Endometrial ablation: In this surgical procedure, all or part of the lining of the uterus is removed to regulate menstrual bleeding. Some patients stop having menstrual periods completely, while others may have lighter periods. Additionally, this may prevent women from having children in the future.
  • Hysterectomy: This operation involves surgically removing the entire uterus. This procedure stops a period, and a woman can no longer become pregnant after this.

When should we be concerned about it?

Period blood clots are considered a normal part of your menstrual cycle. However, changes to the size or amount of blood flow can indicate a serious medical condition. Hence, you may need to discuss this with your doctor and have an evaluation.

When should I see a doctor?

If you pass huge blood clots during your period, seek prompt medical attention. If you soak multiple pads or tampons every hour for many hours consecutively, it is time to visit the ER or seek immediate medical help. If you are unsure if the blood clots are normal during your period, discuss them with one of our doctors at Your Doctors Online.

Talk to our doctor to determine the cause of the irregular menstrual cycle.

FAQs about blood clots during the period

Should I be worried about passing blood clots during my menstrual period?

Period blood clots are considered a normal part of your menstrual cycle. However, changes to the size or amount of blood flow can indicate a serious medical condition. Giant blood clots can indicate a serious condition, and seeking medical attention is necessary.

What does an unhealthy period clot look like?

A clot can appear as a blob, clump, or jelly-like consistency and vary in size and number. However, blood clots larger than a coin are considered abnormal. 

Can you pass a fibroid during your period?

It is very uncommon or rare for fibroids to pass out during your period naturally.

Does clots in period mean endometriosis?

Endometriosis is often associated with heavy and prolonged menstrual flow and large clots.

Your Doctors Online uses high-quality and trustworthy sources to ensure content accuracy and reliability. We rely on peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions and medical associations to provide up-to-date and evidence-based information to the users.

  • Siegbahn, Agneta, et al. “Coagulation and fibrinolysis during the normal menstrual cycle.” Upsala journal of medical sciences 94.2 (1989): 137-152.
  • Lee, Roger I., and Paul D. White. “A clinical study of the coagulation time of blood.” The American Journal of the Medical Sciences (1827-1924) 145.4 (1913): 495.
  • Beller, Fritz K. “Observations on the clotting of menstrual blood and clot formation.” American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology 111.4 (1971): 535-546.
  • Tocantins, Leandro M. “Platelets and the structure and physical properties of blood clots.” American Journal of Physiology-Legacy Content 114.3 (1936): 709-715.

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