6 Causes of Black Period Blood

The menstrual cycle is a normal part of female physiology. Still, many women are shy about talking about problems with their menstrual cycle.

Specifically, they’re shy about mentioning black period blood. Firstly, know that you’re not alone.

This is a symptom that women around the world experience. In some women, it’s the result of taking medications.

In others, it’s due to an infection. Below, we’ll show you the top six causes.

Black Period Blood: Overview

black period bloodBlack period blood isn’t that uncommon. In fact, many women report experiencing it 2-3 times per year.

The causes range from minor (like stress) to serious (like miscarriages).

If the blood stays in your vagina for longer than it should, then it will begin to develop a dark tint to it. This happens because the blood is getting oxidized.

So, if your period is late, then this symptom is to be expected. Don’t feel alone because this symptom isn’t as uncommon as you might think.

Bottom Line: One of the reasons why period blood turns black is because it’s getting oxidized in the vagina.

Cause #1: Obstruction

One potential cause to black period blood is obstruction. This is when there’s something blocking the period blood from coming out.

It can be the result of imperforate hymen. This is a congenital disorder that results in the hymen completely obstructing the vagina.

When this happens, period blood can’t make its way out. Since this is a congenital disorder, it’s not something that you develop later in life.

Other potential obstructions can include tumors, although these aren’t very common.

Bottom Line: An imperforate hymen can result in an obstruction in the vagina that prevents period blood from coming out.

Cause #2: Delayed Period

One of the most common causes of black period blood is a delayed period. It’s simply the old blood exiting the body.

Many women report the same symptom whenever they experience a delayed period. If you’re going through this, it’s nothing to worry about.

There are dozens of reasons for why you’ve had a delayed period. We recommend talking to your doctor about it. They’ll be able to give you more specific answers.

Bottom Line: A delayed period is a relatively common cause for period blood that comes out very dark in color.

Cause #3: Vaginal Infection

A more serious cause that you need to worry about is a vaginal infection.

Vaginal infections can lead to chronic bladder pressure, pain, and black period blood. Infections of the vagina are usually due to the overgrowth of bacteria.

Typically, there will be other symptoms present, including a foul smell and/or pain in the pelvic region of the body.

If you have a vaginal infection, then your doctor will likely give you antibiotics to make it go away.

Bottom Line: Vaginal infections, especially those caused by bacteria, can lead to black period blood.

#4: Miscarriage

Another possibility for your symptom is that you’ve had a miscarriage.

If you’re pregnant, you should pay extra-close attention to your menstrual cycle. Any deviation from a normal cycle could signify a problem with the pregnancy.

In this case, the black color could be a miscarriage. We recommend visiting a doctor who will be able to tell you for sure.

Bottom Line: If your period blood comes out very dark in color, it could be a miscarriage. Talk to a doctor to confirm this.

#5: Stress/Depression

Believe it or not, stress can play a big role in period irregularities.

Women who are stressed and/or depressed are more likely to develop thinning of the uterine inner walls.

Over time, this can lead to a delay in shedding as well as a delay in the onset of periods.

If you’re currently very stressed or depressed, then don’t be surprised if you see black period blood.

Some great ways to reduce stress include exercise, eating a healthier diet, and practicing yoga/meditation.

Remember that stress can have other negative health consequences too, including increasing your risk of heart disease.

Bottom Line: Stress as well as depression can cause period irregularities, including changes in blood color.

#6: Medications

The final potential cause of your symptom is medications. Not every woman will react to medications the same way.

What works for one woman might result in black period blood in another. If you’re on medications, and you think they’re the culprit, then speak with your doctor.

Don’t go off the medication before speaking with your doctor. Allow them to find you a replacement first.

Bottom Line: Medications can have many side effects, including period blood that changes color.

What Now?

Remember that changes in period blood color aren’t a disease per se. It’s simply a warning sign that something else could be going on in your body.

We recommend being on the lookout for additional symptoms like pain, painful urination, etc.

These are common signs of infection and you should get them treated immediately. Overall, this symptom isn’t anything to panic over.

If you feel anxious, and want some reassurance, then go see a doctor. But in the meantime, don’t stress yourself out.

Ask a Question: If you want to ask a medical doctor a question that hasn't been answered in one of our articles go to: Ask a Medical Doctor About your Symptoms

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