Are Blood Clots Normal During Periods?
In most cases, occasionally passing small menstrual blood clots (no larger than a quarter) is considered normal and nothing to worry about. However, passing large clots, especially when accompanied by other symptoms like heavy bleeding, severe cramps, and low energy levels, can signal that something is wrong.
One common underlying health condition that may explain your period blood clots is the presence of uterine fibroids. Fibroids are non-cancerous growths that develop within or on your uterus. An estimated 70 to 80 percent of women develop fibroids by age 50.
Uterine fibroids vary in type, size, and number. Additionally, they can cause a range of uncomfortable symptoms such as:
- Heavy or prolonged menstruation lasting more than 10 days
- Irregular bleeding between cycles
- Anemia, which can lead to fatigue
- Pain during intercourse
- Frequent urination
- Constipation and/or bloating
- Pain in your pelvis or lower back
- Increased menstrual cramping
- Stomach swelling
- Period blood clots larger than a quarter
What Causes Blood Clots During Periods?
Although small period blood clots may be normal in most cases, there can be several underlying health issues that may cause them. Large blood clots during periods typically indicate an underlying issue, therefore, it’s important to be aware of any new changes in your cycle. To determine what is causing your period clots, we recommend tracking your symptoms and sharing detailed descriptions with your doctor.
Health conditions that can cause blood clots during periods include:
- Hormonal imbalance: Hormonal conditions such as hypothyroidism or Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS), may explain the appearance of period blood clots as well as the onset of menopause or perimenopause.
- Pregnancy: Although not always the case, vaginal blood clots can indicate a miscarriage. If you are pregnant and notice blood clots of any size, please seek emergency medical care.
- Endometriosis: This painful condition of the reproductive tract occurs when uterine tissue develops outside of the uterus. Symptoms include severe menstrual cramps, lower back and pelvic pain, digestive issues, abnormal bleeding, and infertility.
- Adenomyosis: Your menstrual blood clots may be caused by adenomyosis, which occurs when the inner lining of the uterus grows into and thickens the muscular walls of the uterus. Common symptoms include severe cramps, abdominal pressure, bloating, and heavy periods.
- Cancer: Uterine and cervical cancers can result in blood clots during menstruation. Other issues to be on the lookout for include abnormal period bleeding, pelvic and abdominal pain or pressure, fatigue, weight loss, and digestive problems.
- Uterine fibroids: These common, non-cancerous tumors develop in or on the uterus and can lead to painful symptoms. They can also put pressure on surrounding organs and impact fertility. Women with fibroids often experience period blood clots, heavy menstrual bleeding, severe cramps, frequent urination, painful sex, or low energy levels.
Because many of the above health conditions have overlapping symptoms, it is critical to visit your doctor to receive an accurate medical diagnosis.
How Can You Tell If Fibroids are Causing Period Blood Clots?
If fibroids are causing period blood clots, you may be able to tell by other accompanying symptoms, such as heavy, prolonged periods (menorrhagia) or severe cramping. Another indication is larger than normal blood clots, which are the size of a quarter or larger.
What to Do When Experiencing a Heavy Period with Clots
If you notice period blood clots larger than a quarter accompanied by heavier than normal bleeding during your cycle, it’s important that you seek a medical diagnosis immediately to determine the cause. You should know that these are abnormal menstrual symptoms which may indicate the presence of fibroids.
At USA Fibroid Centers, our doctors are fibroid specialists who can provide an accurate diagnosis and recommend a personalized treatment plan. Our specialists are interventional radiologists, which means they are trained in the use of advanced imaging technology to diagnose and treat diseases. During your initial consultation, a fibroid specialist may perform a pelvic exam and ultrasound to determine if your period blood clots and heavy bleeding are due to fibroids.
Fortunately, if fibroids are detected, you aren’t limited to major surgery. USA Fibroid Centers offers Uterine Fibroid Embolization (UFE), a non-surgical treatment for fibroids that can alleviate your heavy periods and blood clots.
Seek Treatment with USA Fibroid Centers
Don’t let your periods control your life any longer. With UFE, you can find freedom from your period blood clots and heavy bleeding so you don’t have to worry about accidents in public, or staining your sheets at night. Schedule online now or give us a call at 855.615.2555 to take back control of your life.