During menstruation, women may experience blood of different colors. Sometimes, the blood may be bright red, while other times it may be a deep red or brownish color. While all three colors are perfectly normal, some women may be alarmed when they see bright red period blood. Some women may also be curious if bright red blood is a sign of implantation.
Table of Contents
What Does Bright Red Spotting Mean?
Bright red spotting can be an indication of two things: implantation or your period.
The color of the blood is often an indication of its age. Bright red blood is fresh, meaning it’s recently been shed by the body, whereas brown or darker red blood is older.
When implantation occurs, red blood might be seen, but only in small amounts. If you’re experiencing full-flow bleeding, it’s likely a sign of your period starting. It’s not uncommon for women to see bright red menstrual blood at the beginning of menstruation and darker blood as the week progresses.
What Causes Bright Red Period Blood?
The color of the blood during menstruation is an indication of how old the blood is. Women may experience a few different colors of blood during their periods.
- Bright red: When menstrual blood is bright red, it means that the blood is fresh. In other words, it was recently shed and then released from the body. The blood flow is typically light.
- Dark red: Dark red blood is typically older blood that may have been in your uterus for a while. Many women experience this type of blood in the morning when they wake up.
- Brown/dark brown: Brown blood is also old blood. Women typically see this color blood at the end of their period when the blood flow is much lighter.
- Orange: Blood may mix with cervical mucous, which can make the blood appear orange in some spots. Orange blood can also be a sign of infection, so it is important to see your doctor if you are seeing this color blood.
In short, if you are seeing bright red blood during menstruation, it is likely fresh blood that has recently shed.
Can Implantation Bleeding Be Red?
When a fertilized egg attaches itself to the lining of the uterus, it can cause light bleeding. This is what doctors refer to as implantation bleeding. Not all women experience this phenomenon, but it’s not necessarily an uncommon symptom of early pregnancy.
Bleeding caused by implantation generally occurs 14 days after conception, which is around the same time women will be expecting their next period. It’s very easy to confuse menstrual bleeding for implantation bleeding and vice versa.
Implantation bleeding is normally very light and brown or pinkish in color. Because very little blood is shed during implantation, it takes some time for the body to release the blood. As it makes its way out, it ages and turns a brownish color.
Bright red blood can be a sign of implantation, but it’s less likely. Blood that is bright red in color could mean that active areas of your uterus are bleeding and the blood is quickly flowing from the implantation site. It may also be a sign of a miscarriage.
Is Bright Red Period Blood Normal?
Women commonly see bright red blood at the start of their period when the flow is still light and just beginning. As the cycle progresses, the blood gets darker until it reaches a brownish color at the end of menstruation. That being said, there are some women who experience bright red blood all throughout their period, while other women will see dark red the entire time.
If you normally have darker color blood during your period and now your blood is bright red, there may be a few things causing this change.
- Miscarriage: Blood that is bright red can be an indication of a miscarriage. If the blood is accompanied by severe cramps, this may be the case. The uterus will attempt to expel anything that’s in it during a miscarriage, which is why the blood is bright red. If the blood stays bright red, the flow is heavy, and you experience persistent cramps over two or more days, see your doctor as soon as possible. Complications can occur during a miscarriage, and you want to avoid them if possible.
- Hormonal imbalance: Monthly menstrual cycles are strongly linked to a woman’s hormones. Any kind of hormonal imbalance can cause changes in the flow and color of menstrual blood. Women who are going through menopause may experience abnormal periods with bright red blood. A woman’s diet, lifestyle choices and stress levels can also cause hormonal imbalances.
- Cysts in the ovaries: Women may also see bright red blood if she has an ovarian cyst that has just ruptured.
Bright red period blood is common in the beginning of menstruation, but if you continue to see this color blood as well as other concerning symptoms, see your doctor right away.
When is Bright Red Blood Abnormal?
In most cases, there’s no cause for concern when period blood is bright red. However, if your blood is normally darker red, suddenly seeing bright red blood can be an indication that something isn’t right.
- Hormonal imbalance. A number of things can cause hormonal imbalances from stress to major lifestyle changes and a poor diet. Hormonal changes can also lead to ovarian cysts, which may be the root cause of the bright red blood. If the change in your blood color is caused by cysts, it’s important to see a doctor right away.
- Unfortunately, bright red blood may also be a sign of miscarriage, especially if you’re also experiencing severe cramps. If you continue bleeding for more than a few days and cramping is severe, it’s important to see a doctor as soon as possible.
The good news is that menstrual complications are typically rare and generally not serious. If you notice any changes in the color or consistency of your period, see your gynecologist to ensure that there are no underlying medical issues causing the changes.
Remember, the color of your blood is really nothing more than indicator of the age of the blood. The brighter and redder the blood, the fresher it is. Changes in consistency, on the other hand, may cause health issues in the long run. Consistent heavy bleeding, for example, can lead to an iron deficiency or anemia. Anemia can lead to shortness of breath, fatigue and headaches. Iron supplementation or dietary changes may be required if you develop anemia.