Black, Brown, Bright Red, and More: What Does Each Period Blood Color Mean

What Does Each Period Blood Color Mean?

The color of your menstrual blood depends on the type of human leukocyte antigen (HLA) present in it. HLA genes are inherited from each parent. Some people have two copies of one gene while others only have one copy of the same gene. People with one copy of the HLA DQB1*0602 allele are known as heterozygotes because they carry two different versions of this particular gene. If you have both copies of the HLA DQB1*0602 allele, then your body produces antibodies against the protein encoded by this gene. These antibodies recognize and attack any foreign proteins found in your blood or other bodily fluids. However, if you do not have either copy of the HLA DQB1*0602 allele, then your immune system will produce antibodies against all foreign proteins. Your body recognizes these “neutral” antibodies as harmless and will not attack them. The antibody produced by the immune system binds to the hemoglobin in your blood. Hemoglobin is a molecule made up of four oxygen atoms bound together with three nitrogen atoms. When an antibody attaches itself to the hemoglobin, it prevents the delivery of oxygen into cells where it is needed. This causes a drop in blood pressure and can cause death within minutes if left untreated.

There are many different colors of period blood that indicate the presence of a wide range of different diseases. While the cause of every color of period blood is different, and some remain a mystery, it is important to note that some colored blood is normal.

For example, brown bleeding can be a sign of infection or an early miscarriage. However, brown bleeding could also just be a small piece of clotted blood that has fallen out of your uterus. It is important to see your physician when you notice any colored period blood. If your physician prescribes antibiotics for a presumed infection, but the bleeding does not go away, then it is important to seek medical attention immediately. This could be a sign of endometrial cancer. On the other hand, black or dark red bleeding could be caused by many things and should always be checked out by a doctor, as it is not normal and can be a sign of a serious condition.

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Sources & references used in this article:

… color of fecal blood with the anatomical location of gastrointestinal bleeding lesions: potential misdiagnosis using only flexible sigmoidoscopy for bright red blood per … by KD Fine, AC Nelson, RT Ellington… – The American journal of …, 1999 – Elsevier

Anesthetic requirement is increased in redheads by EB Liem, CM Lin, MI Suleman… – … : The Journal of …, 2004 –

A prospective characterization of upper gastrointestinal hemorrhage presenting with hematochezia. by CM Wilcox, LN Alexander… – American Journal of …, 1997 –