Illustration on understanding the color of menstrual blood

Understanding the Colour of Menstrual Blood: What it Indicates About Your Health

Pinkishe Foundation

May 27, 2024

Numerous health websites suggest that the colour of menstrual blood could offer insights into a woman's overall health. However, it's essential to note that while changes in colour may indicate various health conditions, it doesn't necessarily imply a serious issue. Here's what different colours of menstrual blood might signify: Dark or Brown Colour: Natural occurrence, indicating older blood shedding from the uterine lining. Often associated with slow blood flow or post-delivery periods. Pink Colour: Usually observed during lighter blood flow at the start or end of the period cycle. The colour change results from the mixture of mucous with blood. Orange or Rusty Colour: Indicates blood mixed with cervical fluid. If persistent or accompanied by other symptoms, medical consultation is recommended. Grey or Green Colour: Unusual colours like grey or green may indicate infections. Medical consultation is advised for proper diagnosis and treatment. Black Colour: Suggests old blood or slow shedding from the uterus. In some cases, it could signal a blocked vagina, especially if accompanied by severe pain or unpleasant odour. Key Considerations: Any sudden changes in bleeding patterns warrant a medical evaluation. For individuals experiencing fertility-related issues alongside changes in bleeding colour, consulting a gynaecologist is advisable. While understanding the colour of menstrual blood can offer valuable insights into one's health, it's crucial to approach any concerns with professional medical guidance. If you notice significant changes or symptoms, don't hesitate to seek timely medical assistance for appropriate diagnosis and treatment.

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Advice
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An illustration how menstruation and mental health is related
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Illustration on Gen Z
Social Issues
Breaking the Silence: How Gen Z is Revolutionizing Menstrual Discourse and Sustainability

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A picture of women from rural communities in india
Social Issues
Addressing Menstruation Stigma: A Call for Global Action

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Illustration on understanding the color of menstrual blood
Advice
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Numerous health websites suggest that the colour of menstrual blood could offer insights into a woman's overall health. However, it's essential to note that while changes in colour may indicate various health conditions, it doesn't necessarily imply a serious issue. Here's what different colours of menstrual blood might signify: Dark or Brown Colour: Natural occurrence, indicating older blood shedding from the uterine lining. Often associated with slow blood flow or post-delivery periods. Pink Colour: Usually observed during lighter blood flow at the start or end of the period cycle. The colour change results from the mixture of mucous with blood. Orange or Rusty Colour: Indicates blood mixed with cervical fluid. If persistent or accompanied by other symptoms, medical consultation is recommended. Grey or Green Colour: Unusual colours like grey or green may indicate infections. Medical consultation is advised for proper diagnosis and treatment. Black Colour: Suggests old blood or slow shedding from the uterus. In some cases, it could signal a blocked vagina, especially if accompanied by severe pain or unpleasant odour. Key Considerations: Any sudden changes in bleeding patterns warrant a medical evaluation. For individuals experiencing fertility-related issues alongside changes in bleeding colour, consulting a gynaecologist is advisable. While understanding the colour of menstrual blood can offer valuable insights into one's health, it's crucial to approach any concerns with professional medical guidance. If you notice significant changes or symptoms, don't hesitate to seek timely medical assistance for appropriate diagnosis and treatment.

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Distressed women in their office
Social Issues
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For far too long, periods have remained a hushed topic in the workplace, shrouded in discomfort and taboo. However, a groundbreaking initiative called The Period Conversation is striving to change that narrative by fostering open, honest discussions about menstruation and its realities. Traditionally, menstruation has been veiled in discretion and shame, evident even in the branding of period products. But with its modern, interactive campaign website, The Period Conversation heralds a new era of understanding, blending empowerment with education in a stylish presentation. This innovative project is the brainchild of design agency Nice and Serious, born out of its 'Nice Works' initiative, which encourages creative endeavors addressing significant societal issues. Partnering with the charity Bloody Good Period, the interactive platform features questions sourced from individuals who don't menstruate, answered by those who do, supplemented with insights from the charity. This format dismantles the taboo surrounding menstruation, providing valuable information in a visually engaging manner. Sadie Devane, Senior Art Director at Nice and Serious, reflects on the project's genesis, stating, "The Period Conversation started with a conversation within our team about the impact of menstrual cycles on our creative output and the challenges we faced in our professional lives." This dialogue spurred the creation of a resource aimed at initiating similar conversations in workplaces and beyond. The project's visuals intentionally adopt a gender-neutral tone, steering away from the stereotypical pink and red hues associated with period branding. Senior Designer Anna Barton explains, "We aimed for designs that are both bright and inviting yet soft and serious, mirroring the diverse conversations featured." The chosen color palette reflects the four phases of the menstrual cycle, while the graphic elements draw inspiration from the fluidity of period blood, fostering organic dialogue. Creating an inclusive campaign posed challenges, requiring rigorous testing to ensure accessibility across diverse audiences. "We prioritized inclusivity, particularly appealing to men, through language, visuals, and tone," shares Sadie. Anna Barton reflects on her pride in the project's impact, noting, "This is the most personal project I’ve worked on, turning a negative experience into something inventive." Echoing this sentiment, Sadie expresses hope that The Period Conversation will inspire companies to initiate similar dialogues, implement inclusive policies, and support employees, thereby advancing menstrual equity. Rachel Grocott, CEO at Bloody Good Period, underscores the importance of reducing period stigma, emphasizing that providing wider knowledge contributes to the collective goal of menstrual equity. The Period Conversation project stands as a beacon of progress, challenging societal norms, and paving the way for more inclusive workplaces where no one is disadvantaged because of their period.

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Anish Bhagat with his 12 years old younger brother
Social Issues
Breaking Taboos: Sibling Duo's Heartwarming Conversation about Menstruation Goes Viral

In many parts of India, discussing menstruation remains a taboo, particularly in the presence of male family members. However, a heartening Instagram video is challenging this longstanding norm. The video features a man sensitizing his 12-year-old brother about periods, sparking a conversation that's both empowering and crucial. The viral video unfolds with the older brother driving to pick up his younger sibling on his 12th birthday. Captioned with a poignant message advocating for educating boys about menstruation, the video sets a powerful tone for breaking societal barriers. As the birthday boy enters the car, his older brother initiates the dialogue by wishing him a happy birthday. Sensing the younger brother's unfamiliarity with the concept of 'periods,' the elder sibling dives into an informative discussion, delicately explaining the menstrual cycle and its associated experiences, including the pain and discomfort women often endure. The younger brother's surprise at this revelation shows the significance of such conversations. Furthermore, the older brother takes a proactive step by demonstrating how to purchase sanitary napkins, fostering a sense of responsibility and empathy in his sibling. The video culminates with a heartfelt message from the younger brother, expressing his commitment to ensuring the safety and comfort of women in his life—a testament to the positive impact of open communication and education. Netizens flooded the comments section with words of encouragement and admiration for the siblings' initiative. One user commended the older brother for raising a gentleman, while others echoed the need for more men to follow suit in normalizing discussions around menstruation. This viral video serves as an inspiration to individuals and families to break the silence and embrace dialogue about menstruation with empathy, kindness, and acceptance. To read the full article visit: Man Educates 12-Year-Old Brother About Periods In Viral Video, Internet Says 'Normalise This' (indiatimes.com)

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Silenced bu society- picture by Neraj Gera
Social Issues
Capturing the Conversation: Niraj Gera's "Sacred Stains" Sheds Light on Menstrual Stigma in India

In India, the stigma surrounding menstruation runs deep, perpetuating discrimination and exclusion against menstruating women. Social and religious norms have long deemed periods impure, leading to women being barred from temples, kitchens, and various social gatherings. On World Menstrual Hygiene Day, acclaimed photographer Niraj Gera takes a bold step to challenge this stigma with his poignant series, "Sacred Stains." Through his lens, Gera aims to destigmatize periods, shedding light on the harsh realities faced by menstruating women in India. Despite the widespread impact of menstruation, discussions about it remain scarce. Shockingly, a study reveals that 71% of adolescent girls in India are unaware of menstruation until they experience it themselves. This lack of awareness stems from a culture of silence, where parents often fail to prepare their daughters for this inevitable biological process, leading to unnecessary fear and anxiety. Access to menstrual hygiene products presents another significant challenge. While India abolished a 12% tax on sanitary products in 2018 following extensive activism, many women still struggle to afford them. According to a study, only 36% of India's 355 million menstruating females use sanitary napkins, resorting to unsafe alternatives like rags, husk, or even mud and soil. The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated these issues, disrupting the production and distribution of menstrual hygiene products in India. As a result, millions of women face heightened challenges in managing their periods hygienically. Beyond India's borders, period poverty affects disadvantaged girls worldwide. Many cannot afford sanitary products, resorting to unhygienic substitutes like newspaper or socks. This reality underscores the urgent need for global action to address menstrual health and hygiene. Despite the pervasive stigma, social media has emerged as a platform for women to share their menstrual experiences. Niraj Gera advocates for leveraging this tool to spread awareness and positivity, challenging societal taboos and empowering women to embrace their bodies. Through his charity, the Humanify Foundation, Gera calls for free distribution of pads to women and girls below the poverty line in India, highlighting the economic barriers many face in accessing menstrual hygiene products. The consequences of period stigma extend beyond health implications. Studies show that millions of girls drop out of school annually due to inadequate menstrual facilities and fear of stigma. It's imperative to dismantle these barriers and normalize conversations about menstruation to ensure every woman's right to dignity and education. Niraj Gera emphasizes the need to break the silence surrounding menstruation, advocating for a transformative dialogue that celebrates the natural process of menstruation and empowers women across the globe. "Talking is all it takes to begin a transformation," he asserts. "And it's time we did it."

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Period chart
Tips
Breaking Taboos: Period Charts Empower Women and Normalize Menstruation in India

In a country where menstruation is shrouded in stigma and secrecy, a simple yet powerful initiative is challenging societal norms and empowering women to reclaim their bodily autonomy. The introduction of "period charts" in homes across India is not only revolutionizing how women track their menstrual cycles but also sparking vital conversations that dismantle taboos surrounding menstruation. Supriya Verma, a resident of Kanwari village in Haryana, attests to the transformative impact of these charts. With women in 35 homes in her village proudly displaying their menstrual charts, a culture of openness and understanding has blossomed. These charts serve as more than just tracking tools; they facilitate candid discussions about menstrual health and well-being, breaking down barriers of shame and discomfort. Gone are the days of silently enduring pain and discomfort during menstruation. Families now recognize and respect a woman's need for rest and comfort during her period, a small yet significant shift in attitude fostered by the visibility of period charts. For Supriya, this newfound consideration from her family signifies a tangible change in how menstruation is perceived and managed within her household. The concept of period charts emerged from the visionary mind of Sunil Jaglan, director of the Selfie with Daughter Foundation, known for his pioneering efforts to promote gender equality. Recognizing the need for open dialogue about menstruation, Jaglan initiated the period chart campaign, drawing inspiration from his own journey as a father navigating conversations about menstruation with his daughters. Since its inception, the campaign has gained momentum, spreading to seven Indian states and garnering participation from approximately 1,000 women. Despite facing resistance and criticism, particularly from male detractors, the campaign continues to thrive, buoyed by the determination of women like Priyanka Verma, who defiantly stood her ground in the face of opposition. Today, the demand for period charts is on the rise, signaling a growing acceptance and normalization of menstruation as a natural biological process. Jaglan's efforts extend beyond distributing charts; he conducts online workshops and community gatherings to educate women about menstrual health and hygiene, providing them with the knowledge and tools to navigate their menstrual cycles confidently. Anju Panghaal from Mandkola village echoes the sentiments of countless women across India who have long grappled with the silence and shame surrounding menstruation. By embracing period charts, Anju and others are reclaiming their agency and challenging age-old taboos that have dictated their lives for far too long. As period charts adorn the walls of homes across India, they serve as symbols of resilience, empowerment, and progress. With each chart proudly displayed, another taboo is shattered, paving the way for a more inclusive and enlightened society where menstruation is no longer whispered in hushed tones but celebrated as a natural and integral part of womanhood.

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Menstrual Stigma: The Root Cause of Girls' Education Crisis in India
Social Issues
Menstrual Stigma: The Root Cause of Girls' Education Crisis in India

In India's rural heartlands, a pervasive culture of social exclusion and a dearth of menstrual education perpetuate a vicious cycle of stigma, shame, and ignorance surrounding menstruation. As a result, many young girls are forced to drop out of school or endure ostracization during their monthly cycles, exacerbating gender inequalities in education and perpetuating harmful societal norms. A recent study by UNICEF revealed that a staggering 71% of adolescent girls in India remain unaware of menstruation until they experience it firsthand, often resulting in school dropout rates. Another report by the NGO Dasra underscored the dire consequences of inadequate menstrual hygiene management facilities, with 23 million girls dropping out of school annually due to a lack of access to sanitary products and comprehensive menstrual education. Public health experts, NGOs, and community leaders working in this field highlight a myriad of challenges contributing to the menstrual health crisis in India. Vandana Prasad, a community pediatrician, laments the absence of accurate and comprehensive information about menstruation, which often leaves young girls feeling anxious and uninformed. Furthermore, entrenched social taboos and discriminatory practices, such as denying girls access to certain spaces and foods during their periods, perpetuate shame and embarrassment surrounding menstruation. The challenges extend beyond education to access to menstrual products, exacerbating the physical and psychological burdens faced by girls. Anju Panghaal from Mandkola village describes the immense struggle girls face in obtaining sanitary pads and maintaining hygiene, underscoring the additional burdens imposed on marginalized communities. Jaya Velankar, director of Jagori, emphasizes the dual fears that drive girls out of school once they begin menstruating: the fear of sexual violence and the fear of inter-caste relationships. These fears, deeply rooted in societal norms and prejudices, further entrench the culture of silence and stigma surrounding menstruation. Experts advocate for age-appropriate, standardized sex education as a critical solution to combat menstrual stigma and empower girls with accurate information about their bodies. However, resistance from governments and societal norms pose significant barriers to implementing comprehensive sex education programs. Despite these challenges, advocates remain hopeful for change. Guneet Monga, Oscar-winning film producer, urges stakeholders to continue dialogue and advocacy efforts to dismantle menstrual stigma and support girls' education. Initiatives like involving boys in menstrual education and providing affordable menstrual products offer glimpses of hope for a future where menstruation is no longer a barrier to girls' education and empowerment. Anshu Gupta, founder of Goonj, stresses the importance of reimagining menstrual hygiene through a lens of access, affordability, and awareness. By addressing these fundamental challenges, Gupta believes that India can move closer to achieving menstrual equity and ensuring every girl can attend school without fear or shame.

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Poster representing menstrual hygiene as a neccesity and not luxury
Social Issues
Menstrual Health and Hygiene in India: Progress, Challenges, and the Path Forward

In recent years, India has emerged as a key player in advancing menstrual health and hygiene (MHH). Since the National Health Mission in 2011, significant strides have been made, particularly with the integration of menstrual hygiene management (MHM) into initiatives like the 'Swachh Bharat Mission' and MHM guidelines for schools. The fifth National Family Health Survey showed a notable increase in the use of safe period products among educated women. State-specific schemes like Maharashtra's 'Asmita Yojana' and Kerala's 'She Pad' have further improved access to sanitary napkins for adolescent girls. However, challenges remain. Social taboos continue to restrict girls' and women's lives, leading to practices like menstrual segregation and limited access to sanitation facilities. Incidents such as the killing of a 12-year-old girl in Maharashtra due to menstrual misconceptions highlight the need for education targeting boys and men. Progress on menstrual leave policies is slow, with only Kerala and Bihar implementing them. Women in the informal sector face additional barriers, including lack of access to washrooms and affordable hygiene products. A holistic approach is needed to advance menstrual health in India. This includes supporting marginalized groups, promoting eco-friendly alternatives, addressing menstrual waste disposal, and advocating for menstrual rights. Comprehensive sex education and workplace support for menopausal women are also essential. As India commemorates Menstrual Hygiene Day, it must acknowledge the long road ahead to end period poverty and ensure menstrual equity for all. Prioritizing menstrual health as a fundamental human right can pave the way for a more inclusive and empowered future for all menstruators.

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