menstrual blood

page updated: 31-Mar-2004

Ya, here's the description of "chunky days" that everyone was waiting for...

For starters, menstrual blood is heavier than water and will settle to the bottom of a toilet bowl. If a tampon or a bloody tissue is left in the toilet the blood will dissolve out but stay in a layer on the bottom. This layer always ends up a pretty dark red colour no matter what colour the blood started out as, as far as I can tell. Fascinating.

Menstrual blood smells mostly like other blood; metallic to me. I think the different smell that the vagina developes while bleeding is due more to the vagina than the blood itself, but I could be wrong. Of course, the blood and the vagina are mixed up with each other and each's smell gets on the other.

The colour and consistency of my menstrual blood varies, in a mostly predictable pattern during the course of my periods.

The first slow blood of each period, and the last spots at the end are both brownish and get mixed up in my regular vaginal secretions. The blood kind of gets trapped in the discharge and only marks up the surface of a tissue or the top of my underwear, rather than soaking into the cloth/paper the way other blood will. These marks conveniently come out quite easily. If this kind of blood gets wet it turns red again. I think it just takes awhile to find its way out of me and dehydrates a bit during its journey. Like scabs turn brown when they dry.

I can tell if I am actively bleeding or if there was just incidental blood in my vagina (from spotting or very lite bleeding) by the colour. Brown is slow and leftover, red is current.

The actively bleeding red blood varies from dark purple-red to bright red, with no pattern that I've noted (haven't paid too much attention-- I might have noticed more if I used pads and actually looked at my blood more). During very heavy days, globs of endometrium are frequently mixed into the liquid blood. I wouldn't call these "chunks," because mine have never been jagged or particularly solid. They are very wet, smooth and slimy and kind of similar to the semi-congeled blood you can blow out of your nose after a nosebleed has mostly stopped. I think the allusions to other kinds of blood are making this page more disgusting than it really has to be :)

These solid bits would range in size from thin strings under a cm long to blobs in the thumb knuckle size range. They could probably be bigger, this is just what I recall. They tend to fall apart into strings in the toilet water.

The majority of my blood is liquid and quite thin/runny. The globs and lumps have mainly been present on very heavy days. I don't remember ever noticing them sitting on pads, but then I really never use pads. My encounters with the blobs of bloody tissue have been with them sticking to the outsides of tampons, or having nestled on top of a tampon and disconcertingly come rushing out behind it when removed.

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