Use Menstrual Hygiene Day to revisit your blood flow knowledge

Menstrual Hygiene Day is on the 28th of May.
Menstrual Hygiene Day is on the 28th of May.
Image: STOCK

May 28 is World Menstrual Hygiene Day aimed at educating girls and women about their cycle, menstrual hygiene and breaking the silence around periods.

According to Kotex health expert and midwife Sister Burgie Ireland, maintaining a healthy menstruation is all about understanding your period cycle and that periods are normal.

"This blood is not dirty, smelly or bad blood that girls or women should be made to feel ashamed of," she said.

Ireland put together educational tips on understanding period blood. Period blood tells you a lot about your health. You may experience the following: 

Rusty brown, brick or dark red

Women who eat lots of red meat and green leafy vegetables will have more iron in their blood. When this iron mixes with air, it can make period blood look darker. This blood is normal. 

Brown with mucous

Experiencing this type of blood is normal. For some girls or women, this is a sign your period will start in the next 24hours, or it may happen on the last day of your period. 

Raspberry/ light pink

A girl's first and early periods can be lighter in colour. Girls or women playing extreme sports, dieting seriously or who are underweight can have lighter, scantier periods. 

Bright red with clots

This is a sign of fresh bleeding and can be caused by fibroids, polyps, cysts, some STIs e.g. chlamydia or a pelvic infection.

It could also happen with a miscarriage or ectopic pregnancy. You may want to visit a doctor if this occurs. 

For more tips, including how to feel more comfortable when on your period, visit www.sowetan-live.co.za/s-mag

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