During the menstrual cycle, a woman's body prepares itself for pregnancy, which includes the thickening of the uterus lining to accommodate the fetus. This is done by the hormones estrogen and progesterone. But if fertilization does not take place, the uterus sheds its lining with blood, and comes back to its original shape and size. The color and thickness of the discharge may vary as the cycle progresses. Formation of clots is very normal during periods. Though small clots are perfectly normal, large clots could be a sign of some serious issue.
Causes of Blood Clots
Our blood has anti-coagulants which save it from getting coagulated when it flows out of the body. But at the time of heavy bleeding, the body pushes the blood so quickly that anti-coagulants are unable to work on the pool of blood, and blood clots are formed. Hence these clots are considered normal. But if the clot is bigger than a quarter, then medical examination is required. Following are some of the causes of blood clots which may require medical intervention to avoid complicated conditions.
☛ Hormonal Imbalance
The hormones called estrogen and progesterone are responsible for the thickening and shedding of the uterine lining. If this balance is disturbed, the uterus may get very thick, which in turn will lead to blood clots.
☛ Enlarged Uterus
The uterus enlarges during pregnancy so that it becomes easy to accommodate the fetus. After pregnancy, the uterus shrinks back to its normal size. However, it may not happen in some cases. In such situations, blood gets collected and forms a clot before it is released from the body.
In this medical condition, the cells which should grow inside the uterus wall grow outside the uterus. These tissues work in the same manner and shed when there is no fertilization. This results in heavy bleeding, pain and blood clots.
Fibroids are non-cancerous tumors which grow inside the uterine wall. They are sensitive to estrogen, hence during menstruation when there is a rise in the estrogen level, there is a considerable growth of fibroids. This condition results in heavy bleeding with blood clots.
☛ Outflow Obstruction
Any type of obstruction in the outflow of the blood may result in blood clots. It can be polyps which is an outgrowth inside the uterus or a cyst which can be formed in the path of the blood flow.
☛ Other Causes
There are many other causes which may result in blood clots during menstruation. Some of them are:
- Menopausal changes
- Sudden weight gain or weight loss
- Disorders such as liver problems, kidney disorders, blood disorders, thyroid problems, cancer, etc.
- Side effects of some drugs
Till the blood clots are small there is no reason to worry. But it will be best if you see a doctor in case of bigger blood clots. Treatment will depend upon the cause behind the formation of clots. Like in case of hormonal imbalance, hormone replacement therapy will be suggested whereas in case of cysts and fibroids, medication or surgical methods will be used for the removal. So, if you notice any abnormal changes in the menstrual discharge, consult a doctor immediately. Timely diagnosis and treatment will help to avoid complex situations.