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what would cause my menstrual blood to be orange?
ashleynr posted:
I know this may sound weird or even too much information but I am confused and need some feedback? I usually have regular periods that last 5 days and are heavy and get lighter with cramps, bloating, and etc... however this month it was 3 days late and I didnt even feel it coming on and it was really light with no cramps and it was a bright orange color. This has never happened before and I dont know what to do or what it could be? If someone could help answer this I would appreciate it. Thanks!
Jane Harrison Hohner, RN, RNP responded:
Dear ashleynr: It was late, and when it arrived it was without cramps and had only a light orange colored flow. Hope I am following you correctly.

The fact that it was late, and especially since it arrived without the usual premenstrual symptoms, suggests that you may have missed an ovulation this past month. Missed ovulations are very common, and many of us are not even aware when it happens except that cycle timing may be slightly off--- and there is no "PMS".

In cycles without an ovulation only the top layer of the lining inside the uterus may be shed. This accounts for the decreased amount of flow. When flow is scant the color may be either a dark brown "motor oil sludge" consistency or occasionally it can look more orange (like red blood gets diluted in normal white vaginal secretions).

What to do? As always with an abrupt menstrual change one should get a reliable pregnancy test (if you are at risk for pregnancy). If the test result is negative, you can choose to self monitor for another month and see if your cycle resets itself naturally. If you did miss an ovulation last month, your next "real" period may be heavier than usual as all the accumulated lining is shed.

If changes persist, or you develop other symptoms, you should see your GYN or local county family planning clinic.

An_258781 replied to Jane Harrison Hohner, RN, RNP's response:
I have had the same thing happen, except for it has happened many months in a row. I have not thought about taking a pregnancy test, but I'm pretty sure I'm not 4 months pregnant now, as there are no physical changes happening to my body and no pregnancy symptoms whatsoever. What other possible causes could there be?

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Below the Belt: Women's Health - Jane Harrison-Hohner, RN, RNP

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