Author: Dr. Maryam Mahanian, DTCM, RAc
Audio Broadcast of the article is available below:
Do you see clots in your menstrual blood?
Learn what this can mean for your fertility and what you can do about it.
Most women have typically experienced clots in their menstrual blood but probably don’t think much of it.
In my Chinese medicine practice, I always ask women if they have clots because it tells me so much about the woman’s body and can also give me clues about their fertility. Here are common questions I ask:
- What color is the blood? Is it dark-red, purplish, blackish?
- How large are the clots? Are they larger than dime-size?
Among the many other questions I ask about their menstrual cycle, especially if infertility is their main issue, I ask how heavy and how many days of flow there is.
It can be quite normal to have small clots (pea sized or smaller than dime size), especially if you have been sitting or lying down for a while. It is normal to also have dark blood (almost brownish color) towards the end of your period. It’s when the clots are quite big that there may be significant blood stasis.
How does Chinese medicine view menstrual clots?
Clots in the menstrual blood tell me if there is proper blood circulation to and from the uterus. If not, in Chinese medicine we call this blood stasis. Blood stasis is old blood coagulating and not flowing smoothly.
Why does Blood Stasis occur?
Blood stasis in the uterus and ovaries most often comes from Cold Stagnation. Cold stagnation constricts proper blood circulation causing the blood to congeal and form clots. You can see my health article all about Cold In The Uterus here. Eating too many cold and raw foods, surrounding yourself in a cold damp environment, exposing your feet, abdomen and lower back to cold, swimming during the menstrual period or even swimming in cold pools in general are some examples of things that can cause cold & blood stasis in the uterus.
What does this mean for my fertility?
Blood stasis & cold can impede your fertility.
When your blood isn’t flowing as smoothly as it could be to and from your uterus, your uterine lining may not be healthy enough to support implantation and a growing embryo.
Fresh healthy blood cells infuse your reproductive organs with oxygen, nutrients and reproductive hormones. Old dead blood cells need to be swept away to make room for the new so they don’t cause blockages.
This not only goes for the uterus, but also for your ovaries. The better blood flow to your ovaries, the better quality your eggs will be as they mature. Blocked ovaries may prevent an egg from releasing. Blocked tubes can prevent fertilization.
What are some other ways to know if you have blood stasis?
Some other symptoms of blood stasis are menstrual cramps, spotting before the menstrual period, cold hands and feet and generally feeling a cold body temperature, pale dull facial complexion and a purplish colored tongue.
Acupuncture for Blood Stasis
Acupuncture is wonderful to promote blood flow to the uterus and overcome blood stasis. In my clinical practice, I find the combination of acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine so effective to get rid of the old blood in order to generate new fresh blood. This is one of the first and most important steps in enhancing fertility!
Women are so often pleasantly surprised at how after getting treatment with acupuncture and/or Chinese medicine, the clots in their menstrual blood don’t occur anymore…and many go on to conceive their miracle babies.
Have questions? Reach out to me.
Yours in health,
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