Up to 25% OFF on multipacks

Menstrual Blood: The key to better diagnoses 

June 6, 2024 . jessie

Written by Isabelle Guenou & Dr Amy Whitbread from theblood

Imagine if you could get important health information on a regular basis without needles and blood draws. Imagine if a resource previously considered a waste product could hold the key to better diagnostics and healthcare. This is now possible – with menstrual blood. For a long time, menstrual blood was considered useless, but researchers are increasingly discovering its enormous potential. What if every period you had wasn’t just a monthly event, but a valuable opportunity to learn more about your health? Let’s dive deeper and find out why menstrual blood is more than just a monthly nuisance – it could revolutionise the future of medicine. 

From Waste to Data 

Normally, health information is obtained through blood tests that use serum from venous blood drawn through needles. Menstrual blood has long been regarded as waste and not considered valuable – until now. 

‘Menstrual blood is an easily accessible body fluid and collection is non-invasive. The data presented here show that many proposed markers for infertility are present in menstrual blood proteins and could therefore be used for diagnostic purposes.’ – Yang et al. (2012). 

Closing the gender data gap 

Companies like theblood are exploring menstrual blood not only as an alternative to venous blood, but also as a source of unique insights into women’s health. Menstrual blood can help us better understand diseases that affect women. Although menstrual blood has long been overlooked, it is an untapped resource. It is exciting because it could significantly contribute to closing the gender data gap. 

What is menstrual blood? 

Menstrual blood is the fluid that is expelled from the vagina during menstruation. It consists of the lining of the uterus, which is shed if no fertilised egg implants. This fluid contains not only blood, but also endometrial tissue, living cells, immune cells, proteins and microorganisms from the vaginal microbiome. 

Menstrual blood is unique and contains 385 proteins that are not found in normal blood. It is rich in immune cells and other components, making it valuable for diagnostic purposes. It can be collected non-invasively using menstrual products such as menstrual cups. 

The potential of menstrual blood 

Using simple and non-invasive methods to collect menstrual blood could revolutionise healthcare. Menstrual blood offers a way to monitor health conditions and diagnose diseases such as endometriosis at an early stage. 

Current research on menstrual blood 

In 2019, Sara Naseri and Paul Blumenthal showed that menstrual blood can be used for routine biomarkers. They demonstrated its potential in the detection of HPV for early detection of cervical cancer and for measuring HbA1c levels for diabetes management. 

Christine Metz and Peter Gregersen researched menstrual blood to better understand endometriosis. Endometriosis affects 10% of women and can take up to 10 years to be diagnosed. Their study showed differences in the immune cells in menstrual blood between sufferers and healthy individuals, providing valuable insights. 

The future of women’s health 

Research on menstrual blood is growing and revealing its potential clinical and therapeutic potential, including its use in regenerative therapy. It turns out that menstrual blood is far more than waste – it is valuable and useful. 

What does theblood do? 

theblood is developing a menstrual blood home test that can be used to measure routine biomarkers such as hormones and vitamins. Their mission is to empower menstruating women to take control of their own health. 

Developing reliable menstrual blood tests requires clinical trials and laboratory testing to ensure accuracy, comparable to other accepted fluids such as venous and capillary blood. theblood is also working to change the negative stigma around menstrual blood and portray it as something positive. 

Theblood’s vision is to provide menstruating people with an easy and reliable way to receive regular health information. Imagine being able to get insights into your hormone levels, vitamin status and other important health markers every month without invasive blood draws. 

theblood focuses on education and research to promote acceptance and understanding of menstrual blood in society. As a growing company, they are working to recognise menstrual blood as a valuable resource and to advance research to enable better diagnosis and healthcare for all menstruating women. 

10% off on your next order?

Get a 10% discount on your next Yoni order when you sign up for our vulvalicious newsletter.
Sounds peachy right?

Drop your email address below and receive a discount code in your mailbox instantly.

Terms apply.