Dark blood during cycle ?

Patient : I have been having menopause symptoms for several years now, but my last 3 periods, in the last 5 weeks, have been so different. The bleeding is so dark it is almost black and the cramping is extremely hard and painful. I dont know whether to go to the doctor about this or not? Is this just another aspect of menopause or something else? I dont have insurance yet so the cost is above my budget for the doctor and I dont want to waste their time on something thats no big deal, but this has put me flat out in bed lately. I tried looking it up but there is nothing on the change in color that I have found? Any information would help. Thank you very much. Julia
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