How much blood is normal to lose during your period ?
Normal flow, heavy flow, what is meant by this ? How much Is it normal to lose blood? during your period ? Many women, especially young women who are just starting to menstruate, have questions about the normality of their menstrual cycle. The amount of blood loss varies from person to person and cases of menorrhagia are rare. To reassure you on the abundance of your menstrual discharge, here is a decoding of the menstrual flow !
How much blood is lost during a period ?
Not only will the amount of blood lost during your period depend on your cycle and your method of contraception (or lack thereof), but it will also be different from other women. So the normal is very relative in terms of flow !
On average, a normal menstrual period is about one month blood loss of about 30 to 70 ml on the 2 to 7 days of menstrual bleeding, which is the equivalent of a coffee cup.
To give you a more concrete idea, this corresponds to a change of menstrual protection every 3 to 4 hours.
In teenagers, it takes about a year for the menstrual cycle to stabilize. So if it’s a bit of a mess at first with irregular cycles and a longer duration, the average amount of blood loss is about the same.
If you are on hormonal contraception (pill, patch, ring), the bleeding is no longer a period, but a “period” withdrawal bleeding and are often not very abundant. Women with a hormonal intrauterine device (IUD) also have a light or non-existent flow.
How to know if your period is too heavy ?
Heavy bleeding (hypermenorrhea) begins when the amount lost exceeds 80 ml and lasts more than 8 days.
As a general rule, it is estimated that a change of sanitary protection every two hours corresponds to a heavy period. It is therefore advisable to talk to your doctor or gynecologist.
Similarly, if you also notice the presence of large amounts of urine, it is not necessary to change your period blood clots or/and the period between your periods is getting shorter, make an appointment quickly with one of the two health specialists.
Menorrhagia, what is it ?
Menorrhagia is the medical term for heavy periods. A menorrhagia is never to be taken lightly, because it can hide a serious pathology.
- Indeed, the first cause of menorrhagia is the presence of abnormalities: cysts, benign tumors (polyps or uterine fibroids), etc., in the uterine wall.
- It can also be a hormonal imbalance (too much estrogen, too little progesterone) or a lack of ovulation that leads to bleeding during the period.
- But also adenomyosis, which is a form of endometriosis that causes abundant discharge and menstrual pain that can be very strong.
- In rare cases, heavy periods can be due to a blood clotting abnormality.
- Wearing a copper IUD can also cause hypermenorrhea in the first year, but also a lengthening of periods.
In addition, the excess blood loss can cause consequences on the state of health of women and provoke an abortion anemia (iron deficiency). If you also have any of these symptoms: fatigue, shortness of breath, pelvic pain or paleness, medical advice is essential.
Your doctor will carry out the necessary tests (an ultrasound or a diagnostic uteroscopy, or even a biopsy) and will make a precise diagnosis.
Tips ! To decrease the flow naturally (when all possible medical causes have been investigated), here are two natural methods:
- Reduce your intake of inflammatory foods (dairy products, sugars, vegetable fats…) and increase iron-rich foods (red meats, seafood, legumes…).
- Plants are also a natural method for painful and heavy periods: yarrow, horsetail, nettle… are perfect for regulating your menstrual flow.
How to estimate the volume of your period
It can be difficult to assess the volume of the period unless you wear a menstrual cup. Some cups actually have the advantage of having measuring lines, so they are perfect for estimating the amount of blood flow.
If you are not a cup fan, here are some approximate guidelines:
- A light sanitary tampon absorbs about 3 ml of liquid.
- A super disposable tampon, about 12 ml.
- A normal sanitary napkin can contain about 5 ml of blood.
- A special night-time pad up to 15 ml.
Based on the number of times you change your sanitary protection, you can then calculate the flow of your blood.
To conclude If you think you have a heavy flow or if your period is painful, do not hesitate to talk to a health professional. Don’t be afraid to express your concerns, that’s what it’s there for. It can be a temporary change of cycle due to fatigue, stress, diet, but we have seen, also to another more serious pathology.