How much blood do you lose during your period?
Wondering how much blood loss is normal during your period? It's not an easy question to answer because everyone is different. Some people naturally lose more blood than others. There are also many reasons why menstrual bleeding may be lighter or heavier than we are used to.
However, there are some basic rules of thumb that can help you decide whether the amount of blood loss is normal for you. This article offers a rough estimate of how much blood you lose during your period and also explains what can cause heavy and light bleeding. We'll also share some tips on what to do if the amount of bleeding concerns you.
What is the average blood loss during menstruation?
Most people find that their periods last about 4 to 5 days. Usually the total amount of blood lost during this period is quite small; just a few tablespoons.
“The average volume of blood lost during menstruation is approximately 30 to 50 milliliters per cycle,” many experts confirm. "But the actual amount may be slightly higher because conditions such as tissue, mucus and the uterine wall can increase the volume of flow."
With all this in mind, it's important to remember that we all experience our periods differently. Sometimes people may bleed a little less or a little more than average; Unless you're experiencing severe cramping or feeling really sick, this is usually nothing to worry about.
Okay, but how do you know how much you're bleeding? If you're not using a menstrual cup, measuring your flow can be difficult. Generally, how many pads or tampons we use during a menstrual period is important for us to understand the amount of menstrual blood.
“We usually don't look at the numbers,” says Dr Ashwini. "Instead we focus on the individual patient. What is normal for them? What product are they using?"
So if you want to investigate how much you're bleeding, your doctor can help you figure that out.
How much blood do you lose during your period? (Heavy and light periods)
Blood loss during menstruation is individual, so how much blood is lost during a period varies from person to person.
Heavy bleeding is normal for some, while others naturally have a lighter discharge. Irregular menstrual periods are also quite common; Your menstrual period may be light one month and heavy the next, and there is no clear known reason for this change.
So how do you know if you're bleeding more or less than average? What causes changes in menstrual blood loss? To help answer your questions, let's dive into the details of what heavy and light bleeding look like.
Heavy Bleeding (Menorrhagia)
Prolonged or heavy menstrual bleeding, also known as menorrhagia, can be stressful. Feeling like you're bleeding a lot or that your period won't stop can be enough to set off alarm bells in your head.
Some signs that indicate you are facing heavy bleeding include:
- Changing your pad or tampon almost every hour
- Bleeding that lasts more than 7 days
- Pain in the lower abdomen (belly button)
- feeling weak and tired
- Having blood clots larger than a 25-cent coin
Possible causes of heavy bleeding include:
- Polyp or tumor-like growths in the uterus (cancerous tumors are rare)
- Pregnancy problems such as miscarriage
- Some medications that affect your body's bleeding or clotting mechanisms
- Diseases such as von Willebrand disease, platelet dysfunction, endometriosis and adenomyosis
- Problems with hormones
At the other end of the spectrum, some people have lighter menstrual bleeding than normal. There are several reasons why your periods may be lighter.
Some symptoms of a light period include:
- Using only 4 regular tampons or pads during your entire period
- Shorter menstrual period (fewer bleeding days)
- A lighter runny or spotting
- A darker or brown color
Possible causes of light bleeding include:
- Hormonal problems due to conditions such as polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) or thyroid dysfunction
- some medications
- Birth control methods (implanon or pill)
- Age (for example, if you are going through menopause)
- Sudden weight loss or weight gain
Some tips for managing the amount of menstrual blood loss
If you've noticed a change in your period and think you may be bleeding too much or too little, the best thing to do is make an appointment with your doctor right away.
“When you feel like your flow isn't normal for you, you constantly need to change your menstrual products, or you're feeling really sick from your period, it's a good idea to check in with your doctor,” Dr Ashwini says. “It is always better to get checked early rather than waiting, as this can potentially lead to various other complications in the long run.”
Whatever your flow, Modibodi has you covered. We stock our reliable menstrual panties in a variety of absorbency options. Click to review Modibodi Menstrual Panties models...
- Light-Medium – 10ml (2 tampons) for light flows
- Medium-Vigorous – up to 15ml (2-3 buffers) for medium to heavy flows
- Intensive-Overnight for more intense periods – up to 20 ml (3-4 tampons)
- Maxi for peak periods – up to 50 ml (10 tampons)
Go with your flow
Remember, not every menstrual period is the same. So your menstrual blood amount may be a little lighter or thicker than the norm, and that's okay. If the amount changes significantly or you feel unwell, talk to your doctor.