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Normal or Not Normal?

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How heavy is heavy?

We almost never see how much other people bleed, so we often have no context for whether our periods are considered heavy. Historically “heavy” has been defined as losing more than 80 ml of blood - but who measures the volume of their periods? More recent research suggests that “heavy” bleeding should be defined if the person experiencing it feels it is too heavy.

 

The NHS advises a heavy period is considered: 

 

  • needing to change your pad or tampon every 1 to 2 hours/emptying your menstrual cup more often than is recommended

  • needing to use 2 types of menstrual product together

  • periods lasting more than 7 days

  • passing blood clots larger than 2.5cm

  • regularly bleeding through your clothes or bedding

  • avoiding daily activities or work because of your periods

 

Bleeding

A person with an average flow across 5 days will use about 20 pads per period.

A person with a heavy flow from endometriosis could use up to 95 pads for a similar length period.

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