As a rule, women lose around 60 milliliters of blood per month during menstruation. At this strength, it takes around four hours for a pad or tampon to fill completely. For a period of 3 days, that's 20 ml of blood per day. During one week of menstruation, a woman loses about 6,7 ml per day.
However, menstruation is not always the same. In addition, some women lose a little more or less blood.
How much blood does a woman normally lose during her period?
During a “normal” menstrual period, blood loss is around 60 milliliters. Stress in everyday life, infections or psychological stress can temporarily lead to heavier or lighter bleeding. Diet also influences the hormonal balance, the cycle and thus menstrual bleeding.
When menstruation returns to normal, there is usually no serious reason behind the sudden light or heavy bleeding. However, if the problem persists, then you should consult your doctor.
Why do women menstruate?
Menstruation is a natural process in a woman's body that prepares for a possible pregnancy. The hormonal changes trigger the cycle, which occurs on average every 28 days (once a month).
Before this time, the body prepares to receive a fertilized egg by thickening the uterine lining. However, if fertilization through the fallopian tubes does not occur during ovulation, it dissolves after a certain cycle length. It is excreted from the vagina with some blood.
This is an uncomfortable process for some women. Although it may seem unconventional and sometimes scary, you should be proud that your body is capable of supporting a pregnancy. Menstruation is an amazing manifestation of this ability.
At what age does your period start and when does it end?
Menarche (first period) usually begins during puberty and ends during menopause between the ages of 45 and 55. Finally, the frequency and tendency to bleeding are lower. But there are different treatments at all stages of life so that you don't have unnecessary period pain.
Find help and contact an expert if you need it. Especially if you are still growing or suffer from abdominal pain and more, you probably have a lot of questions about various topics. Experts take your worries away and take a look at how the body changes over the course of the cycles.
They tell you everything you need to know. With their tips, you can also take medications such as birth control pills correctly in every situation.
How long does menstruation last?
The number of days varies from woman to woman and is due to various factors. In general it can be said that the period lasts around three to five days. However, some women have shorter or longer periods.
A regular menstrual cycle is an important indication of women's general health and is beneficial if you want to have children. By the way: The color of your blood says nothing about the condition of your body. Both red and brown or almost black periods are normal.
The color changes due to oxygen outside the body. However, if you are concerned about the duration, you can speak to a gynecologist or other expert. There are interesting videos on the subject on YouTube - so you can get information and no longer have to be afraid.
When is blood loss too high during your period?
If a woman suffers from a loss of more than 80 milliliters of blood, doctors speak of heavy menstrual bleeding. In this case, you will need to change the tampon or pad in the toilet every one to two hours.
If you use a menstrual cup, it will be full after a few hours with this amount. When you have heavy menstrual bleeding, there are usually thicker clots in the blood. In addition, the affected women feel tired, lacking energy and weak. In addition, excessive bleeding may last longer than 7 days.
Symptoms of menorrhagia:
- Blood loss of over 80 milliliters of blood
- There are thicker blood clots in menstrual blood
- Tampons need to be changed every one to two hours
- Complaints such as a feeling of weakness, stomach pain, lack of energy, headaches and tiredness
- Period length can be more than 7 days in the menstrual cycle
Iron deficiency often occurs due to higher blood loss. However, the body needs enough iron to be able to build red blood cells. If there is a deficiency, too few are produced, which can result in anemia (anemia). You notice this through exhaustion and tiredness.
Those affected often also have cold feet and hands. Severe anemia can also cause a racing heart and shortness of breath. These two symptoms mainly occur during physical exertion such as sport.
Causes of excessive menstrual bleeding
Girls often initially have rather light periods, which can become worse due to factors such as contraception, changes in hormones or childbirth. For some people it is associated with heavy bleeding right from the start. The cause often lies in the uterus.
It does not contract properly, which means the lining of the uterus cannot loosen sufficiently. If this process doesn't work properly, it could be caused by polyps or fibroids, for example. The second are benign tumors that could be located in the uterine muscles.
Other possible causes and diseases for excessive menstrual bleeding:
- Inflammation of the uterus
- Fallopian tube inflammation
- Adhesions on or in the uterus
- hormonal imbalances
The excessive blood loss in hypermenorrhea is rarely related to a hormonal disorder or kidney, liver, heart or thyroid diseases. Cervical or uterine cancer can also occasionally trigger heavy menstrual bleeding.
Often no type of cause can be identified.
What is light menstrual bleeding?
Hypomenorrhea (weak menstrual bleeding) occurs when a woman loses an average of less than 25 milliliters of blood during her period. The duration of menstruation is often shorter. In this case, you usually only need two pads or tampons a day during your period.
However, the actual need also depends on the size of the product. Often only spotting occurs. Cramps and PMS (premenstrual syndrome) can also occur if your menstrual period is too light.
Because tampons do not absorb enough blood, you may experience pain when removing them.
Possible causes of hypomenorrhea
Basically, stress, high physical exertion or traveling can have an impact on health and therefore on periods and bleeding. Over and beyond
Many women bleed less at the start of menopause. In addition, an eating disorder can lead to insufficient bleeding.
Other possible causes include:
- Contraception with the hormone gestagen (taking the pill)
- IUD contraceptive
- Underweight or overweight
- Multiple scrapings or one operation
- Lack of estrogen
- ovarian weakness
- beginning of menopause
In addition, women who follow a vegetarian or vegan diet sometimes lose too little blood during their period. This may be due to an iron or iodine deficiency.
What can you do if the bleeding is too heavy or too light?
There are various treatment options. Excessive menstrual bleeding can be treated with hormones. The hormone progesterone, for example, slows down bleeding. The mini-pill with progestogen is also used in the treatment.
An item such as the combination pill made from progestogen and estrogen can also be an option. Furthermore, a hormonal IUD is a treatment option for changes. Depending on the cause, surgery may be necessary to remove polyps or fibroids.
Additionally, surgical removal of the mucous membrane is an option. If these measures are unsuccessful, the last step (and at the patient's request) could be to remove the uterus. If the bleeding is too light, treatment by a gynecologist usually focuses on stress reduction steps.
Since too little blood loss during your period is often linked to an eating disorder, in this case the focus is on psychotherapy and learning a healthy diet. Sometimes hormone therapy or, if a disease is the cause, treatment of it helps.
How can women recognize heavy menstrual bleeding?
If you lose more than 80 milliliters of blood, you are talking about heavy menstrual bleeding. A tip: You can tell if you have to change your pad or tampon every one to two hours. If the bleeding is normal, this is only necessary every four hours.
Is bleeding normal during pregnancy?
It is possible to experience heavy bleeding if the body rejects the embryo early in pregnancy. Some women still experience bleeding during the first few weeks of pregnancy. That doesn't have to be a bad thing. However, you should always talk to your doctor about this question.
When is it considered that your menstrual period is too light?
If you lose less than 25 milliliters of blood during your period, you have a light period. Most of the time there is just spotting.
How much blood does a woman lose during her period during her life?
With an average period duration of five days and a blood loss of around 60 milliliters per menstruation, a woman loses around 30 liters of blood in her lifetime.
Are there health risks from losing too much blood during your period?
The deficiency can lead to tiredness, fatigue, dizziness, circulatory problems and iron deficiency in people. The latter is particularly dangerous because in this case the body suffers from a deficit of oxygen.
Are there certain foods and methods that can successfully reduce blood loss during menstruation?
A balanced diet, especially the consumption of iron-rich foods such as legumes and whole grains, helps with iron deficiency alongside therapy. Regular exercise also improves blood circulation for those affected and regulates problems such as the intensity of menstruation. In some cases, hormonal treatments such as progesterone tablets are appropriate.