Some women lose an excessive amount of blood during their period. It is difficult to define exactly what a heavy period is, and what is heavy for one woman may be normal for another. The average amount of blood lost during a period is 30-40 ml, with 9 out of 10 women losing less than 80ml. Heavy menstrual bleeding is considered to be 60ml or more in each cycle.
It is not practicable to measure blood loss. Most women have a good idea about how much bleeding is normal for them during their period and can tell when this amount increases or decreases.
A good indication that blood loss is excessive is if:
- an unusually high number of tampons or pads is necessary
- heavy bleeding runs through to clothes or bedding
- passage of clots
- need to use more than one protection, more than one pad at one time or tampons and pads together