Go With The Flow

What Is The Normal Period Flow: What to Expect

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Periods are an integral part of women’s life. Their monthly occurrence redefines women’s normal life as they change their everyday activities according to it. It becomes essential that the information related to them should be freely imparted and discussed. This leads to a healthy lifestyle as women are able to handle any issue pertaining to their periods easily.

Although every woman has her own version of “normal,” at the same time, being aware of certain parameters helps make the right judgments.

What is A Normal Period Flow?

Normal period flow usually lasts 3 – 8 days; the average duration is 5 days. The first 3 days are mostly heavy bleeding days followed by a relatively reduced period flow. The bleeding may occur at an interval of every 21 – 35 days, and a median of 28 days is the ideal duration of the cycle.

1. Adolescent Period Volume

An adolescent experiences the onset of menstruation, which can bring about significant changes to the body, including hormonal shifts. On average, menstrual flow might be around 30 to 40 millilitres per cycle, but this can vary. On the heaviest days, it’s common for adolescents to change about 10 to 15 pads or tampons per cycle. Talking openly about periods and learning about menstrual hygiene and health is important to help teenagers manage this part of growing up.

2. Adult Period Volume

Understanding what is a normal period flow in adults is an important aspect of menstrual hygiene and health. How much blood is lost in a period can depend on lifestyle, stress, obesity, pregnancy, uterine disorders, or hormonal changes. The average period of blood loss for most women is about 30 – 50 ml during one cycle. A loss of more than 80 ml is considered abnormal and may necessitate an urgent visit to your doctor.

When it comes to how many pads are normal for a period per day, it’s generally normal to use about three to six pads or tampons on the heaviest days, though this number can differ based on your flow and preference.

What Is the Typical Period Volume for People Not on Hormonal Birth Control?

Menstrual periods can vary widely in terms of normal period flow and volume. For those not on hormonal birth control, the typical volume of menstrual flow is about 30 to 40 millilitres over the entire period, though this can vary. Generally, it’s considered normal to use about three to six pads or tampons per day during the heaviest days of a period.

What Is The Typical “Period” Volume For People On Hormonal Birth Control (e.g., the pill, the ring, the patch)?

For individuals on hormonal birth control methods such as the pill, the ring, or the patch, the normal period flow often tends to be lighter compared to those not using hormonal contraceptives. The volume of menstrual flow can significantly reduce, sometimes even leading to very light periods or no periods at all. Those on hormonal birth control might find they need fewer pads or tampons – often just one to three per day during their menstrual cycle. However, maintaining menstrual hygiene is crucial, even with a lighter flow.

What Is a Typical Period Volume For People On Progestin-Only Birth Control (e.g., the mini pill, the shot, the implant)?

Women who use progestin-only birth control methods, such as the mini pill, the shot, or the implant, may experience a significant decrease in menstrual blood flow and sometimes even the absence of periods. Some women may require only one to three pads or tampons per day, while others may not need them at all during their cycle. Good menstrual hygiene is crucial, regardless of the flow intensity.

What’s A Typical Period Amount for People with Intrauterine Devices (IUDs)?

For women with Intrauterine Devices (IUDs) to prevent pregnancy, the normal period flow can be a bit different from those not using this form of birth control. Hormonal IUDs can reduce menstrual flow and may stop periods after a few months. In contrast, non-hormonal copper IUDs might initially increase menstrual flow and cramping. Those with hormonal IUDs might use fewer pads or tampons, often just one to three per day, or even none at all, depending on how their bodies react to the IUD. Conversely, women with copper IUDs might need to change pads or tampons more frequently during the first few months after insertion. It’s important to remember that everybody reacts differently to IUDs, so what’s normal can vary widely.

How to Judge an Excessive Flow Without Measuring?

The exact measurement of menstrual blood loss is not possible, but we can always rely on estimation. An approximation of the amount of blood can be done with the tampons or pads you are using. A regular tampon or regular sanitary pads hold about 5 ml of blood, whereas the extra-absorbent varieties or special pads like RIO Pads for heavy periods are able to hold almost 275 ml of saline water. You can multiply the number of tampons and pads used in the entire cycle with the relevant measurement, and you have an estimation.

Our advice to you is that in case of any doubt, you should consult your health care adviser. Please do not jump to conclusions yourself.

When Should You Seek Help From Your Healthcare Provider About Your Period Heaviness?

It’s important to seek help from your healthcare provider if you notice significant changes or concerns in your normal period flow. This includes unusually heavy flow, passing large blood clots, periods lasting longer than seven days, or severe pain. Also, if you experience a significant change in your menstrual cycle pattern or bleeding between periods, seek medical advice. Being aware of what is normal for you and noting any changes can be key indicators to consult with your healthcare provider, as they can offer guidance, support, and treatment options tailored to your needs

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  1. What is a heavy period?

A heavy period, medically known as menorrhagia, is characterised by abnormally heavy or prolonged menstrual bleeding. In practical terms, it may involve soaking through pads or tampons every hour for several consecutive hours, needing to use double sanitary protection, passing large blood clots, and experiencing a menstrual flow that lasts more than a week. Consider using RIO Heavy Flow Pads during heavy periods.

  1. Why is my period so heavy on the second day?

It's common for periods to be heavier on the second day. This happens because the hormone levels fluctuate, leading to the shedding of the uterine lining more vigorously. For many women, the second day marks the peak of blood flow, with the body expelling the most blood and tissue on this day.

  1. How often should I change a pad?

It's generally recommended to change a pad every 4-6 hours. However, this can vary depending on your flow. For a heavier flow, you might need to change it more frequently, whereas for a lighter flow, you might change it less often. Regular changing is important to maintain hygiene and comfort.

  1. Reason for heavy bleeding during periods?

Heavy bleeding during periods can be caused by a variety of factors, including hormonal imbalances, intrauterine devices (IUDs), pregnancy complications, medications, and certain health conditions like thyroid disorders or clotting disorders. It's important to consult a healthcare provider for a proper diagnosis and treatment plan if you experience heavy bleeding.


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