How much menstrual blood flow is healthy?

Did you know, the volume of your blood flow provides you with vital information about your health each cycle. The volume is an indicator of your hormonal balance during the previous cycle. It’s your personal hormone test each cycle!

So how much menstrual blood is normal to shed during one period? You may know what a heavy or light day is for you, but how do you know if your light day is actually considered heavy? Or your heavy day is outside the range of healthy?

A normal flow

A healthy menstruation is 3-7 days, with at least one day of medium or heavy flow. A woman typically loses 40-80ml (8-16 teaspoons) of blood over the course of her menstruation.

A light period would involve losing less than 40ml and a heavy period would involve losing more than 80ml in one cycle.

Charting daily

If you are charting your cycle daily, follow the below guidelines to know how to classify your menstruation - heavy, medium or light day.

Menstrual cup users

Depending on the menstrual cup, it can hold anywhere from 20-35 ml. It's important to know how many ml the menstrual cup holds. If there aren't measurements on the cup, I recommend filling it with water and pouring it into a measuring cup.

Heavy: more than 25ml

Medium: 15-25ml

Light: 5-10 ml

Tampon/pad users

A regular tampon/pad holds 5ml of blood.

Heavy: Using approximately 5 or more regular pads or tampons per day (needing to change pad or tampon at night).

Medium: Using approximately 3-5 regular pads or tampons per day. Consistent flow.

A regular pad becomes soaked in about 4 hours.

Light: Using approximately 1-2 regular pads or tampons per day. Some regular flow. Light bleeding often happens at the beginning or end of menstruation.

Spotting: Using only a pantyliner. Irregular flow (usually the last day of your menstruation).

How do you chart your blood flow?

Visit here to download a paper chart to track your menstrual cycle symptoms. Or if you're looking for an app, I recommend FEMM's free app.

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