How do I know if the amount I bleed during my period is normal?

It might surprise you, but the average amount of menstrual blood (a period is actually not just blood, but other fluids as well) is quite small, less than three tablespoons per period on average.

Heavy bleeding is more common in the first couple of years after you get your period. This is because you can have cycles where you do not ovulate (release an egg) and so you don’t have your period. The lining of your uterus is thicker than normal, so the next time you do have a period it’s heavier.

Similar to what is ‘normal’ for period pain, there is no exact rule on what is normal and it’s not possible to diagnose via a website.

You may have Heavy Menstrual Bleeding (HMB) if you experience:

  • A period (bleeding) that lasts for more than seven days; or
  • Having to change your pad or tampon (super tampon or similarly sized pad) more than every two hours; or
  • Bleeding through (flood) a normal sized tampon or pad on a regular basis.

Continued heavy bleeding can cause anaemia (iron deficiency) which can make you feel very tired, dizzy or short of breath, so it’s important to get it checked out by your doctor or your healthcare professional.

If you find heavy bleeding affects your ability to perform normal activities, because you feel fatigued or the bleeding is too heavy to control, then you should speak with your doctor and they can go through this in more detail and discuss treatment options with you.