How can menstrual blood loss be measured?
In routine clinical practice, the number of pads or tampons used for each period gives an indication of blood loss, although some women may change these more often than others. Passage of blood clots indicates heavy loss. Some women require double protection which is another indicator of heavy loss. There are charts that allow you to indicate the number of tampons and sanitary towels that you are using and how heavily these have been stained. These charts correlate with more scientific estimations of blood loss. The recent development of absorbent sanitary wear tends to preclude accurate assessment with these charts.
Laboratory methods have been established for exact measurement of menstrual blood loss. All sanitary wear is collected and the blood is extracted and measured. This is unpleasant for patients and staff and it is only used in research. The technique proved invaluable in establishing normal menstrual blood loss and defining abnormality. Laboratory measurement of menstrual blood loss is regarded by the perfectionist as the gold standard in evaluating new treatments. This research has shown that the average period blood loss is 40-60 mls (8-12 teaspoonfuls). Some women losing up to 400 mls do not realise that they have a problem (500mls is about a pint). Other women may complain of excess loss when they are losing less than 10mls.
Related Medical Abstracts - Click on the paper title:-
- Psychosocial and other characteristics of women complaining of menorrhagia, with and without actual increased menstrual blood loss (2001)
- Determination of total menstrual blood loss. (2001-02)
- Assessment of menstrual blood loss using a pictorial chart: a validation study. (2000)
- A new method for measuring menstrual blood loss and its use in screening women before endometrial ablation (1996)
- The alkaline hematin method for measuring menstrual blood loss--a modification and its clinical use in menorrhagia (1986)
- A preliminary study of factors influencing perception of menstrual blood loss volume (1984)
- Relation between measured menstrual blood loss and patient's subjective assessment of loss, duration of bleeding, number of sanitary towels used, uterine weight and endometrial surface area (1980)
Please click on the required question.
- 1 Are heavy periods a common problem?
- 2 What is in my menstrual flow?
- 3 What range of menstrual cycle length is considered to be normal?
- 4 How can menstrual blood loss be measured?
- 5 How can I tell if my periods are abnormally heavy?
- 6 What could be the cause of my very heavy menstrual periods?
- 7 I have been sterilised. Could this be the cause of my heavy periods?
- 8 Should I have tests to find the reason for my heavy periods?
- 9 How will my heavy period problems be investigated?
- 10 What is meant by anaemia due to heavy periods?
- 11 What is intermenstrual bleeding?
- 12 What is a hysteroscopy and D and C?
- 13 What is cervical cautery?
- 14 What happens after the D and C?
- 15 What treatments are available for my heavy periods?
- 16 What are the medical treatments available for heavy periods?
- 17 How do the various medical treatments for heavy periods work?
- 18 What would be reasonable initial treatment for a teenager or young woman with heavy periods?
- 19 What is a hysterectomy?
- 20 What are the indications for hysterectomy?
- 21 What are the risks (complications) of hysterectomy?
- 22 What is vault granulation?
- 23 What are the different types of hysterectomy?
- 24 Is it essential to remove the neck of the womb at hysterectomy?
- 25 Should my ovaries be removed or conserved during hysterectomy?
- 26 How long will I be in hospital when I have my hysterectomy?
- 27 I have had a hysterectomy. Do I still need to have smear tests?
- 28 What are the other surgical alternatives to hysterectomy?
- 29 How do endometrial ablation and hysterectomy compare?
- 30 Are there any psychological effects following hysterectomy?
- 31 How do we decide the best treatment for my period problems?
- 32 Could I have some recommended hysterectomy support groups?
- 33 Are there any support groups?
- Intermenstrual Bleeding - Bleeding between periods.
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