How Do You Know If Your Period is "Normal"

Judging how heavy your periods are is difficult. And filling out forms can be one of the most challenging parts of the doctors visit. At the gyno office one of the first questions is, "are your periods normal?" and you need to judge that. So that requires you to know your normal, and a bit about others normal as well. Timing is important, just keeping the "menstrual calendar" is helpful, and yes, many cycles are 28 days. We've discussed the range of normal in a few posts. Judging the amount of bleeding is a different issue. Pad tests, used mostly in research, are very helpful, but it's a bit awkward. And when you are young or have other medical issues Pad Testing is difficult to accomplish. Pad testing means weighing for menstrual blood, and by the way we also say pad tests when you are older means weighing for pee. For accuracy, and knowing whether you've really passed clots or whether you soaked through the  pads, or just change your pad a lot, it's a good technique, again, it's good at least in the gyne research labs.  But there may be better ways...or not better, lets say easier to tolerate, ways to measure the amount of blood you loose. Marking down on a scale of spotting, bleeding or clotting is a good way to track. Traditionally it's been the amount of anemia that physicians have defined as evidence that you are bleeding too much. Or simply that a woman is passing clots. Or changing more than a super tampon per hour for hours and hours. Or a match the pictures sort of test with amounts of blood on a pad corresponding to how much blood usually is present on a pad test. But for some women bleeding to much just means it's bothersome to you, regardless as to how similar it is to your sister's period! So if you need to know what is normal, get in to chat with your gyno and you may be able to figure this out!


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