17 Mar What’s a Normal Period?
As A Chinese Medicine Practitioner and Acupuncturist we consider ourselves detectives trying to get to the cause of your health issues, so often we ask a large range of questions, take pulse measurements (Read more in our blog Here) and tongue readings. So I am often found asking women about their period, especially for fertility and gynaecological issues (Read more about Chinese Medicine gynaecology Here).
And the response would sound something like this;
“I have the normal amount of pain” or “Very normal”
BUT what is normal, do most women actually know? Probably not! Sometimes abnormal periods could indicate health issues, especially those related to women’s health such as endometriosis, blocked tubes, and more. So lets talk about what is considered a healthy or normal period;
Duration = 4-5 days. No spotting before or after the period.
Flow = A good healthy flow is between 25-80mls of blood. How to measure?
3-4 tampons each day for 4-5 days
Light pad / Tampon : 3ml fully soaked
Medium pad / Tampon: 4ml fully soaked
Heavy pad / Tampon: 8ml fully soaked
Super pad / Tampon: 12ml fully soaked
For those environmentally savvy girls a mensural cup holds about 25mls of blood. As a practitioner I highly recommend menstrual cups. However mensural underwear is another environmentally savvy option.
Colour = Fresh red
Consitancy = Blood, not clotty, thick or watery. There should defiantly not be any clear mucus (this could indicate that mucus is present in your tubes, and issue if you are trying to conceive)
Pain = NONE!!! Yes you shouldn’t have pain
PMS = NONE!!! Yes you shouldn’t have PMS
Cycle = Ideally yes a cycle should be 28 days, but it’s ok to be between 26-32 days. Anything shorter or longer could indicate a problem with ovulation.
So what if I don’t have a normal period?
First step is to start taking note, tracking your cycle and symptoms. Be sure of what you are seeing and if its consistent. Sometimes lifestyle could mean that one cycle could be disrupted, however the body should quickly return its normal state.
There are fantastic APPS on your phone to help track your cycle but you can also simple use a diary.
Abnormalities could indicate anything from a gynaecological condition, metabolic disorder, or even a simple vitamin deficiency. It definitely means that you should seek assistance by firstly speaking to your health practitioner or GP.
Some examples of abnormalities include:
- Hypomennorrhea = short or very light menstruation
- Hypermennorrhea = extremely heavy or long (soaking 1 pad in 1 hour / 9-16 soaked pads in total)
- Menorrhagia = flow of more than 80 ml (more than 16 soaked pads in total)
- Polymennorrhea = more frequent than 21 days
- Oligomennorrhea = infrequent menstruation
- Metrorrhagia = spotting between menstruations
- Amenorrhea = absent menstruation
Acupuncture & Chinese Medicine have a long history of treating gynaecological complaints including heavy or light periods. Have a look at our individual health conditions pages for more information or book a consult with one of our amazing practitioners