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Melissa, starry-eyed soy-lovin' Expatriated Zulu
[Note: This poll was proposed by scien in a 15 November post.]

I did some research on the internet, and I've had every kind of combination of figures from 10ml-120ml stated as being 'normal' (I'll list the links if people want, all from reputable looking sites, but the data conflicts like woah).

As cup users, we are able to measure this with far greater accuracy than people using tampons or pads. I'm very curious to see how much our real-life experience corresponds to these figures.

How to reckon it up: the Divacup has marks for milliliters and ounces like a measuring cup, if you have one you can see where the last (30 ml) mark is. The mooncup when full (to the brim) is 30 ml, as is the Keeper.

So basically: 30 ml = one ounce = one full cup.

There is probably some variation between brands and sizes of cups, but all the manufacturers claim that they hold 30 ml and that there is not a significant difference between the sizes in terms of volume. So for the purposes of this poll we're just going to assume one full cup = 30 ml.

I assume you have at least once been curious and counted up how much blood you're losing. If you haven't, just make a rough guesstimate based on the number of cups you fill (or more likely half fill) over the week.

Poll #616243 How much do you bleed over one period?

I am not on hormonal birth control, and over my period I lose about...

less than 30 ml of blood (less than one full cup)
0(0.0%)
30-60 ml (1-2 full cups)
10(8.6%)
60-90 ml (2-3 full cups)
21(18.1%)
90-120 ml (3-4 full cups)
14(12.1%)
120-150 ml (4-5 full cups)
7(6.0%)
150-180 ml (5-6 full cups)
9(7.8%)
180 ml or more (more than 6 full cups)
27(23.3%)
I am on hormonal birth control
28(24.1%)

I am on hormonal birth control, and over my period I lose about...

less than 30 ml of blood (less than one full cup)
7(7.4%)
30-60 ml (1-2 full cups)
11(11.6%)
60-90 ml (2-3 full cups)
10(10.5%)
90-120 ml (3-4 full cups)
5(5.3%)
120-150 ml (4-5 full cups)
2(2.1%)
150-180 ml (5-6 full cups)
0(0.0%)
180 ml or more (more than 6 full cups)
4(4.2%)
I am not on hormonal birth control
56(58.9%)

What form of birth control do you use?

no contraception/barrier methods alone
63(58.3%)
combined hormonal contraception (the standard Pill, Nuvaring, the patch)
37(34.3%)
progestogen-only contraception (the mini-pill, Depo [injection], Mirena [hormonal IUD], the implant)
1(0.9%)
copper IUD (no hormones)
7(6.5%)

Do you consider yourself to have menorrhagia?

Yes, diagnosed by a doctor
5(4.0%)
I think so
21(16.9%)
No
98(79.0%)
Tags:
 
Kellykelism on November 20th, 2005 12:59 am (UTC)
I guessed. I don't have a cup, but I'm going based on the box of insteads I tried out.
Gluppit the prawling strangles, thereelettaria on November 20th, 2005 01:30 am (UTC)
Bugger, I missed your comments on the post about this earlier. I'd have said divide up by:

* no hormonal contraception or IUD
* combined hormone (oestrogen and progestogen) contraception (main Pill, the patch, Nuvaring)
* progestogen-only contraception (mini-pill, Depo Provera, implant, Mirena IUD)
* copper IUD

and do full sections for each of those, not just putting in an extra question on it. Otherwise the results will be wonky as hell, because some forms of contraception make you bleed more, some make you bleed a bit less, and some stop your periods altogether.

I've just made a measurement from my Mooncup (small size) and it holds 25ml up to the brim, and that was starting to overflow. From what I hear, Divacups are slightly larger than the other two, and the after-birth models are certainly larger than the before-birth models.

No offence, but I'm not going to bother filling in this version, because I don't think you're going to get remotely accurate results, between the differences in cup size and the differences in how different forms of contraception affects bleeding. It's also much harder for me to tell because I don't bleed anything like a full cup and guessing exactly which proportion of a cup I am filling is tricky. I also get days when the cup contains far more cervical mucus than blood. Unless you've got yourself an accurate measuring device and measured how far the amount you bleed comes up to in your cup and what that is in ml, you're going to be making a very rough guess indeed. I could be anywhere in the first three categories, though probably not the first one. I'm also wondering whether there are people who bleed quite a lot more than 6 cups in a period, considering that I'm bleeding somewhere up to three and I'm a really light bleeder?
ever so slightly obsessedscien on November 20th, 2005 12:22 pm (UTC)
damn.

Want to do a different one? or make a post where people measure the volume their cups can hold?

up to you. Sorry, I just got impatient.
Gluppit the prawling strangles, thereelettaria on November 21st, 2005 06:08 pm (UTC)
I reckon use this one for sorting out any other changes, and then put up a separate one. It seems that we need to reword the first category: how about either "No hormonal contraception or IUD" or "No contraception/barrier methods alone/FAM"?

Going back to the volume thing, could someone who's a heavy bleeder tell us how much they reckon they get through in a period so that can figure out what to make the highest number? I suspect that there are people out there who routinely go through ten cupfuls per period, but it's really hard to guess from the very-light-bleeder end of the spectrum.

For the menorrhagia question (nice link), it looks like we should add something about "even if you think it's caused by your contraception or an underlying medical condition", judging from what someone said below.

And put up the suggested poll questions here before you actually post them just to be sure!
Gluppit the prawling strangles, thereelettaria on November 21st, 2005 06:14 pm (UTC)
And having looked at the poll again, I think it'd be better to take out the "I am not on hormonal birth control" questions at the end of those sections, since we want to see just the stats for people who use that method in order to compare the percentages. It's actually being quite handy as a trial run, this poll; we often have to do that with polls.
ever so slightly obsessedscien on November 22nd, 2005 03:46 pm (UTC)
yeah. I assumed people had to answer every question, though? not being a paid member, I'm not sure how the poll system works. Can someone who knows better tell me whether we need such a get-out clause for each question? if so, I suspect we should put it at the beginning (just visually easier)

I agree about the rewording. So... the list of options for each of:

* No contraception/barrier methods alone/FAM
* combined hormonal contraception (the standard Pill, Nuvaring, the patch)
* progestogen-only contraception (the mini-pill, Depo [injection], Mirena [hormonal IUD], the implant)
* copper IUD

and then 'Do you consider yourself to have _menorrhagia_ (even if you think it's caused by an underlying medical condition, or choice of birth control)?

As for how high to go - I consider myself to be a heavy bleeder and I go through just over 6 completely full cups. We could make it go up to seven I suppose (so I wouldn't feel like I'm the direst case, hehe). Could always ask them to specify how much in the comments. Or just go to as many as LJ lets you. I think that's the best option really. I don't think we'll be able to fit more than a couple more.

Really though anything around that level is considered far, far too much bloodloss. Most of the sources I found (see the list at the end of this comment) said more than 90 or so was Officially Too Much, and one said about half of that! crazy. Mostly, I think, caused by the difficulty of measuring blood that's been absorbed in a tampon or pad. The only study I found which explicitly said it was doing better than just estimates was this one, and it still has the vast majority of women as 90 ml or under.

I personally wouldn't stress the difference in cup brands and sizes too much (unless you can get people with reliable measuring tools to check every version - you're welcome to try). The bands are quite broad, and it's about the best we can do really.

Either way, I'm already reassured by this poll that I'm not all that freakish. The sites which made me think I was: http://www.medinfo.co.uk/conditions/heavyperiods.html (average is 30-40 ml)
http://www.emedicine.com/med/topic1449.htm (normal is 25-80, menorrhagia is 80 ml and over)
http://www.patient.co.uk/showdoc/23068954/ (normal is 20-60, more'n 80 ml = serious)
http://www.cnn.com/HEALTH/library/DS/00394.html (normal is 60-250 - thank heavens :P)
http://www.netdoctor.co.uk/health_advice/facts/menstruationheavy.htm (more than 80 ml is menorrhagia)
and the one I linked to above, http://www.med.monash.edu.au/ob-gyn/research/menorr/

I'm wondering whether the amount of blood lost during a 'normal' period has just been grossly underestimated thus far (official medical definition, shown most places and repeated by my GP, is more than 80 ml is clinically heavy) or whether we cup users are getting something very wrong here.
ever so slightly obsessedscien on November 22nd, 2005 03:49 pm (UTC)
btw, those links were the reason I found a source which didn't give numbers for the definition of menorrhagia in the poll. If it really is over 80ml, then more people have it than not, by our figures :/
Dianacontradictacat on November 20th, 2005 01:37 am (UTC)
As I am a poor college student, I have no non-disposable cup, so I won't be answering the poll. However...

Your icon's style looks like Dominic Deegan. Was it a commission or something?
.Jen.ni.fer.imincrediblyhot on November 29th, 2005 03:07 pm (UTC)
if you're a poor college student, wouldn't it be cheaper to buy a cup?

*shrug* my point is that don't let price get in your way... maybe you could ask for one as a present?
Vanessaoboegoddess on November 20th, 2005 03:37 pm (UTC)
My contraceptive method wasn't listed: Fertility Awareness Method.
jen: miyu- redwitchbabywigg on November 21st, 2005 02:58 am (UTC)
That would be the same answer as "no contraception/barrier methods alone" since all the other methods listed change hormones and/or flow.
Red Queen's Race Runnerdonkey_hokey on November 21st, 2005 04:50 pm (UTC)
Yeah, agree with the above responses re: different questions. Before my IUD, I had 5-ay periods, 4 weeks apart, not too heavy. Since the copper IUD insertion (9 years ago), 7-day periods, 3.5 weeks apart, and VERY heavy.

I don't know that I'd qualify that as menorrhagia so much as a side effect of the IUD.

I can't quantify how many cups I was bleeding pre-IUD, since I didn't have a cup then, but it's about 3 or 4 cups worth now.
Red Queen's Race Runnerdonkey_hokey on November 21st, 2005 04:52 pm (UTC)
Yow.. I just looked at the responses. I guess 3-4 isn't THAT heavy.
ever so slightly obsessedscien on November 22nd, 2005 03:52 pm (UTC)
I wish, hehe.

Apparently I'm the only one that bleeds more than 6 cups on the pill! yay! or something.
Little Apple Blossommeldawen on November 29th, 2005 03:20 pm (UTC)
I definitely think you should include FAM to the no contraception section. Also, maybe you could convert ML to OZ for us lazybones, and take out the cup conversion, since all the cups seem to be different.
cosmic_glittercosmic_glitter on November 24th, 2008 03:44 am (UTC)
Thanks so much for this group, and all of your posting. I just started with the Diva cup, and it's great, although all the "eggwhite" stuff freaked me out a bit at first. I've always been a heavy bleeder, and my mom was too, and I've always felt like a freak...

http://books.google.com/books?id=e_UGb87ztjMC&pg=PA109&lpg=PA109&dq=%22uterine+lining%22+volume&source=bl&ots=0FsvO5rFti&sig=5rvSo7_5MwxGmOtvum07IGmUPCk&hl=en&sa=X&oi=book_result&resnum=9&ct=result
This says that normal menstrual loss is 6-8 ounces of assorted fluid over a period. 8 ounces is almost 250 ml. That's a full cup of mixed fluid. That seems about right.

That is so reassuring.