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ever so slightly obsessed
29 November 2005 @ 01:07 pm
hi, apologies for the mild irrelevance :/

But I'd like to draw your attention (particularly elettaria! you there?) to the poll posted a while ago and the comments it generated. Unfortunately this was while LJ was being spacky and not sending email notifications.

But yep, I'd love more comments/feedback please! and then we can have the poll to end all polls.

http://www.livejournal.com/community/menstrual_cups/392108.html?nc=13

The subject of menorrhagia is actually bothering me a little. About 50% of us seem to fit the technical definition, yet only a maximum of 10% have the symptoms. Is the official medical figure (80 ml or more) wrong? I'd also be curious about why the results were so unlike the figures quoted in the websites I linked to - We seem to bleed a lot more. Did the doctors who decided on that figure get it wrong? Was the poll just crap? Are we perhaps not very representative? if you bled less than 30ml, I guess you really wouldn't need to use a cup... etc etc.

Talk to me :)
 
Gluppit the prawling strangles, thereelettaria on November 30th, 2005 11:17 am (UTC)
I suspected that, but honestly, what are we meant to be doing, filtering our blood?

I believe that menorrhagia, by definition, is heavy menstrual flow. I was wondering what the "other symptoms" might be as well. I imagine that women with menorrhagia will also be more prone to cramping and PMS, but that's not the same as their being symptoms of menorrhagia.
ever so slightly obsessedscien on November 30th, 2005 11:33 am (UTC)
you make a very good point.

I meant stuff like this:

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/menorrhagia/DS00394/DSECTION=2&

But you're right that menorrhagia by definition is just heavy bleeding. I just thought it meant abnormally/dangerously/ at the very least inconveniently heavy bleeding, which 90ml doesn't seem to be.
Gluppit the prawling strangles, thereelettaria on November 30th, 2005 01:48 pm (UTC)
I think it's all a subsection of heavy bleeding (e.g. it's inconvenient because you have to keep changing your menstrual products, which is purely because you're bleeding heavily) or things that tend to accompany heavy bleeding anyway (such as cramps), or are a result of heavy bleeding (anaemia).

As for what's abnormal, hah, that's almost a silly question, as it seems from our poll that loads of us are in the "abnormal" range, which is unlikely. More likely the figures somewhere, ours or theirs or both, are wonky. For what's considered dangerous, I'd think that would be more easily measured. At what level of flow are you pretty much guaranteed to have substantial anaemia, for instance?
Gluppit the prawling strangles, thereelettaria on November 30th, 2005 01:56 pm (UTC)
Aha. Let's add another question:

Are you anaemic? (with suitable link so that they can look up the symptoms and say, "Er, I think I should get a blood test, that looks like me")
* Yes, diagnosed by a doctor
* I think I may be
* No

or will this be more difficult to measure because it's diet-related and also some people take mineral supplements? "Are you anaemic as a result of your menstrual flow?" and include the option "Can't tell due to dietary factors"?
ever so slightly obsessedscien on December 1st, 2005 11:11 am (UTC)
I didn't know I was anaemic until I had a blood test. Didn't have any of the symptoms (tiredness etc) although I'm extremely pale <shrugs>

Of course, then I went on the pill and started having heavy periods monthly instead of every three months or so, and then the symptoms began to show, oh yes... <remembers Fainting Fit Of Doom> eck.

I'm not sure that's a useful question, really. There are so many other reasons for anaemia (my brother is, for eg) and lots of people won't know that they're anaemic, or people may be anaemic due to not eating food with enough iron.
Gluppit the prawling strangles, thereelettaria on December 1st, 2005 02:35 pm (UTC)
Hmm. I already realised that a response to an anaemia question would be fairly hit and miss, I was just curious to see if you'd get any useful pattern emerging regardless (for those who can be bothered to analyse the results). For instance, you might find that once you get into, say, the top two categories of blood flow, suddenly everyone says they're anaemic. Do you think it's going to be too muddled even to give it a try?
(no subject) - scien on December 1st, 2005 02:44 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - elettaria on December 1st, 2005 06:25 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - frolicnaked on December 11th, 2005 06:14 am (UTC) (Expand)
Goat Friendsfrolicnaked on December 1st, 2005 02:26 am (UTC)
If 80 mL blood loss is the top end of normal, then yes, the second poll seems more accurate. One would have to have a significantly higher total fluid loss to qualify as having menorrhagia. I don't even know what that number would be, specifically, and I wish I could find a source that mentioned total fluid, but I can't, really.

This, though, was interesting:

Menorrhagia is defined as a menstrual period accompanied by a blood loss of greater than 80 to 90 mL. A history of excessive menstrual bleeding (i.e., large volume, flooding, passage of clots and heavy use of tampons) is often a poor indicator of the actual amount of bleeding. Only two-fifths of the women who complain of excessive bleeding actually have a menstrual blood loss of greater than 80 mL per menstrual period. From American Family Physician.

And this, while probably not scientific, is interesting:
Average Menstrual Flow
Approximately 50 to 175 cc., or one-quarter to one-half a cup.
From Sexual Averages.

If this last site is correct, though, it would mean that a lot of women with fluid loss in the 5-6 cup range aren't very abnormal at all.
Goat Friendsfrolicnaked on December 1st, 2005 02:37 am (UTC)
5-6 menstrual cup range
Gluppit the prawling strangles, thereelettaria on December 1st, 2005 03:21 am (UTC)
The idea of losing 5-6 cups of blood as in American measuring cups, the sort you measure flour and sugar with, is distinctly alarming.
Goat Friendsfrolicnaked on December 1st, 2005 03:46 am (UTC)
True.

Although to me, the idea of losing only 1/2 to 1 American measuring cup of menstrual fluid (blood + other) is removed from reality.
Gluppit the prawling strangles, thereelettaria on December 1st, 2005 03:23 am (UTC)
Only two-fifths of the women who complain of excessive bleeding actually have a menstrual blood loss of greater than 80 mL per menstrual period.

Whereas we seem to have it the other way round: lots of us are bleeding more than 80 ml according to our measurements, but not many of those think it's excessive bleeding.

I still reckon our estimates are going to be fairly imprecise. I had a better look at the contents of the cup when I changed it today, and I think I wildly overestimated how far up the cup my menstrual fluid reaches when I was guessing last week. Which makes sense, as I think I'm a light bleeder.
Goat Friendsfrolicnaked on December 1st, 2005 03:53 am (UTC)
And here today, I tried to go 4 and a half hours in my Diva instead of my usual 4. I removed an utterly full cup, plus had a fun goosh of blood run onto my hand. :)
Gluppit the prawling strangles, thereelettaria on December 1st, 2005 02:31 pm (UTC)
I could quite possibly leave mine in for entire period without its overflowing, no wonder you find the idea of losing only 1/2 - 1 American measuring cup to be removed from reality!

Do you think we've gone high enough in the poll? I'm probably in the first category, possibly the second, so it's really hard to guess from my end of things.
Goat Friendsfrolicnaked on December 6th, 2005 05:16 am (UTC)
Hmmm... I waited to answer this until I'd finished - or rather, nearly finished - another period.

I just emptied my 25th full Diva Cup. (Though I've had a couple overflow, I've had no partially full cups this cycle.) I haven't gotten out my measuring utensils, but even if a Diva only holds, say 20mL instead of 30mL, then I'm at roughly 500mL for my cycle.

I should point out that, yes, I did have an IUD inserted just over 3 months ago, so yes, this is a ParaGard adjustment period. However, I've been measuring my menstrual fluid loss since I got my Diva... wow, it will be 2 years now in January. I generally empty 25-30 full Divas, so even if I fill another cup on my cycle (unlikely), I'll still be at the low end of average.

My uterus is crazy.
(no subject) - scien on December 6th, 2005 05:17 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - frolicnaked on December 7th, 2005 03:29 am (UTC) (Expand)
ever so slightly obsessedscien on December 1st, 2005 02:46 pm (UTC)
haha I've had that.