Know your amount of menstrual flow
The average women will lose around 35ml (approximately 2.5 tablespoons) of menstrual fluid (blood) throughout the duration of her cycle. This would be an average of 7-12ml per day over a 3-5 day cycle. Since every woman is different, this amount can range from 10-80mls or 1-6 tablespoons. Most menstrual cups will hold a minimum of 10 ml of fluid.
The guide below will help you ascertain what sort of flow level you have, and may be useful in determining the correct size menstrual cup. Just because you have a heavy flow, does not mean you must purchase a larger size cup. It may just mean that you need to empty the smaller cup an extra couple of times throughout the day. When you begin using your menstrual cup, you may find it useful to also wear a panty liner while you assess your particular level of flow.
Levels of menstrual flow
Spotting often doesn’t require any sanitary protection, although some women will prefer to wear a panty liner. This level of flow is usually characterised by just a few spots of blood throughout the day.
- Very Light
If your flow level is light, you will most likely only need to change a low absorbency tampon or light pad once or twice throughout the day.
With this level, you will probably find yourself changing a low absorbency or regular pad 2 to 3 times throughout the day.
This is probably the average flow level and will require you to change a regular absorbency tampon or pad 4-6 times per day (every 3-4 hours).
If you have heavy bleeding you will most likely be changing a high absorbency tampon every 3-4 hours.
- Very Heavy
This level of flow would be similar to post birth, where you have such a high level of flow that few sanitary items work at all. In this instance, you would probably be changing a high absorbency tampon every hour or two.