Female Dopers: how heavy is your menstrual flow?

Based on this thread:

http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?t=546633

My curiousity is peaked.

How heavy is your menstrual flow (how often you have to change your pad/tampon)?
How long does your period last?
What is the heaviest point for you (and how long does that last)?

My periods last 4.5 days and I use 4 tampons on my heaviest day which is only the first. It is also considerate enough to stop at 8 pm and resume at 7 am causing no overnight leaks.

I hate you. :slight_smile:

When things are going full tilt, I have to empty my Diva Cup every hour, and I wear a pad, too, in case my cup runneth over. That usually starts about day 2 and lasts two-three days. The entire affair goes on for a week. Bleh.
BTW, your curiosity is “piqued,” not “peaked.”

Allow me to go on record saying “I love being on the pill”. I am down to 2-3 days max, 1 panty liner could (theoretically - not in practice, cause eeewww) last the entire time. It bumped up very unpleasantly when I went off the pill, but sanity came back into control and I went back on.

At my prime, it was five days, heaviest on days 2 and 3. On heavy days, I would change every 2-3 hours. Now that I’m in perimenopause, I haven’t had a cycle for four months. I’m seriously hoping I’ve had my last.

Start spotting a few days before my actual period - maybe 2 days, maybe 8. Who knows? Depends on what my body feels like doing that month.

Then full flow, weeee! I can get away with using my DivaCup most of the day, fortunately. With pads or tampons, every two hours or so. That usually lasts about two days.

After that, it lightens up pretty quickly to spotting by about 4 days after the full flow starts. And that spotting can also last anywhere from 2 to 8 days or so.

Now I’m pregnant and looking forward to the respite.

I was like the OP before having a child, and freckafree after. I hope that since I’ve only had two periods after having the baby, that it’ll get back to normal as time goes on.

I had to go off regular hormonal birth control after my PE, and I haven’t had a chance to get a Mirena yet. This means I’m back to my normal (shitty) periods. The first day or two, I’ll go through a Super Max OMG Fucking Niagra Falls strength tampon in three to five hours. It’s not that heavy for very long, though; it tapers off pretty quickly, then hangs around for a total of probably five to seven days.

This is just one of the myriad reasons that I should really get off my ass and go get the damned IUD already.

Nitpick (emphasis added):

Piqued.

Was on Depo and for years didn’t have a period at all. Came off and I was having flow for about 7 days with cramping on day one and heaviest flow on days 2 and 3. At its peak, I could soak through on any pad inside 2 hours, leakage around all the tampons I tried inside an hour. And chunks. Always chunky.
My work schedule doesn’t allow me to run off to the bathroom every hour, or even every 5, so I’d just deal with a gross, sticky pad most of the day. I’ve just started on the NuvaRing and I plan on using it non-stop to avoid having a period at all. I hate biology.

I think that I used to be quite lucky - 5 days of fairly mid level flow. No cramping, slight backache. Then I went on the pill and, along with what I had been experiencing, got pretty bad cramps for the first day as well. Tried several different kinds of pill, and it was the same with all of them. Still, it wasn’t bad enough for me to stop using the pill.

When I finally came off the pill about 8 years later, my period returned immediately, but had decreased to 1-2 days of light flow (some days it was maybe 2 regular tampons worth, and a pad overnight) and no cramping again.

I was worried that this indicated that there was some problem with how things were working, given the change, but several gynaecologists didn’t seem to think it was anything to worry about, so I eventually just decided that I should just be very, very grateful.

Like the OP, my heaviest day is day one. I usually wear a tampon and a pad on those days just to be safe. I change that tampon maybe every three to four hours, though sometimes more. I’d go through something like four a day on day one if I weren’t wearing the back up pad, though. True, I could just get a heavier tampon but the heavier ones are too heavy for regular days.

After day one, things are fairly normal and I can wear one for the full eight hours. Usually I change them more often than that but it’s more like maybe two a day and then one at night.

Then the last day or so is too light for a tampon so I either wear a light pad or, let’s be honest, the Dark Underwear.

Off the pill: First 2-2.5 days are heaviest, with a regular tampon lasting about 4 hours max, usually changed every 3 or so. May or may not wear a pad as backup, depending on whether I can anticipate having regular enough bathroom breaks based on what I’m doing that day! Then day 3 is rather light, day 4 is non-existent, and it is very light after that, with the exception of a couple of hours on day 5 or 6 where it almost seems like things are starting up again (rather heavy), but that dries up pretty quickly and I’m done on/before day 7. I may use a pantyliner that day just in case, but rarely actually need it.
On the pill: Day 1-2 heavy, day 3 non-existant, day 4 has that final heavy flow, and done on day 5. Basically same pattern on a couple of days less, and no backaches.

Well, not to shatter your hopes, but my terrible, horrible, no good, very bad periods began after having a child, too, and have only gotten worse. However, I have fibroids, which I’m sure is part of (or perhaps the entire) reason.

Heavy on day one (have to change tampons every couple hours), moderate on day 2, moderate or light on day 3, light spotting of varying lengths (2-5 days) after that. I feel lucky not to have real bleeding that lasts past 3 days.

When I finally get around to buying a menstrual cup I will know exactly how much I bleed, am looking forward to charting it. :wink:

I am 24, never been on birth control, have never had a child, and my period has been much the same flow-wise every month since I got it ten years ago, although the amount of pain and other side-effects have varied, and my doctor suspects I have endometriosis. Abdominal pain is often so bad for me it’s painful to walk, etc.

now that i have had my internal girly bits extracted with extreme prejudice, none =) and I am amazingly fucking happy about it.

Previously - birth control was taken care of with a tubal ligation but I was on total menstrual suppression because I would bleed golfball sized clots and enough blood to fill a super plus tampon and an overnight pad every hour and a half or so. I could fill a 1 oz diva cup in 2 hours. Personally, I would have much preferred to have the damned works removed back in 1982 when I had my tubal instead of being forced to go through hell every month [or several weeks a month] on the odd chance I might want to pop a watermelon out of my cootchie and probably die in the attempt…

Usually very. I seem to be having an unusally light one right now, thank god, but normally mine is pretty damned heavy. The first day or so is moderate, and then the next two or three is hell. Then it gradually just tapers off.

I’d go on the Pill, but with all the other meds I’m on, I’m not going to chance it. Dammit. :mad:

I’m on the Pill, but my period is still heavy-ish (for being on the Pill, anyway) and lasts for 4 days. I change my tampon about every 4-6 hours, and wear pads at night. Heaviest day for me is (and has always been) the second day. Starts with spotting/light flow, then heavier flow, then lighter flow, then light flow/spotting.

I don’t really mind that the Pill hasn’t made my period very light–I just like that I know exactly when it’s coming.

Wait, what? Your uterus was malfunctioning enough to cause you serious medical problems, but your doctor refused to do a histerectomy because you might change your mind about having children, but was willing to do a tubal ligation? Because those are reliably reversible? Never mind that tying the tubes doesn’t fix the whole malfunctioning uterus thing? WTF?

Also, Guinastasia, you’re the first person I’ve heard of on complicated meds where the doc didn’t insist on birth control as well, to avoid any deformities in an accidental pregnancy.

Because I have polycystic ovarian syndrome, I don’t get my periods regularly, but the endometrium continues to build up. So when I do get my period, it’s super heavy and super long. I use extra super tampons and have to change them every two hours or so. And I wear a pad, 'cause sometimes it flows over. And my period lasts for at least two weeks; it’s lasted for a month at times. But then again, I only get it 3 or 4 times a year.

Very light. Usually I only use pads or tampons on the second day, sometimes also on the first or third; for other days it’s enough with pantyliners that get changed every 4h. Normally my period lasts 4-5 days.

I’ve been irregular for the last 6 years, but I’ve also developed spotting (the gyne says it’s normal, the last one also got this look on her face that spelled “gee, you all think you’re so special and you’ve all got the same fucking boring problems”), so I use pantyliners when I’m not expecting my period. Whether I get a period or spotting, that’s enough unless it happens in the middle of the bleeping moors (and that’s why Ogette invented single-packaged pantyliners).

Heavy, and long. Change pads multiple times a day, frequently have to rinse my panties in cold water due to overspill. I end up making “extra” protection out of toilet paper, like a second, top pad, for nighttime when I’m asleep. I still will soak through all layers for a night or two, and we wash our sheets in cold water. Clots passing that I can feel. Minimum period length is a week, sometimes longer.

I’ve always had heavy periods. I’m 44.