Monday, July 12, 2010

Getting in tune with our bodies

I found out something today. Well actually, it was just confirmed to me. I suffer from menorrhagia, or very heavy menstrual flow. My awesome Twitter friend, Crunchy Nurse, sent me a link to an article after I had expressed how my flow was very heavy this past period.

So how did I manage to get in tune with my body? By simply changing the female hygiene products I use. This past period I started using a Diva Cup, and after many years of wondering, I finally got the proof I always knew existed.

On the second day of my menses, I filled a whole cup in two hours (A whole Diva Cup, size 2, is 15 ml, or half and ounce). This is a lot. I knew it was a lot before even looking up what is normal. I always had the feeling that the flow was a lot but because pads and tampons are so ridiculously difficult to measure the amount of output, I couldn't really tell.

Then, once I started using my menstrual cup, I started writing down how much the output actually was.

Day two, 75 ml in 24 hours

Day three, 75 ml in 24 hours

This is a lot. The article that my friend passed on showed that

Officially, flow of more than 80 ml (or 16 soaked sanitary products) per menstrual period is considered menorrhagia. Most women bleeding this heavily will have a low blood count (anemia) or evidence of iron deficiency (1). In practice only about a third of women have anemia, so the definition of heavy flow can be adjusted to be more like nine to 12 soaked regular-sized sanitary products in a period (2).

Well, on my second day, I almost reached the normal amount for the whole period. Sheesh.
After that, I had that "Aha!" moment..

On another note, I loved my Diva Cup. I didn't have to use a single tampon or pad for the entirety of my menses! It was LOVELY! And contrary to many reviews, it went perfectly the first few times and I didn't have to trim the stem or anything. The only hitch was getting the hang of inserting it correctly and getting that pop that seals it. But for the rest, it was a gem.

Back to our main thought, I think I'm going to visit the doctor to have my HB levels checked and see what she could tell me about my menorrhagia. All thanks to my cup..