What’s a period flow?
The average menstruation cycle lasts around 28 days, but you don’t bleed the entire time (PHEW for that!) There are a few different phases of your cycle. Everyone’s cycle is different but let’s break down an average cycle:
MENSES (Day 1-5) : Bleeding time! This is when you shed the lining of your uterus
FOLLICULAR PHASE (Day 6-14): Estrogen time! This causes the lining of the uterus to grow and thicken again.
OVULATION (Day 14): Egg drop time! An increase in hormones causes your ovary to release an egg
LUTEAL PHASE (Day 15-28): Egg travel time! Once an egg is released from your ovary, it travels to the uterus by way of the fallopian tubes. If pregnancy doesn’t occur, we begin alllllll again at the MENSES PHASE.
The amount, length and frequency of your cycle can be irregular for the first few years of getting your period. This is super common. As you get older, your period often becomes more regular! This includes how much you actually bleed during your period.
So how much blood do I lose?
Menstrual fluid doesn’t just contain blood, but a bunch of other stuff like mucus and uterine tissue. This makes it a little difficult to pin down exactly how much blood ya lose, but it usually averages around 4 tablespoons over the course of 5 days.
If you’ve already gotten your period, you know that you don’t bleed the same amount over 5 days! Throughout this time, your period typically goes from light spotting alllllll the way to heavy bleeding, and then back down again to spotting.
Period Flow Recommendations
No matter what stage of the flow you’re at, we got you covered! Here are our recommendations for period protection from beginning, middle to end!
THE BEGINNING: Day 1
The first day of your period can be a little funky. It usually starts with some spotting! Spotting is when you look down at your underwear and go “Uh-Oh, where did these little specks/smears of blood come from??”. Depending on your cycle, Day 1 can also include light or medium bleeding.
Our Recommendation: There’s nothing worse than dry tampon feeling when your period is light, and a pad can feel supppper bulky- especially if you’re not bleeding a lot yet! So for the first day of your period, we recommend wearing a pair of leakproof undies. Super absorbent (and cute), Knixteen ‘Oh-No’ Proof undies have a built in liner so you won’t leak through! It’ll feel like you’re not even on your period.
THE MIDDLE: Day 2-3
The middle of your period is when things get...messy. The cramps! The bloating! The fatigue! The blood. It can look pretty scary! Usually the middle section begins with some medium bleeding, and gets heavy. This is the stage where your tampon or pad gets full pretty quickly. You may find yourself running to the bathroom a couple times a day to change it. How do you know if your period is too heavy? Everyone’s different, but:
- If you’re worried that this stage lasts longer than usual or
- You’re soaking through tampons and pads super frequently or
- There are blood clots (they look like jelly!!) bigger than a quarter — it’s totally okay to talk to a doctor about it!
Your period during this stage can be painful and annoying, we’d go with whatever form of period protection is most comfortable for you. Whether that’s a pad, tampon or cup — go for it! Because the middle of your period can also be heavy and predictable, we’d also pair this with a pair of Sleepover Shorts as well. They’re EXTRA leakproof, and the absorbent pad is super long. You can never be too careful, and no one likes leaks!
THE END (PHEWF): Day 4-5
You made it! The last few days of your period can be pretty smooth sailing. It’s similar to the beginning of your period (it is a cycle after all). Coming down from your heavy flow days, the end of your period can see some medium/light bleeding, and end with a bit of spotting.
Just like the beginning of your period, we recommend going for the period undies if your period is light! If it’s still a bit on the medium side, continue pairing with your fav form of period protection