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Severe Vaginal Bleeding

When reviewing the following guidelines, take into account how heavy your normal menstrual flow is. Abnormal vaginal bleeding varies depending on what is normal for a particular woman.

  • Severe bleeding: You are passing clots of blood and soaking through your usual pads or tampons every hour for 2 or more hours.
  • Moderate bleeding: You soak more than 1 pad or tampon in 3 hours.
  • Mild bleeding: You soak less than 1 pad or tampon in more than 3 hours.
  • Minimal bleeding: You have "spotting" or just a few drops of blood from the vagina.
Note:

Vaginal bleeding refers to bleeding from inside the vagina, not from a cut or scrape near the vagina.

For most women, soaking more than 2 maxi pads, super pads, or super tampons in 2 hours is not normal and is severe bleeding. This is more serious if you have the following symptoms:

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By Norine Dworkin-McDaniel"I don't smoke." "I exercise regularly." "Yeah, I floss." If you've ever looked into your doctor's eyes and told her a half-truth — or even an outright falsehood — join the club. But those little health fibs can have serious consequences: Your dishonesty may keep your doctor from preventing heart attacks, pregnancy complications, even cancer. Read on to learn why it's worth it to come clean. It's normal to fib about some things. "So sorry we won't make the potluck...

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  • New lightheadedness or feeling as if you may pass out
  • Lightheadedness or fainting when you change position
  • Passage of several blood clots that are larger than a quarter
By Healthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer H. Michael O'Connor, MD - Emergency Medicine
Last Revised June 20, 2011

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: June 20, 2011
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.

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