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Light to Heavy Vaginal Bleeding - Topic Overview

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 vaginal bleeding means that you are soaking 1 or 2 pads or tampons in 1 or 2 hours, unless that is normal for you. For most women, passing clots of blood from the vagina and soaking through their usual pads or tampons every hour for 2 or more hours is not normal and is considered severe. If you are pregnant: You may have a gush of blood or pass a clot, but if the bleeding stops, it is not considered severe.
  • Moderate bleeding means that you are soaking more than 1 pad or tampon in 3 hours.
  • Mild bleeding means that you are soaking less than 1 pad or tampon in more than 3 hours.
  • Minimal vaginal bleeding means "spotting" or a few drops of blood.
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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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