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J Reprod Med. 1979 Apr;22(4):190-2.

Estimating vaginal blood loss.


In order to estimate amounts of vaginal bleeding, obstetrician-gynecologists have traditionally asked women the number of napkins, pads or tampons they use. This method of estimation rests on the assumptions that the volume of blood absorbed by various sanitary products is (1) known and (2) equivalent. To test these underlying assumptions the blood absorption capacity of 15 commercially available sanitary products was measured. Mean absorptions ranged from 1.32 to 94.86 ml for different products; a one-way analysis of variance showed that these mean absorptions were not equal (p less than .001). Moreover, products within a single package revealed substantial variations in absorbency. Thus, asking women the number of sanitary products they use is unlikely to yield clinically useful information; such questions should probably be deleted from the gynecologic history.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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