Research Article| Volume 5, ISSUE 6, P497-513, June 1972

Quantitation of menstrual blood loss — Further evaluation of the alkaline hematin method

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      Investigation of reliability and practicality of a method for measuring menstrual blood loss was required for research into the problem of uterine hemorrhage caused by intrauterine contraceptive devices. The method selected for evaluation was the photometric alkaline hematin procedure. Our studies of this technic indicate a sensitivity to less than 0.1 ml of blood, within-batch precision of 5% or less (2 C.V.), and an accuracy of measuring human menstrual blood from most types of sanitary devices generally within ± 5%. The method appears to be specific for menstrual blood and independent of other materials in genital fluids. Menstrual discharge may be stored for at lease one month prior to determination without alteration of results. The procedure, once optimized for our purposes, was found to be very practical.
      Using this technic, blood loss was measured during 15 menstrual periods in 6 subjects. The results were consistent with the available literature which indicates that maximum normal menstrual blood flow is between 60 and 80 ml, and the mean is near 30 ml. Variation of measured flow between consecutive menstrual cycles in some individuals (both normal and menorrhagic) reveals the necessity for repeated measurements to properly assess average blood flow in certain cases.
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