On an average women bleed 60-80 mL of blood, which could double with heavy bleeding.
The body accesses its existing iron stores to compensate for the blood loss in order to make more red blood cells. This means that it is easy to get iron deficient if the iron stores are not kept up with the body’s demand, which increases during menstruation.
It may be challenging to derive sufficient amount of iron from diet alone, particularly from a predominantly vegetarian diet. Therefore a suitable iron supplement may be helpful to take during menstrual cycle.
Several studies have shown that supplementation of iron during menstruation reduces the likelihood of anaemia and iron deficiency.
Iron supplementation has shown to raise haemoglobin and iron stores leading to enhanced exercise performance, and reduces fatigue.
Fernández-Gaxiola AC, De-Regil LM. Intermittent iron supplementation for reducing anaemia and its associated impairments in adolescent and adult menstruating women. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2019, Issue 1. Art. No.: CD009218. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD009218.pub3. Accessed 31 January 2023.