You’re thinking about donating blood for the first time. But since they’ll be removing blood from your body, it has you thinking: How long does it take to regenerate blood?
It’s a fairly common question. When they’re taking something away from your body, you naturally wonder how long it will take to replenish.
The short answer? Not as long as you might think.
The Facts About Blood Donation
Donating blood is a fairly easy action that can have a major impact. In fact, according to the American Red Cross, a single blood donation can potentially save up to three lives.
Blood donation is a very safe process. When you arrive at a blood donor center or mobile blood drive to donate, you’ll be given a short physical exam to ensure you are healthy enough to donate, including checking your temperature, your blood pressure and your pulse. They’ll also collect a brief health history to ensure you’re able to donate safely.
Once you’ve completed registration and undergone an exam, the actual donation process will begin. You’ll feel a small, quick pinch as a needle is inserted into your arm, and it will take approximately 10 minutes to collect about one pint of blood.
What Happens After Blood Donation?
After the collection process is complete, you’ll stick around the donation site for a little while to help your body acclimate to a decrease in fluid volume. You’ll usually be given a small snack to help fend off any lightheadedness you may experience, and it’s a good idea to increase your fluid intake for the day. After about 15 minutes, you’ll be allowed to resume normal activities.
How long does it take to regenerate the blood you’ve donated? An adult human body contains around 10 pints of blood. When you donate a pint, your body immediately jumps into overdrive to begin replenishing that blood.
The process is quick—and the entire pint of blood is replaced within a few weeks. Think about it this way: Your body produces 2 million new red blood cells each second. White blood cells and platelets replenish even more quickly.
When can you donate again? To give your body ample time to replenish blood after donation, you need to wait at least eight weeks between whole blood donations.