Menorrhagia (Heavy Periods)

Menstrual bleeding is regarded as excessive if the blood loss interferes with a woman’s social, family or work life. One in 20 women consult their GPs with heavy menstrual bleeding every year.

What investigations are required?

An internal examination, pelvic ultrasound and possibly a hysteroscopy (keyhole) to examine the inside of the womb will be required to identify the underlying cause of the heavy bleeding.

Treatments

There are many medical treatments available for heavy periods. The type available to you will depend on your choice and the regularity of your bleeding. The Mirena intrauterine system is a very effective medical management of heavy menstrual loss.

Surgical options include endometrial ablation and hysterectomy. Endometrial ablation techniques destroy the lining of the womb so reducing the amount of vaginal bleeding.

A hysterectomy is a definitive procedure which can be performed vaginally or abdominally. It involves the removal of the uterus (womb) and usually the cervix. It is often reserved for those women with persistent vaginal bleeding despite medical treatments or endometrial ablation.

Women who have uterine fibroids (benign “marbles” of uterine muscles) may well require a hysterectomy in the first instance.

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