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Heavy menstrual bleeding: assessment and management—information for the public

  • The following information is taken from the Information for the public section of NICE Guideline 88 Heavy menstrual bleeding: assessment and management and is intended to be used in consultation with patients. The information can also be printed out for patients to take away and refer to

Heavy menstrual bleeding: the care you should expect

  • Heavy menstrual bleeding is a distressing condition for many women that can severely disrupt their everyday life. It may also come with other symptoms like severe pelvic pain. About 1 in 20 women aged between 30 and 49 years see their GP each year for help with heavy periods or menstrual problems. Treatments include medicines or surgical procedures, and some of these treatments can affect whether the woman is able to get pregnant. It is important that healthcare professionals understand what matters most to each woman and support her personal priorities and choices.
  • We want this guideline to make a difference to women with heavy menstrual bleeding by making sure:
    • doctors take your symptoms seriously, ask the right questions and use the best tests to find the cause of your heavy periods sooner
    • you can see a healthcare professional with specialist knowledge of diagnosing and treating heavy periods if you need to
    • you are given information about the full range of treatments that could help and what they involve, and support to choose one that is right for you

Making decisions together

  • Decisions about treatment and care are best when they are made together. Your health professionals should give you clear information, talk with you about your options and listen carefully to your views and concerns.
  • To help you make decisions, think about:
    • what is most important to you at this stage in your life—is it more important to reduce your symptoms or to be able to get pregnant?
    • whether you want treatment, and what may happen if you choose not to have it.
    • how the treatment, including any side effects, may affect your day‑to‑day life?
  • If you can’t understand the information you are given, tell your health professional
  • Read more about making decisions about your care on the NICE website

© NICE 2018. Heavy menstrual bleeding: assessment and management—information for the public. Available from: www.nice.org.uk/guidance/NG88. All rights reserved. Subject to Notice of rights.

NICE guidance is prepared for the National Health Service in England. All NICE guidance is subject to regular review and may be updated or withdrawn. NICE accepts no responsibility for the use of its content in this product/publication.

First included: June 2018.