Heavy menstrual bleeding has been defined as ‘excessive menstrual blood loss which interferes with the woman’s physical, emotional, social and material quality of life, and which can occur alone or in combination with other symptoms’.2
Around 50% of women referred to secondary care for heavy menstrual bleeding experience severe or very severe pain, even when they do not have any uterine pathology3, and many women who seek medical help do so because of disabling pain.4
The range of management options for heavy menstrual bleeding has expanded and improved since the 1970s and 1980s, when rates of hysterectomy for menstrual disorders were first observed to be relatively high and to vary considerably between regions.5,6 Although hysterectomy remains an option, it is not generally recommended for first-line management unless less invasive options are unsatisfactory or are inappropriate.2
The development of a Clinical Care Standard on heavy menstrual bleeding was a recommendation of the first Australian Atlas of Healthcare Variation.
The goal of the Heavy Menstrual Bleeding Clinical Care Standard is to ensure that women with heavy menstrual bleeding are offered the least invasive and most effective treatment appropriate to their clinical needs, and have the opportunity to make an informed choice from the range of treatments suitable to their individual situation.
The Heavy Menstrual Bleeding Clinical Care Standard was launched on 20 October 2017 at the Rural Medicine Australia Conference 2017 (RMA17) in Melbourne. Watch a video of the launch and panel discussion online.
You can also listen to the following interviews on best practice care for women with heavy menstrual bleeding:
On 7 May 2018, the Commission partnered with Safer Care Victoria to conduct a forum to promote best practice care for heavy menstrual bleeding across primary health and acute care sectors. Videos and a presentation from this forum are available to view online and include detailed expert presentations and panel discussions on the condition, treatment options and the Commission’s work on both the Atlas and the Heavy Menstrual Bleeding Clinical Care Standard.