Information for the public

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.

In the news

Read NICE news about how this guideline will help.

10,000 more women to be offered test to identify the cause of heavy periods, NICE says

Hysteroscopy has been recommended as a first line diagnostic test for women with heavy menstrual bleeding (menorrhagia), in updated NICE guidance.

Heavy menstrual bleeding made me afraid to leave the house

Jillian Neckar, Co-Leader of the Central London Endometriosis Support Group, shares her experience of heavy menstrual bleeding and how she hopes the new NICE guidelines will improve treatment for women like her.

Where can I find out more?

NHS Choices has more information about heavy periods.

The organisations below can give you more advice and support.

NICE is not responsible for the content of these websites.

We wrote this guideline with people who have been affected by heavy menstrual bleeding and staff who treat and support them. All the decisions are based on the best research available.

ISBN: 978-1-4731-2778-4


This page was last updated: 14 March 2018