What is the treatment for heavy periods?
Heavy periods, also called menorrhagia, is when a woman loses a lot of blood during consecutive periods. A heavy period can occur by itself or in combination with other symptoms, such as menstrual pain.
Heavy bleeding does not necessarily mean that there is anything seriously wrong, but it can affect a woman physically, emotionally and socially, and can cause disruption to everyday life. A hysteroscopy is a procedure used to examine the inside of the womb (uterus) to diagnose any issues.
Not normally funded treatment or procedure:
Dilatation and curettage refers to the widening/opening (dilation) of the cervix and surgical removal of the lining of the uterus and/or contents of the uterus by scraping and scooping (cutterage). This treatment option is not normally funded by the NHS for heavy periods (menorrhagia). This is because national guidance recommends that:
- Ultrasound should be the first option to identify any abnormalities
- Dilatation and curettage should not be used to diagnose issues
- Dilatation and curettage should not be used as a treatment.
The clinician in charge of the care of the patient’s specific condition, usually a hospital doctor, can assist the application, if there is exceptional clinical need for the treatment to be funded. The patient’s clinician must evidence clinical exceptionality and must be supported by the patient’s local NHS commissioning organisation.
See separate leaflet for more information on Individual Funding Requests (IFRs).
Advice and further guidance:
- For more information, read the ‘heavy menstrual bleeding (menorrhagia) decision aid’ or search ‘heavy period’ at www.nhs.uk
- Choosing Wisely UK is part of a global initiative aimed at improving conversations between patients and their doctors and nurses.
Treatment policy for patients covered by NHS Birmingham and Solihull CCG