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Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2004 May;190(5):1224-9.

Menorrhagia II: is the 80-mL blood loss criterion useful in management of complaint of menorrhagia?

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  • 1Division of Community Health Sciences, University of Edinburgh Medical School, Edinburgh, Scotland, UK.



Menorrhagia is defined in terms of statistical"abnormality"as blood loss of >80 mL. We examined the usefulness of this definition in women who were referred to gynecology clinics with heavy periods.


A questionnaire survey of 952 menstrual complaint referrals at 3 hospital gynaecology clinics in Glasgow and Edinburgh included 226 women with heavy periods who had also consented to the measurement of their blood loss.


Women reported a range of problems with their periods, but absolute volume (31.2%) was less prevalent than period pain (37.5%), mood change (35.7%), and change in the amount (volume) of the period (33.8%). Although there were associations with volume, these associations were due to the heaviest and lightest of the loss groups, whereas the 2 groups with loss either side of 80 mL were virtually indistinguishable.


The 80-mL criterion for menorrhagia is of limited clinical usefulness because it is prognostic neither for problems nor iron status and apparently does not guide management.

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