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

Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2004 May;190(5):1224-9. doi: 10.1016/j.ajog.2003.11.016.


Objective: 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.

Study design: 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.

Results: 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.

Conclusion: 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.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age Distribution
  • Blood Volume / physiology*
  • Female
  • Health Surveys
  • Humans
  • Hypovolemia / diagnosis*
  • Hypovolemia / epidemiology
  • Menorrhagia / classification*
  • Menorrhagia / diagnosis
  • Menorrhagia / epidemiology
  • Menstruation / physiology*
  • Middle Aged
  • Pain Measurement
  • Prevalence
  • Probability
  • Prognosis
  • Risk Assessment
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • United Kingdom / epidemiology