BMJ Clin Evid. 2015 Sep 18:2015:0805.


Introduction: Menorrhagia (also known as heavy menstrual bleeding) limits normal activities, affects quality of life, and causes anaemia in two-thirds of women with objective menorrhagia (loss of 80 mL blood per cycle). Prostaglandin disorders may be associated with idiopathic menorrhagia and with heavy bleeding due to fibroids, adenomyosis, or use of intrauterine devices (IUDs). Fibroids have been found in 10% of women with menorrhagia overall and in 40% of women with severe menorrhagia; but half of women having a hysterectomy for menorrhagia are found to have a normal uterus.

Methods and outcomes: We conducted a systematic overview, aiming to answer the following clinical question: What are the effects of surgical treatments for menorrhagia? We searched: Medline, Embase, The Cochrane Library, and other important databases up to February 2014 (Clinical Evidence reviews are updated periodically; please check our website for the most up-to-date version of this review).

Results: At this update, searching of electronic databases retrieved 205 studies. After deduplication and removal of conference abstracts, 102 records were screened for inclusion in the overview. Appraisal of titles and abstracts led to the exclusion of 56 studies and the further review of 46 full publications. Of the 46 full articles evaluated, three systematic reviews and five RCTs were added at this update. We performed a GRADE evaluation for 30 PICO combinations.

Conclusions: In this systematic overview, we categorised the efficacy for three surgical interventions based on information about the effectiveness and safety of dilatation and curettage, endometrial destruction (resection or ablation), and hysterectomy.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Dilatation and Curettage / standards*
  • Endometrial Ablation Techniques / standards*
  • Endometrium / surgery
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Menorrhagia / surgery*
  • Treatment Outcome