A patient-administered questionnaire for menorrhagia based on the type of questions asked when taking a gynaecological history was developed and tested using the following steps: literature reviews, devising the questions, testing responses for internal consistency and test-retest reliability and validating the questionnaire by comparing patient's scores with their responses to the SF-36 general health measure, and with family practitioner perceptions of severity. The main sample consisted of 351 women with menorrhagia, 246 referred to gynaecology ambulatory clinics and 105 from four large training practices in North-east Scotland. Following testing, two questions were discarded from the questionnaire. The final questionnaire demonstrated a good level of reliability and the resulting patient scores correlated significantly with their scores on the scales making up the general health measure. The questions asked in taking a clinical history from a woman with menorrhagia can be used to construct a valid and reliable measure of health status. This clinical measure may be a useful guide in selection for treatment and in the assessment of patient outcome following treatment.